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The lunacy and the uniqueness of English is what piques our interest to keep learning this language!

The English language is a little daunting to learn for people who are learning it for the first time. You can be sure even in a lifetime it would be pretty impossible to learn all of its intricacies. But the lunacy and the uniqueness of it is what piques our interest to keep learning this language.

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We should be grateful that we have been introduced to the English language from an early age. One of the most widely spoken languages in the world is a bit of a muddle, from the pronunciations, accents, word meanings and their spellings. Once the basics are in place then it’s a breeze to comprehend this language. Well almost. Most middle class families in India want their kids to be educated in an English medium school, so they have the liberty and ease to explore the world at a later time and date without having too much of a constraint on language, as most of the world knows the language English and even if they don’t know it fluently a fair amount of knowledge is present.

HISTORY OF ENGLISH

English was first brought to Britain in the mid-5th and 7th centuries AD with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain. The Tribes being The Angles, The Saxons and the Jutes. Before this invasion, Britain spoke a Celtic language. The Angles came from “Englaland” and their language was called “Englisc”, and it is from this that the words “England” and “English” were derived.

Old English

Old English doesn’t sound like the language we speak today. Even their alphabet was different. But the most common words used in modern English have roots from the language of this era. For eg. Words like be, strong and water were derived from old English. This dialect was spoken from 400 AD till about 1100 AD.

Middle English

The Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror in 1066 invaded and conquered England. With them ruling Britain they brought in a type of French that became the language of the Royal Court, the ruling and the business classes. There was a language barrier during this time where the lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French. By the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again but with the addition of many French words. This dialect came to be known as Middle English. It was the language of the great poet Chaucer. It remained present from 1100 AD to 1500 AD.

Early Modern English

By the end of the era of Middle English there was a change in pronunciation. From 1500 AD – 1800 AD the Early Modern English came into being as the British had connections with people from all over the World. Vowels were pronounced shorter and shorter. This meant that many new words and phrases entered the language. And with the invention of printing there came about a standard for spelling and grammar. Hence the first dictionary was printed in the year 1604. This English existed from 1500- 1800 AD.

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Late Modern English

Since the British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the earth’s surface, the English embraced foreign words from many countries into its own. The late Modern English has many more words due to the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of technology for which new words were created. This was spoken from the 1800’s to present.

When we study a language, say our mother tongue we find it extremely simple. That’s because we have learnt it growing up and is wired in our brains. Learning a new language takes getting used to. English is such a vast language which is complex due to the use of certain words, phrases and their spellings used in different contexts.

Some interesting examples of the language complexities are:

There are Homonyms, same sounding words with different meanings and spellings eg: rise and rice. Synonyms a substitute word for another word, eg: shut and close have the same meanings. Antonyms are opposites of the word, eg: the opposite of tall is short. These are just a few. We also have the different tenses, singular and plural, masculine and feminine, etc.

If you have a rough cough, climbing can be tough when going through the bough on a tree!

And did you know that there is no ham in hamburger and no egg in eggplant (brinjal) or that English muffins were not invented in England, or the French fry was not invented in France.

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Then there are paradoxes, where we say that quicksand works slowly and the guinea pig is not from a guinea or from a pig. A boxing ring is square then why is it called a ring? Have you heard that noses run when you have a cold and that your feet can stink?

Did you ever have a feeling that the English language was out to test you or get you? It makes us rack our brains to be sure that we don’t make errors in the usage of words and their spellings. Why are there same sounding words in the first place? Why can’t different words have different spellings? Why do some words have letters in them that are not even used when pronouncing it?

Their, there and they’re three words with the same pronunciation but different usage. Where, were and wear again the same thing. Boggles your mind every time doesn’t it? No matter how well versed we are with the language all of us at some point or the other have committed the error of using these words in our sentences.

Don’t get me started on the words that use silent letters of the English alphabet. I’m sure that you’ll are also asking the same question “If it’s silent then why is it there?” The history of the English language says that it used to be phonemic (yup, that’s right got to learn a new word). Meaning the words looked and sounded the same. Over time pronunciation changed and since the words were already preserved by the printing press some of the letters became silent.

Only 40% of modern day English is phonemic! Words like write, knee, wrist, psychology, daughter, half, all have silent letters. You might dread spelling, but it becomes very important in learning this language. What if you wanted to look up the word knowledge in the dictionary and you didn’t know the spelling. You’d probably look under the letter ‘N’.

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Silent letters are not there to confuse us, even though we think so. There are certain rules that explain which letters are supposed to be silent, before and after certain letters. Once we start practising these rules it’ll become easier to remember how the words need to be pronounced and will undoubtedly improve our speaking, spelling and writing skills.

Learning the origins of words known as ‘Etymology’ is also very interesting. It is very fascinating as it provides the history of the words.

