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Tune Into Ek Tara’s Story, A Non-Profit Working For Girls In Urban Slums

This NGO is working towards holistic education of girls living in slums to give them an opportunity of a better future.

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Ek Tara, a non-profit organisation working towards educating girl child, started with 20 children under its wing. Nine years later, they are providing high-quality holistic education and livelihood skills to over 1300 children and women belonging to the low-income families of Topsia & Tiljala in Kolkata.

ScooNews spoke to the team to learn about their workflow, unique pedagogy, teacher training, and ways in which they've increased the graduation percentage in nearly a decade. Excerpts:

What motivated Vinita Saraf and Namrata Sureka to start Ek Tara?

Both Ms Saraf and Ms Sureka had been part of other non-profit boards for several years before starting Ek Tara. They also had hands-on experience as educators for children from slums. These experiences coupled with the need to improve the condition of girls in the slums of Kolkata led them to establish Ek Tara. When it started in 2011, the idea was to provide a safe learning space for women to learn basic life skills so that they could earn a living while their children (girls) had access to a pre-school set up before they got ready to go to school. However, over the years, the absence of good quality schools in our operations led them to look at the Education Programme for the children more seriously so that every girl from these slums had access to high-quality English medium education right from the foundation levels.

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The name Ek Tara was chosen as they truly believe that every child is unique and when given the right education and opportunities, can shine like the brightest of stars.  

How is the organisation funded?

The organisation is funded with support from friends and families of the trustees and their network, CSR grants, Foreign grants and individual donations. 

How are the educators oriented into Ektara’s workflow and what sort of training do they undergo? Are volunteers welcome, what’re the criteria?

Ek Tara strives for excellence across all levels of its work. With a focus on the delivery of high quality of education, Ek Tara ensures that all its staff members are in line with the mission and vision of the organisation. While the main subject and language teachers of the Early Childhood Learning Centre and the Primary and Middle school sections are all trained teachers who have an in-depth understanding of their subjects, they are supported in classrooms by young teachers who come from the communities we work in. These community teachers are young girls who, with Ek Tara's support, have completed school education and then given access to teacher training courses so that they can explore careers as junior and helper teachers in Ek Tara and elsewhere. All staff members are made to go through details of all the programmes that Ek Tara runs through rigorous job training which lasts from 1 to 3 months. Once they are inducted fully into the system, we continue to organise workshops and skill-building sessions for them in association with leading experts of the field. We offer a range of capacity building sessions for both academic excellence as well as for teachers to learn about new teaching-learning methodologies that are in keeping with new innovations in the education sector. 

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Volunteers, too, are inducted into the system after proper orientations with our programme heads who, after discussing the skill sets of the volunteers, assign the roles which are best suited to them. Volunteers play an extremely important role in the organisation as they enable us to pursue extracurricular activities, special projects for our children to have a more holistic learning experience.

While academics are the main focus of our education programme, access to sports, arts, music, self-defence, etc. are also equally important. Every year, we enrol over 100 children in swimming, football and basketball sessions. In addition, through volunteer-run clubs and sessions, we run projects with leading schools in India and abroad. We have a pen pal club, Nature club, civic literacy club and shortly will start STEM learning and coding as well with support from volunteers and partners. 

How do you solve the issue of parents who prefer their kids working rather than studying? Did you see children drop out at any point from the education program?

We run a very deep engagement programme with the parents of our children. While we continue to encounter a few parents who, once their children turn 13, want them to drop out of school, the majority of our parents have learnt the value of education for their children. Every week we do sessions with mothers and fathers on not just why they need to keep their children in school, but also help in building their capacities by providing them access to workshops and training on financial literacy, good parenting, health and hygiene practices for their families. These sessions are supported by us giving them starter kits or through camps that we hold in conjunction with leading hospitals and specialists. In addition, mothers are employed at Ek Tara as support staff where they see for themselves what the impact of education can be on their children. 

We also have a very strong outreach team that goes from home to home of our children to ensure they are well looked after and have access to information and facilities that they may require. This is supported by councillors who step in to resolve issues that children and even their families face which, if unchecked, can lead to children dropping out of school. 

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The key to ensuring parents valuing the education of their child and for them to support the children to stay in the school lies in making the parents partners in the process, with whom we have very strong communication channels, who we empower with access to information and capacity building and with whom we participate in problem-solving exercises. These strategies have led us to witness a sharp decline in the drop out rate of the children, which is currently at about 3% per year.

