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Shikshak Parv 2022 inaugurated

Ministers of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi, Dr.Subhash Sarkar and Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh inaugurate Shikshak Parv 2022

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Images courtesy PIB India

Ministers of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi, Dr. Subhas Sarkar, and Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh jointly inaugurated Shikshak Parv 2022.

Shikshak Parv is being celebrated to felicitate the Teachers and to take National Education Policy 2020 forward. The beginning of Shikshak Parv was marked by an inaugural conclave organised by the Ministry of Education, CBSE, AICTE, and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in New Delhi.

The Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi addressing on the occasion of Shikshak Parv 2022, in New Delhi on September 06, 2022.

While addressing the gathering Smt Annpurna Devi said that the teachers are looked upon as role models by children and they play an important role in shaping students’ characters and building a value-based society.

She further said that National Education Policy 2020 is a key initiative to help realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Panch Pran vision of a developed India by 2047.

She said that the Government of India is laying emphasis on teachers through its various schemes. Central schemes like Samagra Shiksha and PM-Poshan are aligned with the recommendations of NEP 2020. Under NEP 2020, teachers will have to work on the future action plan as per the concept of an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. Strong cooperation and coordination of a teacher is the key and inspiration for building the skills and character of the students, she added.

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The Minister of State for External Affairs and Education, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh addressing on the occasion of Shikshak Parv 2022, in New Delhi on September 06, 2022.

Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh lauded the efforts of the entire fraternity and emphasised the implementation of NEP 2020. He further said that the teachers whether in schools or in higher education share a common goal and the objective of such honours was to recognize teaching distinction, best practices, academic leadership, and institution building.

The Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar addressing on the occasion of Shikshak Parv 2022, in New Delhi on September 06, 2022.

Speaking on the occasion Minister of State Dr. Subhas Sarkar spoke about the National Teachers’ Day award and said that the interaction of recipient teachers with the Prime Minister has further motivated them and they will become true messengers and brand ambassadors of “Shikshit Bharat & Viksit Bharat.”

He also spoke about the PM SHRI schools initiatives announced yesterday by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, calling it a historic decision that will have a long-term impact on the education system. He appreciated the role of teachers in the lives of students and said that it is not only the students’ duty to obey the teacher but it is the duty of the teachers to review the needs of the learner. He also said that the National Education Policy 2020 is strengthening and making our education system more self-reliant.

Ministers presented the “CBSE Honour for Excellence in Teaching and School Leadership 2021-22 awards” to 19 Principals and Teachers from CBSE-affiliated schools. These awardees were selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, contribution to the community, innovative teaching practices, impact on comprehensive growth of students, and an interview with the national-level screening-cum-selection committee.

They also conferred AICTE’s National Technical Teachers Award 2022 to 14 faculty members including a supernumerary award in the PWD/ Divyang category selected after a rigorous, comprehensive, and three-phase evaluation by a team of distinguished experts, these 14 awardees have been selected from AICTE approved institutions in India.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) instituted the National Technical Teachers Award (NTTA) to identify and felicitate extraordinary teachers, teaching excellence, institutional leadership, innovativeness, and creativity.

Following innovative initiatives taken by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship were also launched:

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  • Handbook for Early Detection of Mental Health issues in school-going children – This is a comprehensive handbook for hands-on training of teachers, counselors, and other stakeholders. The modular handbook evolved with several deliberations taken up by a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, Sr. Mental Health and Life Skills Expert.
  • Report on National Mental Health Survey – The Mental Health and Well-being of School Students — A Survey was conducted by Manodarpan Cell, DEPFE, NCERT between January-March, 2022 on 3,79,842 students from 36 States/UTs. The survey explores the perception of students from classes 6 to 12 on their mental health and well-being. Findings from the survey revealed that the majority of the students commonly experienced happiness and expressed satisfaction with school life, which declined as students moved to the secondary stage. Studies, examinations, and results were reported by students as causing anxiety. Yoga and meditation attempt to shift the way they think and writing journals were reported as frequently adopted strategies by students for coping with stress.
  • National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Study report- National Education Policy (2020) gives paramount importance to the ability to read and write, and perform basic operations with numbers at the foundational level as it is an indispensable prerequisite for all future schooling and lifelong learning.  Attaining foundational literacy and numeracy for all children has thus become a national mission, under the NIPUN (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) Bharat. The FLN Mission aims to ensure that all the children by the end of Grade 3 achieve foundational learning standards by the year 2026-27.