There is a magic ‘e’ in words. If you add an ‘e’ at the end of words with short vowel sounds, it elongates the sound of the vowels, eg: tap/tape, con/cone, mat/mate and fin/fine. Pretty cool right?

Try reading aloud the poem by Gerard Nolst Trenité – The Chaos (1922)

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
   Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
   Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

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Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
   Just compare heart, hear and heard,
   Dies and diet, lord and word.

Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it's written).
   Made has not the sound of bade,
   Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
   But be careful how you speak,
   Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
   Woven, oven, how and low,
   Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
   Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
   Missiles, similes, reviles.

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Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
   Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
   Solar, mica, war and far.

From "desire": desirable-admirable from "admire",
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
   Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
   Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,

One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
   Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
   Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,

Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
   This phonetic labyrinth
   Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
   Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
   Peter, petrol and patrol?

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Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
   Blood and flood are not like food,
   Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
   Discount, viscount, load and broad,
   Toward, to forward, to reward,

Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation's OK.
   Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
   Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
   Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
   Buoyant, minute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
   Would it tally with my rhyme
   If I mentioned paradigm?

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Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
   Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
   Rabies, but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
   You'll envelop lists, I hope,
   In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You'll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
   To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
   Does not sound like Czech but ache.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
   We say hallowed, but allowed,
   People, leopard, towed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
   Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
   Chalice, but police and lice,

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Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
   Petal, penal, and canal,
   Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,

Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",
   But it is not hard to tell
   Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
   Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
   Senator, spectator, mayor,

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
   Pussy, hussy and possess,
   Desert, but desert, address.

Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
   Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
   Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

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"Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker",
Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor",
   Making, it is sad but true,
   In bravado, much ado.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
   Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
   Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
   Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
   Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
   Mind! Meandering but mean,
   Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
   Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
   Tier (one who ties), but tier.

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Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
   Prison, bison, treasure trove,
   Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn't) with nibbled.
   Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
   Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

Don't be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
   Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
   Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
   Evil, devil, mezzotint,
   Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don't mention,
   Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
   Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

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Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
   Funny rhymes to unicorn,
   Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley.
   No. Yet Froude compared with proud
   Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
   Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
   Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
   But you're not supposed to say
   Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
   How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
   When for Portsmouth I had booked!

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Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
   Episodes, antipodes,
   Acquiesce, and obsequies.

Please don't monkey with the geyser,
Don't peel 'taters with my razor,
   Rather say in accents pure:
   Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
   Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
   Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
   Say then these phonetic gems:
   Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget 'em-
   Wait! I've got it: Anthony,
   Lighten your anxiety.

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The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
   With and forthwith, one has voice,
   One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
   Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
   Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,

Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
   Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
   Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.

Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
   Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
   Puisne, truism, use, to use?

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
   Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
   Put, nut, granite, and unite.

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Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
   Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
   Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.

Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
   Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
   Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
   Bona fide, alibi
   Gyrate, dowry and awry.

Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
   Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
   Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
   Rally with ally; yea, ye,
   Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!

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Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
   Never guess-it is not safe,
   We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.

Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
   Face, but preface, then grimace,
   Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
   Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
   Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
   With the sound of saw and sauce;
   Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
   Respite, spite, consent, resent.
   Liable, but Parliament.

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Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
   Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
   Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.

A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
   G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
   I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
   Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
   Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
   Won't it make you lose your wits
   Writing groats and saying "grits"?

It's a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
   Islington, and Isle of Wight,
   Housewife, verdict and indict.

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Don't you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
   Finally, which rhymes with enough,
   Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??

Hiccough has the sound of sup…
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

Learning the origins of words known as ‘Etymology’ is also very interesting. It is very fascinating as it provides the history of the words.

It’s said that if you can read 90% of this poem’s words correctly, then you can speak this language better than most and will earn you the title of an English pro.

The English language is a little daunting to learn for people who are learning it for the first time. You can be sure even in a lifetime it would be pretty impossible to learn all of its intricacies. But the lunacy and the uniqueness of it is what piques our interest to keep learning this language.

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Education

CBSE Board Exams 2023: Competency based questions for students

The questions will comprise format of objective type, constructing response type, assertion and reasoning and case based.

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The Ministry of State for Education, Annapurna Devi said in the Lok Sabha said that at least 40 percent of questions in the CBSE Class 10 exam and 30 percent in Class 12 exams in 2023 will be competency-based. These questions will comprise multiple formats such as objective type, constructing response type, assertion, reasoning, and case-based.

“In pursuance of NEP-2020, CBSE has been introducing competency-based questions in the classes 10 and 12 board examinations to reform the pattern of examinations. These questions comprise multiple formats such as objective type, constructing response type, assertion and reasoning, and case-based format,” she said.

“In the academic session 2022-23, approximately 40 percent of questions in class 10 board examinations and approximately 30 percent of questions in Class 12 are competency-based,” the minister added. Following the introduction of the new NEP, in 2020, CBSE advised affiliated schools to follow the recommendations regarding the pattern of education.