What’s been your educational-strategy during the pandemic?

Right from the beginning of the lockdown, we realised we had to reach out to our children constructively. Just before closing down, we gave them learning kits consisting of workbooks, copies, stationery items so that they could be engaged properly. From April, we realised the digital divide would prohibit us from relying on online classes for our children, which is when we developed a tele learning project-based methodology with support from Education Above All (a leading education organisation in Qatar). Through the newly developed modules, our teachers would explain concepts, allocate work to children (sometimes via their parents for the younger children) on a daily basis which would lead to them working on weekly projects. All PBL modules were designed to ensure children can improve knowledge and understanding of the world, numeracy, communication and social skills. The direct engagement of parents for the first time as designated educators for their children led to them feeling empowered in a way they had never experienced before.  

The Extracurricular Activity which is said to have been very successful, how do you think it has helped these children?

Extracurricular activities are essential for the proper development of any child, especially for first-generation learners as it gives them a chance to explore their talents and interests, which, in turn, motivates them to do better in school and complete school. Right from inculcating discipline, focus, concentration, the ability to develop leadership skills and the chance to learn and excel in areas that they have an inborn talent for, extracurriculars play a very important role. Often when children are not academically inclined, these classes allow them the scope to grow and nurture other skill sets. An example of this is our project coordinator for all ECA's in Ek Tara. She was a child who was not at all inclined towards education but excelled in dance and art. As she had the option of pursuing these interests, she developed leadership skills which allowed her to take on the role of project assistant. Today, she is the sole bread earner for her family! Had the focus always been only on children doing well in academics only, she would have dropped out of school earlier than she did and not been in this position of power and importance in her family.

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ECA's, therefore, go a long way in enabling children to be focussed individuals who have the right spirit and can take decisions independently.  

What is the student graduation percentage at age 18 for Ektara?

Currently, as most children are still in the age bracket of 8-15 years, we have seen close to a 95% transition rate from one project to the other. So far all students who have completed secondary, higher secondary exams with Ek Tara's support have all secured 1st division grades making it a 100% graduation rate.

In only nine years, Ek Tara has over 900 girls under the wing, what are the future plans?

Ek Tara has launched a state of the art Learning Centre for all its children which, in the years to come, will support over 2500 girls right from Montessori to Secondary levels. The curricula for the new ELC has been designed in line with the NEP so that our children, too, can be equipped with 21st-century skills which makes them employable in the future. In addition, Ek Tara is also stepping up its community engagement verticals by launching a community kitchen which is fully run by women who supply meals at a subsidised rate to factory workers and low-income households, by increasing training under our social enterprise so that more women can start earning a livelihood through our income generation project.

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Know more about Ek Tara at https://ektara.org.in/

Education

Dr Anju & Dr. Pascal Chazot Get Highest French Award by the French Government

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In an illustrious ceremony held in Ahmedabad on February 29, 2024, the Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS) witnessed a proud moment as its director, Dr Anju Chazot, and founding trustee, Dr Pascal Chazot, were awarded the highest civilian honour by the Government of France. The Honourable Consul General of France in Mumbai, Mr Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet, presented these prestigious awards at the Huteesing Visual Arts Centre, marking a significant recognition of their contributions to education and Indo-French relations.

Dr Anju Chazot was honoured with the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms), an accolade that highlights her distinguished services in academia, culture, and education. This order of knighthood, established by Napoleon in 1806, is the highest civilian honour the French Education Ministry can bestow. Dr Chazot’s work has significantly contributed to promoting Indo-French student exchanges, skill development programmes, and facilitating French business investments in Gujarat and India. Her achievements have been acknowledged not just by France but also through various Indian awards, including the SheRise award by FICCI and the Civil Society Award from the Election Commission of India.

On the other hand, Dr Pascal Chazot received the Médaille d’honneur des Affaires étrangères (President’s Medal) for bravery from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. With over 30 years dedicated to education and international cooperation, Dr Chazot has been instrumental in fostering a culture of Indo-French cultural exchange in Ahmedabad. His extensive experience and contributions to the field have been recognized previously, including his service during the attack in Mumbai, for which he was awarded the President’s Medal of Honour by the Government of France.

Mr Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet lauded the role of Dr Chazot and Dr Anju in strengthening the ties between India and France, especially in the education sector. Their efforts have been pivotal in enhancing people-to-people linkages and collaborations between the two countries.