    Foundational Learning Study covered approximately 86,000 grade 3 students from 10,000 schools. The Study sample included state government schools, government-aided schools, and private recognised and central government schools. More than 18,000 teachers participated in the research.  FLS was conducted in 20 languages which are being used as a medium of instruction in respective states/UTs. The Study assessed learning competencies at the foundational stage in the children and the findings will be used to plan systematic interventions. The study is quite unique as it is the first time in the entire world that oral reading fluency with comprehension and numeracy benchmarks based on Global Proficiency Framework is set for 20 languages with the largest sample ever for one-on-one basis assessment.

  • Screening Tools Mobile App for Specific Learning Disabilities and Glossary – A Disability Screening Checklist for Schools’ mobile app and booklet has been launched. Prashast covers 21 disabilities, including the benchmark disabilities as per the RPwD Act 2016. This initiative will facilitate early screening, leading to certification of children with disabilities, as per the provisions of Samagar ShikshaThe Prashast mobile app can be downloaded from the android play store. This app has been designed by NCERT with the support of a National Awardee School Teacher from Alwar, Rajasthan (Mr. Imran Khan).
  • Launch of Toy-based Pedagogy – The handbook for Toy-based Pedagogy has been designed to promote the integration of indigenous toys and its pedagogy into the curriculum of School Education, Early Childhood Care and Education, and Teacher Education. Mapping of skills, competencies, and learning outcomes with a variety of toys and games across the stages- foundational, preparatory, middle, and secondary will help teachers to select or create age-appropriate toys for transacting different concepts in an integrated manner.
  • Handbook Shiksha Shabdkosh – The Department of School Education & Literacy has prepared a comprehensive Glossary of important terminologies in the area of School Education entitled Shiksha Shabdkosh. The Shabdkosh or Dictionary includes terms and references which are widely used by educationists, educational administrators, teachers, examiners, etc.

In addition to the above, the following two publications prepared by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship were also launched on the occasion:

  • Employability Skills Curriculum –The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) revamped the curriculum on employability skills in association with Quest Alliance, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and various other curriculum bodies within the MSDE ecosystem. More than 2.5 million students from over 15,600 government and private Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) will benefit from the program which includes a revamped and expanded 120-hour curriculum in Hindi and English.  Some of the modules include an introduction to employability skills, digital skills, citizenship, diversity and inclusion, career development and goal setting, getting ready for work, and entrepreneurship. Variants of the curriculum of 30, 60, and 90-hour duration are also being launched for both long-term and short-term courses.

    The curriculum will provide three key benefits to learners: building a self-learning mindset, becoming career-ready in a post-pandemic world, developing awareness around new careers, and being equipped with 21st-century skills. It will also help educators to upgrade their skills for new-age classrooms and familiarize themselves with blended learning models. While physical books covering the revamped curriculum are being released now, digital copies for blended learning will be available soon.

    A facilitator guide will be provided to trainers so that they can teach the revamped curriculum using a blended learning module. A digital version of the student workbook is available on the Bharat Skills portal and Employability Skills portal. Additionally, MSDE and National Instructional Media Institute (NIMI) plan to publish these books for use by the state departments.

  •  One-click registration for IGNOU and NIOS courses for ITI candidates- MSDE signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to facilitate vertical mobility of ITI trainees enabling them to get 10th/12th certificate or pursue a degree programme, as per their need. A trainee can enroll in the NIOS programme of his choice by taking up an additional language course. The trainee is awarded a certificate which is equivalent to 10th or 12th, as the case may be, after completion of a course from NIOS. Similarly, the 12th pass ITI trainees can enroll in degree level programme from IGNOU. IGNOU has also recognized two-year NTC (after 10th standard), covering four subjects, as equivalent to 10+2 level for the purpose of direct admission to its undergraduate programmes.