Theory examinations for class 10 and class 12 for the academic year will begin on February 15, 2023. However, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is yet to announce the exam schedule.
The minister further said that following the introduction of the new National Education Policy, 2020, the CBSE had advised affiliated schools to follow the recommendations regarding the pattern of education.

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“Prominent among these are — competency-based learning, adoption of learning outcomes, use of experiential and joyful learning pedagogies such as art-integrated education, sports-integrated learning, storytelling, etc, emphasis on foundational literacy and numeracy, induction of qualified counselors at the secondary and senior secondary level,” said the minister.

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Nehru World School – A PASCH School

Nehru World School (NWS) celebrates being honoured as a school within the PASCH network, a cooperative organization of schools around the globe that promote the teaching of German as a foreign language and who are supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

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Nehru World School (NWS) celebrates being honoured as a school within the PASCH network, a cooperative organization of schools around the globe that promote the teaching of German as a foreign language and who are supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The ceremony took place on 29th November 2021 on the school premises. The official plaque was handed over by Mr. Johannes Höber, cultural counsellor of the German Embassy. The event was also graced by the presence of Mr. Matthias Stähle,  head coordinator of the Central Agency of Schools Abroad (ZfA),  Dr. Arunabh Singh, Director, and Ms. Susan Holmes, Head Teacher.

PASCH is an initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Educational Exchange Service (PAD) of the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Awakening interest and enthusiasm for Germany, motivating young people to learn German and creating an international network of schools – those are the aims of the PASCH initiative. PASCH stands for “Schools: Partners for the Future”.

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NWS is the fifth school across India and the only school from Uttar Pradesh to gain this recognition. “It has created enhanced opportunities for our students to learn German and engage with German learners around the world,” commented  Ms. Holmes.

Ms. Jennifer Schridde has also joined NWS as a German teacher through this initiative in September 2021. She is a native German.

“This partnership is a milestone for students and teachers of NWS. I am sure it will lead to several opportunities for students in the future,” stated Dr. Arunabh Singh.

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Sarala Birla Gyan Jyoti honoured with prestigious ‘Climate Action Project School of Excellence’ Award

Only 250 schools globally were recognized because of their intense work on climate education in a whole-school approach. The recognition was awarded by Cartoon Network Climate Champions and Climate Action Project.

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Sarala Birla Gyan Jyoti in Guwahati, India, was awarded the Climate Action Project School of Excellence. Only 250 schools globally were recognized because of their intense work on climate education in a whole-school approach. The recognition was awarded by Cartoon Network Climate Champions and Climate Action Project.

Cartoon Network Climate Champions is a climate change awareness initiative that sets out to inspire kids to take on daily challenges that collectively can make a big difference to the health of our planet. It has been developed in collaboration with WWF, a world-renowned environmental organization.

Climate Action Project is a free, global education project that was launched by Take Action Global, an education non-profit based in the USA, involving 2,700,000 teachers and students across 146 countries. The project aims to help students learn about the climate crisis in authentic ways and disseminate solutions online. The recognized schools submitted their work for the past year and met extensive criteria, including a school-wide commitment to climate education and student solutions.

Sarala Birla Gyan Jyoti has participated in global projects RiseUp4SDGs (India), Let's Be Human, Be One (Serbia), LeapEd Global Learning – Climate Change (Malaysia), the 17 Sustainable Development Goals competitions, implementing the three R's schoolwide and planting gardens in the community, at home and school. Students committed to training to become active Global SDG Ambassadors to raise awareness during virtual Student Hubs with 21 other countries. Students also actively collaborated with students in Brazil, Croatia, South Africa, Sweden and the UK in task-based projects. Currently, all Climate Change projects are student-led.

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The selected 250 Climate Action Project Schools of Excellence were announced on 4 November 2021, during Climate Action Day, an annual online live event attended by 250,000 people globally. The event speakers included HRM Prince William, President James Alix Michel, Seychelles, Rick Davis, NASA, Matt Larsen-Daw, WWF, HRM Princess Esmeralda, Belgium, Juan Pablo Celis Garcia, UN Environment Programme, and other world leaders and climate scientists.

The winners were announced by Dan Russell, the voice actor behind several characters in Cartoon Network global hit series The Amazing World of Gumball, and Nandi Bushell, an 11-year-old musician, an influencer, and passionate climate advocate.

Statement by HRM Prince William “We need youth’s creativity to repair our planet. We need students to invent and to innovate – to think beyond where we are now and to be optimistic about our future.”

Statement by Koen Timmers, Climate Action Project: “Young people have the capacity to do more than learning about climate change. They all can come up with solutions, take small actions, and inspire others to change their lifestyles.”

Statement by Dr. Jennifer Williams, Climate Action Project: “Our community of educators has come together in support of climate education for all. We are committed to ensuring students have access to information, ideas, and opportunities to take action for the planet, and, today, these Schools of Excellence are leading the way for the entire world.”