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Consul General Jean-Marc Sere-Scarlet has expressed enthusiasm for increasing the number of Indian students in France, aiming for a target of 30,000 by 2030. This goal reflects the growing ties between India and France and the French President’s commitment to deepening investments in India. Currently, France hosts four lakh international students, with Indians making up just 7,000 of that number. The Consul General highlighted the importance of building a stronger Indian community in France to foster mutual growth and understanding.

Dr Anju Chazot, holding a doctorate in education from King’s College, London, and specializing in teacher training, is keen on promoting educational exchanges between India and France. She emphasized the opportunities arising from the bilateral agreements between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. Dr Chazot looks forward to a future rich with collaborative efforts in internships, volunteer work, and education, benefiting both countries in various sectors including business, technology, and educational practices. She expressed optimism for an increased French presence in Gujarat and vice versa, marking a promising era of Indo-French cooperation.

ScooNews congratulates Dr Anju Chazot and Dr Pascal Chazot on their remarkable achievements and takes pride in their participation as master trainers in the latest masterclass format event, The Rising Leaders Summit 2024, held in February at IIT Gandhinagar. Their work exemplifies the power of education in bridging cultures and fostering global understanding, embodying the spirit of excellence and innovation that ScooNews champions.

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Education

Teach for India Invites Applications for its 2024 Fellowship Program

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Teach For India is now accepting applications for its esteemed 2024 Fellowship, offering a transformative opportunity for individuals passionate about making a difference in education. With the application deadline set for March 17, 2024, at 11:59 pm, aspiring fellows can submit their applications through the official portal at apply.teachforindia.org.

This fellowship, open to graduates who will complete their degree by June/July 2024, seeks individuals with a drive to foster educational equity. Applicants, whether citizens of India or Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), are invited to detail their achievements, interests, and motivations for joining the fellowship, highlighting the absence of a requirement for prior teaching experience.

The Teach For India Fellowship is a two-year, full-time commitment, during which fellows are placed in English-medium classrooms in under-resourced government or low-income private schools. As subject or class teachers, they will impact the lives of 40-80 students, striving to bridge educational gaps.

The journey begins with an intensive residential training program focused on curriculum development, lesson planning, classroom management, and student assessment. This preparation equips fellows to excel in their roles and make a significant impact in their assigned schools located in one of eight cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, or Pune.

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This initiative not only aims to enrich the educational landscape of underserved communities but also fosters personal and professional growth among the fellows. As the final call for applications for the 2024 cohort, Teach For India encourages motivated individuals to seize this chance to contribute to a larger cause and join the movement towards educational equality.

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Knowledge

National Science Day: Achieving the Dream of Viksit Bharat Through Education

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National Science Day is celebrated on February 28th each year to commemorate the groundbreaking discovery of the Raman Effect by Indian physicist Sir C.V. Raman in 1928. This day marks a pivotal moment in the history of Indian science, highlighting the nation’s contributions to scientific research and innovation. This celebration is not just about honoring a singular achievement but inspiring a future where science and education propel India towards greater heights.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message underscores the government’s commitment to fostering research and innovation among the youth, pivotal for achieving this vision.

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The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 marks a significant shift towards holistic development, ensuring education transcends traditional boundaries to embrace a broader, more integrated approach. This policy aims to prepare students not just academically but also as global citizens ready to tackle the challenges of a rapidly evolving world.

India’s strides in science and technology, exemplified by ISRO’s successful Chandrayaan 3 mission, highlight the country’s growing prowess as a global epicentre of scientific innovation. This achievement is not just a milestone in space exploration but a testament to the potential unleashed when education aligns with national aspirations.

The focus now extends beyond conventional education to encompass skills and knowledge relevant in an AI-driven post-pandemic world. The jobs of tomorrow will require a blend of technical proficiency and creative problem-solving, skills that the current educational reforms aim to nurture.

As we celebrate National Science Day, let us commit to an educational paradigm that equips our youth with the tools to build a Viksit Bharat. Through continuous encouragement of research and innovation, we pave the way for a future where education is the cornerstone of development and prosperity. Let the spirit of National Science Day inspire us to invest in our greatest asset – our youth – and together, march towards the dream of a Viksit Bharat through the biggest catalyst of change that is education.