In order to ease the process and facilitate seamless registration of ITI trainees for NIOS, IGNOU, and Apprenticeship, a One-Click solution has been provided through the trainee profile page on the DGTMIS portal of DGT. The DGTMIS portal has been integrated with NIOS, IGNOU and Apprenticeship portals through a two-way API.

A trainee has the option to register through the NCVTMIS portal or the individual portals of NIOS, IGNOU, or Apprenticeship. The trainee accesses his profile through the Trainee Profile page by entering his ITI Roll No., Father Name, and Date of Birth. The trainee is shown the option for registration to NIOS/IGNOU/Apprenticeship based on his academic qualification. He can select the option of his choice and register for the programme with a single click.

The Secretary School Education and Literacy, Smt Anita Karwal: Secretary, Higher Education, Shri Sanjay Murthy; Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Education, Shri Rajesh Aggarwal; Chairperson CBSE; Chairperson AICTE along with senior officers from the concerned ministries, departments were also present.

 

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Knowledge

Young Birders’ Workshop Opens Registration for Children Aged 10-13 Years

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Early Bird, a not-for-profit initiative by the Nature Conservation Foundation, has announced the launch of an online birdwatching workshop tailored specifically for young enthusiasts aged 10-13 years. As birdwatching gains popularity across India, Early Bird aims to deepen young birders’ understanding of their natural surroundings, beyond merely ticking off bird names from their lists.

Set to commence during the summer holidays, this 4-week intensive programme will explore various themes through online sessions that combine multimedia, guided interactions, and lively discussions. These weekly live sessions will be held on consecutive weekends, each supplemented by an illustrated activity sheet that encourages participants to engage with and observe the green spaces around their homes.

The workshop is designed not only to educate but also to foster a deeper appreciation and awareness among children of the ecosystems they inhabit. “The workshop has changed our lives so much. We have found around 30 bird varieties around our house which we were completely unaware of,” shared Rupinder Kaur, a parent of a participant from previous workshops.

“My son never journaled or made notes. Now, he has started noticing everything when we go out to walk and wants to carry his journal. He has always hated writing but now carries his book and pencil and is ready to make notes. This workshop has made a difference to the way he looks at things. Quite enlightening. Has a lot to ask and share.“ said another participant’s parent.

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While the workshop itself is free to attend, there is a nominal fee of Rs. 800 for materials, ensuring that all participants have access to the necessary resources to fully benefit from the experience.

Registrations for the workshop are now open and can be accessed through the link provided here. This initiative aims to be an enlightening experience, allowing young minds to discover and connect with the biodiversity that exists right in their backyards.

Early Bird continues to dedicate itself to bringing children closer to nature through educational content, training educators, and direct outreach, fostering a new generation that values and conserves our natural world.

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Education

STEMpedia Successfully Completed Codeavour 5.0- India’s National Innovation Fest

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STEMpedia, in collaboration with ART PARK@IISc, India’s premier AI & Robotics Technology Park, established by the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, successfully concluded the national level event of 2023’s biggest innovation fest, Codeavour 5.0 International. This year’s event, supported by leading organisations including AI Foundry, Startup India, and INDIAai, witnessed participation from 300,000 students across 70 countries, underscoring its global impact and the cumulative achievements of the competition to date.

The event, which also enjoyed backing from entities like AWS, NITI Aayog, and STEM.org, focused on fostering hands-on learning and innovation among next-gen participants. They were encouraged to create projects using PictoBlox that would contribute towards making the world a better place, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Dhrupal Shah, Director and CEO of STEMpedia, reflected on the journey and the fest’s objectives, saying, “Five years ago, we initiated Codeavour with the intention to empower young innovators and equip them with the necessary skills for the future workforce. This year, we are thrilled to announce that the top 20 winners will be awarded a trip to Mexico to participate in the FAB24 Event, accompanied by their mentors.”