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Statement by Dr. Diganta Halder, Principal Sarala Birla Gyan Jyoti: “Stopping Climate Change has become a critical issue that needs to be addressed by every human being, but even more importantly in our schools. Students should be aware of Climate Action and the importance of achieving the goals set by the United Nations for peace and prosperity for all by 2030 and to become leaders of impact in the future.”

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Ministry of Education notifies Four Year Integrated Teacher Education Programme

Ministry of Education notifies the Four Year ITEP, a dual-major holistic bachelor’s degree offering B.A. B.Ed./ B. Sc. B. Ed. and B.Com. B.Ed. which is one of the major mandates of the National Education Policy 2020 related to Teacher Education.

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Ministry of Education notifies the Four Year ITEP, a dual-major holistic bachelor’s degree offering B.A. B.Ed./ B. Sc. B. Ed. and B.Com. B.Ed. which is one of the major mandates of the National Education Policy 2020 related to Teacher Education. As per the NEP, 2020, teacher engagement from the year 2030 onwards will be only through ITEP. It will be offered in pilot mode initially in about 50 selected multidisciplinary institutions across the country.

National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) under Ministry of Education has devised the curriculum of this course in such a way that it enables a student-teacher to get a degree in education as well as a specialised discipline such as history, mathematics, science, arts, economics, or commerce. ITEP will not only impart cutting-edge pedagogy, but will also establish a foundation in early childhood care and education (ECCE), foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN), inclusive education, and an understanding of India and its values/ethos/art/traditions, among others.  The Year ITEP will be available for all students who choose teaching as a profession after secondary, by choice. This integrated course will benefit students since they will save one year by finishing it in four years rather than the customary five years required by the present B.Ed. plan. The commencement of Four Year ITEP will be from the academic session 2022-23. Admission for the same will be carried out by the National Testing Agency (NTA) through the National Common Entrance Test (NCET). This course will be offered by multidisciplinary institutions and will become as the minimal degree qualification for schoolteachers.

The Four Year ITEP is a milestone achievement in fulfilling one of the major mandates of National Education Policy 2020. The course will contribute substantially to the revitalization of the whole teacher education sector. The prospective teachers passing out of this course through a multi-disciplinary environment, grounded in Indian values and traditions will be instilled with the needs of 21st century on global standards, and hence will be largely helpful in shaping the future of New India. 

Image used for representational purposes only, source: Careers360

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Education

New Age Instructional Techniques

Traditional pedagogical techniques, based on a teacher explaining a topic and students taking notes, may still be helpful occasionally. Still, education today revolves more around encouraging the students to awaken their curiosity and desire to learn.

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Education and its purposes have evolved over time. The meaning of ‘knowing’ has changed from remembering and repeating information to finding and applying it. Education helps students identify their critical purpose in life. It is really a tool to enable young minds to become lifelong learners. It empowers them to be able to tackle any challenge that life throws at them.

The purpose of being an educator is to make the world a better place. Where people are empathizing, caring, and capable of understanding each other. The prime objective of education is to nurture the leaders of tomorrow. To impart quality knowledge and learning so that the young generation becomes responsible and future global leaders and citizens.

Advanced research in education philosophy and brain science has had a tremendous impact on instructional strategies for the classroom. As a result, the educational paradigm has seen a transitional shift in instructional strategies over the past few years. Educators now are required to step out of their comfort zone of the traditional mode of teaching confined to classrooms.

Teachers are now bound to integrate the new instructional strategies to make a mark in the educational arena. A number of different teaching techniques have emerged during this transition and due to this change in education. Some of the research-backed pedagogical practices that are appropriate for 21st-century classrooms are:

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Reciprocal Teaching:

Reciprocal teaching is a method in which students in small groups predict, clarify, question, and summarize a scaffolded reading comprehension. It is similar to a small group of students sitting in circles and using a communal constructivism approach to making meaning. Here each student takes the role of both learner and teacher within the group. This technique allows the students to develop a shared understanding of the text and supports the students who find it difficult to comprehend complex texts.

Student-generated questions :

This technique allows students to work individually or collaborate with peers to generate their own set of questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy template. This technique enables students to go through a rigorous thinking process of divergent and convergent thinking that ultimately ends with a reflection-based task to summarize their learning.

Higher-order thinking questions:

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This technique of instructional learning is a must-have in every classroom. Critical thinking is essential as it allows students to apply the knowledge to a context different from the one that was initially learned. Using this strategy and adding cases and real-life situations to these questions allows children to develop relevance and motivation.

Reflection questions:

Metacognition – the science of thinking about learning is a potent tool that should be used in every classroom. This allows children to strengthen their understanding and retain the information for a longer period of time. Questions like the muddiest point today? What were my three takeaways from the last 30 minutes? How would I use this learning to make my day better? And many more allow students to reflect on their learning and evolve themselves as lifelong learners.