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Education

Ministry of Education Launches ‘Mera Pehla Vote Desh Ke Liye’ Campaign to Empower Young Voters

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The Ministry of Education has announced the launch of a significant initiative titled “Mera Pehla Vote Desh Ke Liye”, scheduled to run from 28th February to 6th March 2024. This national campaign is designed to foster universal, informed participation among the youth in elections, aiming to increase participation of youth in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Union Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, has called upon the youth of India to actively partake in the democratic process. Echoing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s encouragement for first-time voters to vote in large numbers, Shri Pradhan emphasised the importance of making informed choices for the advancement of democracy. To this end, he has directed Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) across India to host extensive voter awareness activities on their campuses, aiming to underscore the significance of each vote in shaping the nation’s future.

The initiative seeks to engage young voters through a variety of activities, underscoring the importance of voting for the nation’s greater good. HEIs will feature designated areas for voter awareness activities, including a blend of on-ground and online events on the MyGov platform. The week-long campaign will host diverse events such as blog writing, podcasting, debates, essay writing, quizzes, and more, encouraging creative expression among students. Furthermore, workshops and seminars will be organised to deepen understanding of the electoral process, alongside encouragement for youths to take a voter’s pledge online and utilise the Voter Helpline App.
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The National Service Scheme (NSS) and its volunteers are set to play a pivotal role in driving the initiative within educational institutions, with all activities to be documented on the ‘My Gov’ portal for broader reach. Clubs within educational settings will also join in to support the campaign’s objectives.

This initiative marks a significant effort by the Ministry of Education to ensure that India’s youth are not only aware of their electoral rights but are also motivated to participate actively in the democratic processes that define the world’s largest democracy. Through “Mera Pehla Vote Desh Ke Liye”, the ministry aims to instil a sense of pride and responsibility in young voters, empowering them to contribute to the nation’s democratic fabric.

(Source- PIB)

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Education

India Sets 6-Year Minimum Age for Class 1 Admissions Nationwide

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The Ministry of Education has officially established a minimum age requirement of 6 years for admissions into Class 1, aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020’s emphasis on developmental readiness and ensuring a uniform standard across the nation. This landmark decision underscores the government’s commitment to the foundational principles laid out in the NEP 2020, prioritising early childhood care and education and recognising the distinct developmental needs of children aged 3–6 years.

In official communications disseminated through the Ministry’s X (formerly Twitter) account, the Ministry of Education (MoE) highlighted its directives to all states and Union Territories (UTs) to conform to this guideline starting from the academic session 2024-25. The move is aimed at ensuring that children are adequately mature, both emotionally and cognitively, to navigate the demands of primary education.

The Ministry’s letters to the states and UTs, issued on 15 February 2024, reiterate requests made in previous correspondences (D.O. letter No. 9-2/20- IS-3 dated 31 March 2021 and 9 February 2023), urging alignment with the NEP 2020 and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. These communications highlight the importance of a standardised age of entry into Grade 1 as a critical step towards realising the vision of an education system that fosters equitable and inclusive learning opportunities for every child in India.

By mandating a minimum entry age for Class 1, the Ministry aims not only to ensure that children possess the necessary readiness for the academic and social aspects of schooling but also to promote consistency and coherence in the implementation of educational reforms across the country. This initiative reflects a holistic approach to education, acknowledging the critical role of developmental readiness in the overall learning journey of a child.

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The Ministry of Education’s directive serves as a reminder of the transformative potential of the NEP 2020, aiming to adapt India’s education system to the evolving needs of its children and laying the groundwork for a future where every child can thrive and reach their full potential. With the academic session 2024-25 on the horizon, this policy sets a new standard for educational excellence and equity, marking a significant milestone in India’s journey towards an inclusive and empowering education system for all.

The move has been met with widespread approval, highlighting the government’s dedication to not just educational reform but to nurturing well-rounded individuals equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. As states and UTs work towards implementing this directive, the education landscape in India stands at the cusp of a new era, one where the focus on holistic development promises to redefine the foundations of learning and teaching for generations to come.

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Education

Education or Profit? Bombay High Court Calls for Accessible Learning for All

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In a recent statement that hits home for many, the Bombay High Court pointed out a harsh truth: education, once considered sacred in our culture, has now become something many can hardly afford. The court stressed that it’s the government’s duty to make sure everyone in the country has access to good quality education, highlighting the importance of education in the growth and development of society.