The fest not only highlighted the technical skills of young minds but also provided them with a platform to showcase their creative solutions to real-world problems. In addition to the innovation and entrepreneurship track, participants competed in the AI-Robo City Challenge, demonstrating their prowess in applying AI and robotics to urban development challenges.

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The panel discussion titled “AI EduFusion Conclave: Shaping Global School Education with AI, Robotics, and Policy Insights” was a highlight of the event, featuring experts like Dr. Sreejit Chakrabarthy from GEMS Dubai American Academy and Mr. Pankaj Verma from STEMpedia. The discussion provided insights into how governments and educational institutions are integrating AI and robotics into school curriculums to prepare students for future job markets.

The event culminated with the National Innovation Awards, where participants presented projects that tackled environmental challenges and proposed sustainable solutions. Winners from the event will now proceed to the International Showdown in Dubai, hosted in partnership with Dubai American Academy.

As Codeavour 5.0 International wraps up, its success marks a significant step forward in integrating technology and education, inspiring the next generation of innovators and leaders to think critically and act creatively. The continued expansion of this fest promises to keep pushing the boundaries of what young students can achieve in the fields of AI and robotics.

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Education

CBSE to Initiate Pilot for National Credit System in Grades 6, 9, and 11

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is set to launch the pilot for National Credit Framework for students in classes 6, 9, and 11, commencing in the 2024-25 academic session. This innovative step, aimed at fostering a seamless integration of school, higher, and vocational education, aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020’s vision for a holistic and flexible educational system.

Under the new scheme, students will have the opportunity to earn credits through a variety of learning avenues, including classroom teaching, laboratory work, projects, sports, performing arts, NCC, social work, vocational education, and experiential learning. These credits will be accumulated in the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC), linked to the student’s APAAR ID and DigiLocker, ensuring a cohesive and secure record of their academic journey.

The introduction of the National Credit Framework marks a significant shift towards competency and outcome-based education, aiming to bridge the gap in achieving learning outcomes. It encourages students to engage in additional courses, programs, or projects beyond the mandatory 40 credits, offering them the flexibility to tailor their educational experiences to their interests and career aspirations.

To facilitate the smooth implementation of this framework, the CBSE has developed draft guidelines, which have been refined through multiple workshops and received approval from the Union Ministry of Education. “To further test, refine, and assess their effectiveness in real-world contexts, a pilot implementation of these guidelines has been planned in schools affiliated with CBSE,” stated a letter from the CBSE to school principals.

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Schools interested in participating in this groundbreaking pilot program have been invited to register their interest, marking a collaborative effort to enhance the educational offerings for students across the nation.

This initiative not only promises to transform the way students learn and earn qualifications but also paves the way for a more inclusive and flexible education system that caters to the diverse needs and aspirations of India’s youth. As the CBSE embarks on this ambitious journey, it sets the stage for a future where education is not just about accumulation of knowledge but the holistic development of every student.

(Source- PTI)

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Education

NCERT Introduces Bridge Month Programme for Class 6 Amid Textbook Transition

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In a bid to revolutionize the educational landscape and foster a more dynamic learning environment, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has unveiled its Bridge Month Programme tailored for Class 6 students. This initiative marks a significant departure from conventional teaching methodologies, placing a heightened emphasis on interactive sessions and projects aimed at enhancing students’ overall skill set.

Aligned with the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE) and the recently implemented National Education Policy (NEP), NCERT’s Bridge Month Programme is poised to redefine the educational experience for both students and educators alike. By steering away from rote memorization towards a competency-based approach, the programme seeks to cultivate a deeper understanding of various subjects while nurturing critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

The month-long bridge course is meticulously crafted to equip teachers with innovative pedagogical tools designed to engage students in enjoyable and enriching learning experiences. Through a curated blend of fun-based, play-based, and discovery-based activities, educators are empowered to guide students towards holistic development, transcending the boundaries of traditional classroom instruction.

Central to the programme’s ethos is the integration of vocational skills within the curriculum, commencing as early as Class 6. This forward-looking approach not only broadens students’ horizons but also fosters practical, real-world application of academic concepts. Additionally, the restructuring of the Grade 6 timetable allows for a dedicated immersion period, during which students can delve into a myriad of engaging activities spanning subjects like science, social studies, and vocational education.