Taking a constructivist approach, these techniques or strategies allow the learners to accommodate and assimilate knowledge. When a teacher uses group work he/she is leveraging the true nature of learning. This collective activity allows and enables the students to find relevance in the learning environment. Moreover, it will enable learners to have agency over their learning by modeling a real-world situation. Often when a teacher starts using collaborative approaches, various reasons like unequal participation deter it. The classroom space dons a chaotic look, and the teacher has no control. All these have to be minutely dealt with by developing as a facilitator rather than a sage on the stage. Working in groups allows children to develop essential life skills like empathy, compassion, and critical thinking.

Traditional pedagogical techniques, based on a teacher explaining a topic and students taking notes, may still be helpful occasionally. Still, education today revolves more around encouraging the students to awaken their curiosity and desire to learn.

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About the author:

Siddharth Rajgarhia is Chief learner and Director at Delhi Public School Nashik, Varanasi, and Lava Nagpur. Having 10 years of experience in leading schools. He is an avid Mindfulness practitioner and believes in lifelong learning

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Education

Shikshak Parv 2021 to commence from 5th September

President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the awards to 44 Awardees through virtual mode on 5th September 2021. A documentary film on each of the 44 Awardee Teachers will also be shown.

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Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Additional Secretary, School Education, R.C.Meena, Joint Secretary, and Vipin Kumar, Joint Secretary held a press conference on the upcoming National Award to Teachers and Shikshak Parv yesterday.

Sarangi informed that in recognition of the valuable contributions of our teachers and to take New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 a step forward, like the previous year this year too, the Department of School Education & Literacy has decided to celebrate Shikshak Parv-2021. Shikshak Parv 2021 will commence from 5th September 2021 till 17th September through virtual mode, he said.

On vaccination drive to vaccinate more than 2 crore teachers, Sarangi said that the vaccination progress in the states is being monitored by the Department of School Education and Literacy. This will also contribute to decisions pertaining to school reopening.

Meena informed that President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the awards to 44 Awardees through virtual mode on 5th September 2021. A documentary film on each of the 44 Awardee Teachers will also be shown. He further informed that the National Awards to Teachers were first instituted in 1958 to recognize the excellence and commitment of teachers in shaping the minds as well as the future of the youth. The award was to accord public recognition to meritorious teachers working in elementary and secondary schools, he added.   

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Vipin Kumar informed that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will be addressing the teachers, students, parents, and stakeholders associated with education on 7th September 2021 at 11 AM.  He also informed that Prime Minister will be launching five initiatives of the Department, that is, Indian Sign Language dictionary of 10,000 words, Talking Books (audiobooks for visually impaired), School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) of CBSE, NISTHA teachers' training program for NIPUN Bharat, and Vidyanjali Portal (for facilitating education volunteers/donors/CSR contributors for school development). The conclave will be attended by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education; Smt. Annapurna Devi, Minister of State for Education; Dr.Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State for Education and Dr.Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for Education along with senior officials of the Ministry.

Vipin Kumar said that the inaugural conclave will be followed by webinars, discussions, presentations, etc. up to 17th September 2021 in which the educational practitioners from various schools of the country have been invited to share their experience, learnings, and the roadmap ahead. It is noteworthy that teachers and practitioners from even remote schools will be speaking on issues relating to quality and innovation in schools. The SCERT and DIETs in respective states will also be deliberating further on each of the webinars and suggesting the roadmap which will be consolidated by State SCERT. These will be shared with NCERT and provide inputs for curricular framework and teacher training modules, he said.

He highlighted that the theme of Webinars has been further segregated into nine sub-themes in the subsequent webinars such as Technology in Education: NDEAR, Foundational Literacy, and Numeracy: A Pre-requisite to Learning and ECCE, Nurturing Inclusive Classrooms, etc. to highlight the best practices and initiatives which can be adopted by schools of India.

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Innovation-driven virtual schools to achieve greater inclusion in school education – Dharmendra Pradhan

Education is not merely a competition to acquire degrees but is a transformative tool to leverage knowledge for character building and eventually nation-building – Education Minister

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Union Education and Skill Development Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar today jointly launched the booklet on One-year New Education Policy (NEP) – 2020 Achievement along with some major initiatives of the New Education Policy- 2020 such as NIPUN Bharat FLN tools and resources on DIKSHA; Virtual School of NIOS; Alternate Academic Calendar of NCERT; and Release of ‘Priya’- accessibility booklet developed by the NCERT and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Minister of State for Education Annapurna Devi and Secretary, School Education Anita Karwal were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the participants, the Minister said that NEP is a guiding philosophy to transform the hopes and aspirations of millions of the youth to reality and making India self–reliant. He said that the formulation of NEP is also a live example of cooperative federalism to achieve a common goal of making India a global hub of knowledge. When we look back at the progress of NEP, we get more confident about the future of our students, he added.