Judges AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain shared their thoughts during a case involving a request to open a new college. They mentioned a concern that only letting groups with previous experience in education open new colleges could unfairly keep new players out of the game. This could lead to a few big names controlling the education sector, which isn’t fair to everyone else. Yet, they also acknowledged that experience is important to make sure these new institutions can actually provide good education. While acknowledging the importance of experience in managing educational institutions, the justices called for a more balanced approach. They suggested the establishment of clear, quantifiable parameters for evaluating applications for new colleges, thereby ensuring a fair and competitive educational landscape.

This judicial intervention is a stark reminder of the ongoing transformation of the education sector into an ‘education industry,’ where the pursuit of profit often overshadows the noble mission of disseminating knowledge.

With tuition fees skyrocketing and private coaching centers popping up everywhere, education is becoming more about money and less about learning and growth. It’s a wake-up call for those running educational institutions to remember the real reason they’re in this field – not to make a profit, but to educate and shape future generations.

This scenario demands a reevaluation of our priorities. Education should not be a luxury only a few can afford. It’s a fundamental right that paves the way for a better future for individuals and society as a whole. It’s time for educational institutions to reflect on their purpose and for the government to take action to ensure that quality education is accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status. This entails not only regulating fees and ensuring transparency in the functioning of educational institutions but also investing in public education to enhance its quality and reach.

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“Although ‘education’ is a pious in our culture but with change in time it has taken a different colour and has become unaffordable. It is the State’s Constitutional responsibility to ensure quality education reaches all the citizens of this country to achieve the growth and development of humanity”, the court said. 

The Bombay High Court’s remarks are a crucial reminder for us all. It’s a call to action to prevent the commercialization of education from overshadowing its true value and to work towards a system where education is seen not as an industry, but as a vital service that nurtures humanity’s growth and development.

(With inputs from Livelaw.in)

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Education

CBSE considering Open Book Exams for classes 9-12, to do a pilot run in November

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In an innovative step towards modernising education, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is exploring the introduction of Open Book Examinations (OBE) for students in Classes 9 to 12. This initiative aligns with the latest recommendations from the new National Curriculum Framework, according to reports from The Indian Express.

The CBSE plans to conduct a pilot run of this progressive examination format in select schools later this year. The subjects chosen for this pilot include English, Mathematics, and Science for Classes 9 and 10, and English, Mathematics, and Biology for Classes 11 and 12. This preliminary phase aims to gauge the duration students require to complete the tests and gather feedback from all stakeholders involved.

Open Book Examinations allow students to refer to their notes, textbooks, and other study materials during the exam. Contrary to perceptions that this makes exams easier, OBEs often present a more significant challenge. They are designed to assess students’ comprehension of the material, analytical abilities, and their capacity to apply concepts in various contexts, rather than mere rote memorisation.

Scheduled for November-December this year, the pilot’s outcomes will be instrumental in determining whether CBSE will implement this assessment method across all affiliated schools for the specified classes. The focus of these exams will be on evaluating students’ higher-order thinking skills, including analysis, critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving capabilities.

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In preparation for the pilot, CBSE is set to finalise the design and development of the OBE model by June. The board seeks to collaborate with Delhi University (DU), which had previously adopted open book tests in August 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, despite facing opposition. This move disrupted the traditional academic calendar and paved the way for alternative assessment methods.

During discussions in the curriculum committee meeting, it was suggested that teachers should initially undertake open book exams themselves. This approach will help them grasp the concept more thoroughly and aid in the creation of quality OBE materials, potentially mirroring the standard of the Advanced Placement exams used for college entrance in the United States.

This step by CBSE, as reported by The Indian Express, marks a significant shift towards enhancing educational assessments and is poised to transform the way students learn and are evaluated, promoting a deeper understanding and application of knowledge.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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Education

Kerala Introduces ‘Water-Bell’ Initiative in Schools to Boost Hydration

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In a pioneering move to promote adequate hydration among students, Kerala schools have commenced the ‘water-bell’ system from Monday. This innovative initiative, inaugurated by the State General Education Minister V Sivankutty, is set to ring in a new era of health consciousness in the state’s education system.

Under this system, a bell will specifically ring twice during the school day – at 10:30 am and again at 2:30 pm – across all educational institutions in Kerala to remind students to drink water. This measure comes as a response to the increasing temperatures in the region, which heighten the risk of dehydration.

Minister Sivankutty highlighted the significance of regular water intake, noting that it’s essential even when students do not feel thirsty. He pointed out the risks associated with heat, including dehydration, which can cause discomfort and affect students’ well-being and academic performance. Furthermore, he underlined the importance of providing accessible clean drinking water for all students, particularly for those who may not bring water from home.