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With the impending release of new textbooks for Classes 3 and 6, NCERT’s phased approach ensures a seamless transition to the updated curriculum across all educational levels. As educators and students embark on this transformative journey, the overarching goal remains clear: to cultivate a generation of lifelong learners equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in an ever-evolving world.

As reported by India Today.

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Education

Indian Embassy Advocates for India-US Collaboration in Education Sector

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The Indian Embassy in Washington DC has underscored the significance of fostering collaboration between India and the United States in the realm of education. In a recent social media post on platform X, the embassy expressed contentment with the fruitful engagement it had with senior faculty members from esteemed universities in Washington DC.

During the interaction, the embassy stressed the substantial opportunities for bolstering knowledge and research partnerships between India and the US. This joint endeavour aims to bolster educational initiatives and advocate for the well-being of Indian students pursuing studies in the United States.

“Excellent interaction with senior faculty from prominent universities in Washington DC on India-US collaboration and opportunities for strengthening knowledge and research partnership and promote well-being of Indian students in the US,” stated the Indian Embassy in a post on X.

Moreover, amidst recent distressing incidents involving Indian nationals or individuals of Indian origin in the US, US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, has addressed concerns regarding the safety of Indian students studying in the United States. Garcetti urged students to remain vigilant and employ appropriate safety precautions, while emphasizing the importance of staying connected with peers and utilizing campus safety resources to enhance awareness and preparedness.

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In a recent interview with ANI, Garcetti acknowledged the distressing incidents involving Indian students, noting that such occurrences can statistically happen in a country of this scale. He reiterated the importance for students to remain vigilant and take necessary safety measures.

As per reports, five Indian students were reported dead in separate incidents in the first two months of 2024. (Source: ANI)

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Education

CBSE Updates Exam Structure for 11th & 12th Class; Concept-based Questions Now 50% of Weightage

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Image Source- Envato Elements

In a significant overhaul of the examination structure, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced changes to the year-end assessment format for Classes 11 and 12, commencing from the academic session 2024-25. The board has decided to enhance the weightage for competency-based questions to 50%, a substantial increase from the previous session’s 40%. This adjustment aims to shift the focus towards application of concepts in real-life scenarios, aligning with the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

The recent circular dispatched to all CBSE-affiliated schools outlines the board’s decision to reduce the weightage for traditional short and long-answer questions to 30%, down from 40% in the 2023-24 academic session. This move is part of the board’s ongoing efforts to foster an educational environment that prioritises critical thinking, creativity, and application of knowledge over rote memorisation.

“Continuing with its practice of aligning assessment and evaluation with the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in the forthcoming 2024-25 academic session, the percentage of competency-based questions that assess application of concepts in real-life situations is increased by 10 per cent,” reads the circular issued on April 3.

Competency-based questions will encompass multiple-choice questions, case-based, and source-based integrated questions. According to a senior official from the CBSE, the increment in weightage for competency-based questions has been a consistent annual strategy for the past three years, reaching its peak at 50% this year.

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The CBSE has chosen not to modify the examination format for Classes 9 and 10, maintaining the structure set during the previous academic year. The changes for senior secondary classes reflect the board’s commitment to the NEP’s vision of competency-based learning as opposed to the traditional textbook-driven approach.

“The main emphasis of the board was to create an educational ecosystem that would move away from rote memorisation and towards learning that is focused on developing the creative, critical and systems thinking capacities of students to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” the CBSE conveyed in its letter to school heads.

This reform is a stride towards equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of the modern world, ensuring they are not only exam-ready but also prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the 21st century.

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Education

FPSB India and IIM Bangalore Forge Strategic Partnership to Advance Financial Education

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In a collaboration aimed at enhancing financial education and professional development in India, FPSB India and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM Bangalore) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Announced on March 29, 2024, in Bangalore, this partnership is set to revolutionize the landscape of financial planning education for working professionals and students alike.