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Pradhan stated that Education is not merely a competition to acquire degrees, but is a transformative tool to leverage knowledge for character building and eventually nation-building. The Minister stressed that the Government is working to facilitate up-gradation of infrastructure in schools, such as ensuring that the Internet reaches the village schools across the country.

Pradhan said that the book “Priya -The Accessibility Warrior”, released today will sensitize the students on accessibility-related issues for Divyangs. Special emphasis has been laid to make the booklet simple, interesting, and interactive to create awareness on accessibility in children right from their formative years, he added.

The Minister while launching the Virtual School of NIOS said that this school is a new model of learning and is an example of how leveraging technology and innovation can facilitate greater inclusion in education. The school is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country that will provide advanced digital learning platforms through Virtual Live Classrooms and Virtual Labs., he added. Pradhan also said that the Alternate Academic Calendar of NCERT has been developed to facilitate teachers and parents to assess the progress in the learning of children. The Alternate Academic Calendar contains a week-wise plan of interesting and challenging activities, with reference to learning outcomes, themes, and chapters taken from the syllabus or textbook.

Speaking on the occasion Virendra Kumar said that accessibility opens doorways to opportunity and growth, thus, reinstating the importance of creating an accessible environment for everyone. He further said that awareness and a sensitized community are the essential fuels driving any revolutionary change. The government’s commitment to promoting accessibility led to the development of the E-Comic cum Activity Book, titled – ‘Priya- The Accessibility Warrior’.

Kumar urged both the Departments of School Education & Literacy and the Department of Higher Education to take up the task of creating accessible educational infrastructure and content on a mission mode, consistently progressing towards Inclusive Education which is a vital component of the new National Education Policy. On the occasion of the 75th year of Independence of India, let us all work with our children to become ‘Accessibility Warriors’ and make inclusive education a reality to build a brighter future for all our citizens, he added.

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Another important initiative launched was “Priya -The Accessibility Warrior”, which is the outcome of collaborative efforts of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and the Department of School Education and Literacy. It provides glimpses into the world of a girl named Priya who met an accident and could not walk, due to plastered leg. The story depicts how Priya managed to participate in all activities at school, and in the process learned the importance of accessibility. She, therefore, takes the pledge of being an accessibility warrior. The comic book is also available with Indian Sign Language (ISL) explanatory videos.

NEP 2020 envisages education as a continuum without any segmentation and focuses on making education more experiential, holistic, integrated, character-building, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centered, discussion-based, flexible, and above all, more joyful. With this perspective, the Department of School Education and Literacy has taken up a multitude of initiatives at all levels of school education and has achieved 62 major milestones which will eventually transform the school education sector.

Other major achievements include: the launch of NIPUN Bharat Mission with a vision to ensure every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing, and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27; aligning of the existing scheme of Samagra Shiksha with Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG-4) and the NEP 2020 to ensure inclusive and equitable, quality, and holistic school education; Vidya Pravesh- a three months School Preparation Module for Grade I children; Blueprint of National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) conceived to energise and catalyse the education ecosystem, capacity building of Secondary teachers under NISHTHA with a focus on improvement in quality of teachers and learning outcomes of students, Assessment reforms to make learning more joyful and experiential, DIKSHA as a teaching-learning repository of engaging e-content, etc.

NIPUN Bharat FLN tools and resources have been made available under a separate vertical for FLN resources developed under DIKSHA to assist and mentor States/UTs and teachers for implementing NIPUN Bharat guidelines. This vertical has infographics and videos on learning outcomes and assessment tools for teachers to facilitate them.

The programme was attended by senior officials and heads of autonomous institutions of the department, senior officers from the School Education department of all States, and UTs, and experts.

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Click the link below to see the booklet on One-year New Education Policy (NEP): https://www.education.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/upload_document/nep_achievement.pdf

Click the link to see the booklet “Priya -The Accessibility Warrior”: https://ncert.nic.in/ComicFlipBookEnglish/mobile/

Click here to see the details of Virtual Open School: http://virtual.nios.ac.in/

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Education

NEP provides a roadmap to establish India as a knowledge economy – Dharmendra Pradhan

Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj S Bommai, Minister for Higher Education, IT & BT, Science and Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. C. N. Ashwath Narayan; Chairman, Drafting Committee of NEP Dr. K. Kasturirangan and other dignitaries graced the event.

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National Education Policy- 2020 provides a roadmap to establish India as a knowledge economy as well as help in the creation of global citizens said Union Education & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at the launch of NEP Karnataka and several education-related initiatives of the Government of Karnataka on 23rd August 2021.