The General Education Department has proudly noted that Kerala was the first state in India to introduce this system back in 2019, in areas that were notably affected by high temperatures. The initiative proved to be influential, with other states like Karnataka and Telangana following suit with similar programmes.

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Each hydration interval, lasting five minutes, is a strategic pause in the school day, designed to ensure students maintain good hydration habits. This is part of a broader effort to combat the negative health effects associated with India’s soaring summer temperatures.

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Edutainment

A Voice for All Ages: The Enduring Legacy of Ameen Sayani in Indian Education

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In the echoing halls of Indian broadcasting, the voice of Mr. Ameen Sayani resonated with a warmth that touched millions, uniting a diverse nation in the golden era of radio. Today, at the age of 91, as we bid farewell to this stalwart of the airwaves, his absence leaves a silence that is palpable and profound. Mr. Sayani was not merely a radio presenter; he was a cultural icon who personified the soul of India, a voice that became the soundtrack of our collective memory.

The voice of Mr. Ameen Sayani has been a familiar comfort in the homes of countless Indians, a testament to his incredible journey in broadcasting. He is best known for his work on “Binaca Geetmala”, a radio program that became a weekly ritual for listeners, showcasing the latest and greatest in Hindi film music. His distinctive voice and charming style turned the show into an institution, one that charted the musical landscape of India for years. His journey in the world of radio began at a young age, and his natural ease behind the microphone made him a household name. Through his programs, he didn’t just play songs; he wove tales around them, connecting with his audience on a personal level, making each listener feel as though they were a part of a larger Indian family.

Why should Mr. Sayani’s legacy be a part of our schools and colleges? It’s simple: he was a master storyteller and communicator, whose skills go beyond radio. He showed us the power of reaching out and touching hearts, of crafting stories that linger in the memory. These are the kinds of lessons that are vital for every student, no matter what they want to do in life.

Mr. Sayani’s voice brought people together, crossing barriers of region and language. His approach to communication is something we should all try to learn from – it’s about engaging with others, being culturally aware, and building a sense of community with our words.

His radio shows did more than entertain. They taught listeners how to listen to each other, to share in the joys and sorrows of others, reflecting the society of the time. As educators, we should aim to teach our students not just to be good at a job, but to be good people – and Mr. Sayani’s life and work offer rich lessons in this respect.

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To include Mr. Sayani in our curriculum is to honor a man whose passion became the heartbeat of a nation. We should use his story to inspire students to find their own voices, to tell stories that matter, and to understand the incredible impact they can have on the world.

As we remember him, let’s bring the spirit of his work into our classrooms, so that the power of his voice continues to inspire future generations to make their own lasting impact.

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Education

From 2025-26, Indian Students to Get Two Opportunities to Sit for Board Exams

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In a significant overhaul aimed at alleviating academic pressure, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced that students will soon have the opportunity to sit for their 10th and 12th board examinations twice within the same academic year. This groundbreaking initiative is set to commence in the 2025-26 session, aligning with the broader objectives of the new National Education Policy (NEP).

The announcement was made in Chhattisgarh during the inauguration of the PM SHRI (Prime Minister Schools for Rising India) scheme, which promises the modernisation of 211 state schools. Speaking at the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Auditorium in Raipur, Pradhan highlighted the NEP’s focus on reducing student stress and fostering a holistic educational environment.

Central to the NEP’s vision, introduced by the government in 2020, is the introduction of “10 bag-less days” annually, encouraging students to engage in arts, culture, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Furthermore, Pradhan detailed the Centre’s plan under the NEP 2020 to offer dual exam opportunities for board students starting from the academic year 2025-26. This approach, following the New Curriculum Framework (NCF) unveiled last August, aims to provide ample preparation time and enhance student performance.

Under this new system, students can choose their best score from the two exam sittings, a strategy aimed at maximising their academic outcomes. The minister queried the attending students on their views regarding this revision, urging them to seize the advantage of selecting their optimal results.

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Pradhan reinforced that this innovation in examination policy reflects Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision encapsulated in the NEP: to cultivate a stress-free learning environment enriched with quality education. This initiative also seeks to keep students connected with their cultural roots while equipping them for future challenges, all contributing towards India’s goal of becoming a developed nation by 2047.

News source- PTI

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