Addressing the participants Pradhan said that Karnataka has taken a giant stride in transforming its education landscape by implementing the National Education Policy 2020. From translating the NEP 2020 into Kannada to forming NEP Task Force and preparing the roadmap for its implementation, Karnataka has taken lead to establish itself as the 1st state in India to implement the visionary NEP 2020, he added. The Minister further said that with the implementation of NEP in the state, Karnataka has set an example for other states to emulate.

The Minister stated that deeply rooted with Indian ethos yet modern in outlook India’s NEP—its policy framework, implementation strategy, outcomes, and role in the betterment of human society will serve as a case study for global policymakers. The generation that is in the age group of 3-23 today will reap the benefits of NEP and will shape India’s destiny in the future but the challenge before us is to include India’s growing population under the ambit of New Education Policy as early as possible, he added.

Pradhan stressed that NEP will catapult India into a new global world order. He urged all stakeholders to work collectively to fulfill our national ambition of making India a vibrant knowledge economy.

Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj S Bommai, Minister for Higher Education, IT & BT, Science and Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. C. N. Ashwath Narayan; Chairman, Drafting Committee of NEP Dr. K. Kasturirangan and other dignitaries graced the event.

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Atal Innovation Mission & Dassault Systemes launch Student Entrepreneurship Program 3.0

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog in collaboration with La Fondation Dassault Systemes in India Monday launched the third series of the ‘Student Entrepreneurship Program’ (SEP 3.0) for the young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL).

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Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog in collaboration with La Fondation Dassault Systemes in India Monday launched the third series of the ‘Student Entrepreneurship Program’ (SEP 3.0) for the young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL).

The theme of SEP 3.0 is based on the ‘Made in 3D – Seed the Future Entrepreneurs Program’, conceptualized and rolled out in France by La Main à la Pate Foundation and La Fondation Dassault Systèmes Europe in 2017.

As part of this program, a team from each school (6 students and a teacher) will be allocated seed funding towards creating their own start-up, design and prototype their innovation using 3D printing, prepare marketing campaigns, define product pricing and create expansion strategies. With this, they will receive a real feel of ‘How a startup works!’. At the end of the program, each school’s startup will participate in a playful competition and present its marketing campaign in front of experts from industry and academia.

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Keeping the essence of the program in mind, SEP3.0 will allow student innovators to work closely with Dassault volunteers and gain – Mentor support, Prototyping and testing support, End-User feedback, Intellectual Property registration, and Patenting of ideas/processes/products, Manufacturing support, and launch of the product in the market.

A total of 50 teams from 26 states are selected for the SEP 3.0. Top 20 teams of ATL Marathon 2019, 10 teams selected by Dassault, 10 teams from Aspirational Districts, and 10 teams from Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, and Northeast regions are selected.

One of the interesting parts of the program will be interaction opportunities for students and teachers, between French and Indian schools. In addition to the development of an Innovation mindset and exposure to start-up culture, school students and teachers will have a unique opportunity to interact and collaborate with French schools and French students for cultural and technical interactions.

Mission Director, AIM, NITI Aayog Dr. Chintan Vaishnav while congratulating and complimenting top students of ATL Marathon 2019 said that SEP is a life-changing opportunity for the young innovators to reach new heights.

“All the students who participated in this program must know that they have climbed the third range of mountains in terms of growth in the field of entrepreneurship having already worked on problems and innovation. I have no doubt in saying that these students are going to excel. SEP is not only about bringing solutions to the table but knowing how crucial the solution is for all of us,” he said.

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Chairman, Dassault Systemes Foundation India Sudarshan Mogasale, while sharing his views said, “With the second edition, we worked with Atal Innovation Mission to assist our future generation of students become Future Innovators.”

He further added that the programme seeks to provide schoolchildren opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial and inventive mindset and suitable exposure through activities-based learning, exploration, and challenges. School students and teachers will have a unique opportunity to connect and interact with French schools and students for cultural and technical knowledge sharing.

Speaking during the virtual launch of SEP, Mission Director, Aspirational District Program NITI Aayog, Dr. Rakesh Ranjan said that SEP falls in line with the vision and mission of aspirational district program and that it has given new hope to students who were looking forward to such opportunities.

“There is no dearth of talent in the aspirational districts of India so I am sure SEP is going to be a huge success going forward,” he added.

In his address, Attaché for Scientific and Academic Cooperation for Western Region at French Embassy in Mumbai, Dr. Olivier FUDYM, said “Students learning for this pedagogy of hands-on learning is going to be a change from conventional learning.”

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Moreover, AIM and La Fondation Dassault Systemes in India announced the launch of the SEP 3.0 in the presence of AIM’s Mission DirectorDr. Chintan Vaishnav, Chairman, Dassault Systemes Foundation Sudarshan Mogasale, Mission Director, Aspirational District Program, NITI Aayog Dr. Rakesh Ranjan and Attaché for Scientific and Academic Cooperation for Western Region at French Embassy in MumbaiDr Olivier FUDYM.

The Top teams of SEP 3.0 are selected through the ATL Marathon, a nationwide contest where students identify community challenges and create grassroots innovations and solutions within their ATL lab.

Industry partnerships like these are critical to nurture young students' inventiveness and will enable them to create our planet a better place.

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CBSE PARTNERS WITH UNICEF: LAUNCHES ONLINE CAREER GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING PORTAL FOR STUDENTS

All CBSE School students will be able to sign up on the portal with their details and access a personalised career dashboard. The Portal can be accessed at www.cbsecareerguidance.com

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The primary aim of NEP 2020 is to develop a vibrant and transformative school education sector that ensures the development of the unique potential of each learner and provides a safe and stimulating learning environment to all students and teachers.

The NEP 2020 proposes for an overhaul of the existing teaching learning patterns, by optimising learners’ academic and vocational capabilities. CBSE, has taken the task for effective implementation of online portal for Career Guidance and Counselling of class IX-XII students in all affiliated schools in the same context.

It is imperative for the students to understand their learning strengths and weaknesses; have realistic goals commensurate with their capabilities. Guidance and Counselling serves the basic needs of each individual as a unique entity as there are perceptible differences between the individuals in native capacities, abilities and interests. Equally significant are the changes within the individual during the course of time with maturity and exposure.

Besides, Guidance also enhances positive attributes of an individual which help to build a positive self- image.

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“To bring scale, speed and standard to the career guidance process, CBSE has dovetailed these objective to develop a holistic integrated vision for career guidance and counselling for building knowledge and skills of students and to make them ‘Future Ready’.

CBSE has brought on board a consultative group of experts belonging to industry, academia, and government to prepare the future road map.

Likewise, CBSE has collaborated with UNICEF and its trusted technical partner iDreamCareer private limited for setting up a dynamic online system on career guidance and counselling.” Sh. Manoj Ahuja Chairman CBSE.

This initiative will help young people, especially girls, to gain knowledge and skills for self-development and to transition smoothly from school to higher education or work. To support adolescents (grades 9 to 12 students) to manage their career pathways and lifelong learning,

UNICEF, along with 13 state governments and the private sector has customized career portals in regional languages, reaching 21 million adolescents helping them access education and work-related resources and opportunities. The career portals also available on mobile apps offer information on careers, college directories, courses from several countries, scholarships and competitive entrance exams.

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Speaking at the launch of the portal, Terry Durnnian, Chief of Education, UNICEF India, said, “The pandemic has heightened concerns among millions of young people about their future livelihoods and skills needed to thrive in the 21st century. UNICEF has supported career guidance portals across several states to empower adolescents and young people to make informed educational and occupational choices that support their social, financial, and emotional well-being. UNICEF is pleased to partner with the Central Board of Secondary Education with the technical partnership of iDreamCareer to develop the CBSE Career Guidance portal to facilitate students in India to have access to information on career pathways, irrespective of their school affiliation.”

The CBSE dedicated online portal on career guidance and counseling coincides with the declaration of class X and XII results for this year and includes information on various careers, courses, scholarships, and examinations for students from grades 9 to 12.

The CBSE Career Guidance and Counselling portal:

  • Is gender-inclusive
  • Informs on career options for special ability students
  • Uses a gamified approach to engage students
  • Provides personalised and unique career journey through Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Is mobile, tablet and laptop-compatible

The portal is linked to the CBSE main portal. All CBSE School students will be able to sign up on the portal with their details and access a personalised career dashboard that will also be accessible to teachers and administrators.

  • The portal with the entire career curriculum will be offered to students at no cost.
  • Currently, each student through an individual career dashboard will be able to access:
  • 560+ careers (English, Hindi & 8 other languages)
  • 25,000 colleges and vocational institutes spanning over 3 lakh courses
  • 1200 scholarships  
  • 1150 Entrance Exams

Career Counsellor/Teacher Dashboard: 2 teachers/counselors per school will be trained on the portal through a digital training session and given a personal counselor dashboard to access the entire career curriculum and use it to guide the students for their career queries. This will build their knowledge base on career guidance. 

 Additional 90 hours self-paced online training course will be offered to teachers/counselors in their dashboard itself where they can do the entire course and get certified as a career counselor (post clearing the online assessments for various modules).  This course at present is being developed with UNICEF support in the next few months.

As the learners in schools come from diverse cultural, linguistic, social, economic backgrounds, equal access to all is essential.  CBSE will help create an enabling school environment to ensure all-inclusive, strong institutional support system for concurrent motivation and capacity building of all students and teachers.

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The recently set up Career guidance & Counselling Information Centre (CGCIC) in CBSE will lend a hand to ensure a Career Counselling cell in every school, create awareness of the career portal to promote the usage among students and also chalk out different offline strategies of providing uninterrupted guidance facilities to students. The Portal can be accessed at www.cbsecareerguidance.com

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