Under the auspices of this strategic alliance, an Executive Education Programme in Financial Planning will be launched, tailored specifically to meet the needs of working professionals and students. This programme is designed to address the growing demand for advanced education in financial planning, drawing on the combined expertise of FPSB India and IIM Bangalore to deliver a comprehensive and enriching learning experience.

In a move to further empower aspiring Certified Financial Planner professionals, FPSB India has announced the provision of five scholarships based on merit. This initiative underscores the commitment of both institutions to foster talent and equip candidates with the necessary skills and certifications for success in the financial planning sector.

Moreover, the partnership will see FPSB India and IIM Bangalore jointly creating Continuous Professional Development (CPD) resources and co-curating various initiatives and events. These collaborative efforts aim to make education and training in finance more accessible to students pursuing a career in this field, thereby bridging the gap between academia and industry.

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Krishan Mishra, CEO of FPSB India, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our efforts to elevate the financial planning profession in India. By joining forces with IIM Bangalore, we aim to provide students with unparalleled opportunities to excel in the professional financial planning sector.”

Echoing these sentiments, Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director of IIM Bangalore, highlighted the mutual goal of both organizations to enhance the connection between academic knowledge and practical industry application. “We are happy to partner with FPSB India in our shared mission to bridge the gap between academia and industry in the field of personal finance,” he said.

This partnership between FPSB India and IIM Bangalore represents a concerted effort to promote financial literacy, advance research, and cater to the evolving needs of the personal finance sector. Through their joint initiatives, both organizations are committed to nurturing a pool of talent that is poised to drive innovation and excellence in the financial planning services industry in India and beyond.

FPSB India stands as a leading authority in financial planning in India, dedicated to promoting professional standards across the country (with more than 2,731 CFP professionals in India and part of a global network representing over 223,700 professionals worldwide).

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Education

1 in 6 School-Age Children Face Cyberbullying: Calls for Immediate Action

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the concept of cyberbullying students as revealed in a study by WHO
The image is generated using AI

On 27th March 2024, WHO/Europe unveiled the second volume of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, casting light on a growing concern in our digital age: cyberbullying. This comprehensive research, spanning 44 countries and regions, reveals some unsettling statistics – one in six school-aged children experiences cyberbullying, an issue magnified by the increasing digitalization of youth interactions.

Despite the stable overall trends in school bullying since 2018, the report highlights a notable rise in cyberbullying, underpinning the profound impact it has on young lives. The figures speak volumes: 12% of adolescents report cyberbullying others, with boys (14%) more inclined than girls (9%). This marks a worrying increase from previous years. Moreover, the experience of being cyberbullied has risen to 15% among adolescents, closely aligned between boys (15%) and girls (16%).

These statistics are alarming, not least because they often go unnoticed in schools. The invisible nature of cyberbullying means children suffer in silence, unable to voice their distress. In the Indian context, bullying – both offline and online – remains a pervasive issue, exacerbated by cultural and systemic barriers that discourage open discussion and resolution.

The advent of AI and deepfakes technology poses an even greater threat, making it easier to create and spread harmful content, potentially leading to an immense increase in cyberbullying incidents. This technological evolution, while offering myriad benefits, also amplifies the avenues for harassers to exploit, making it increasingly challenging to protect young people online.

Dr Joanna Inchley, HBSC study International Coordinator, emphasizes the dual nature of the digital world. “It offers incredible opportunities for learning and connecting but also amplifies challenges like cyberbullying,” she notes. This dichotomy necessitates comprehensive strategies to safeguard young people’s mental and emotional well-being, urging governments, schools, and families to collaborate in addressing online risks and ensuring adolescents have safe and supportive environments to flourish.

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Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, frames this as both a health and human rights issue. “With young people spending up to 6 hours online every single day, even small changes in the rates of bullying and violence can have profound implications for the health and well-being of thousands,” he states. This underscores the urgent need for action to protect our children from violence and harm, both offline and online.

In response, WHO/Europe has recently published its first-ever position paper on protecting children from online harms. This groundbreaking document aims to support governments in formulating consistent requests to technology companies, with the overarching goal of securing healthy online environments for children to thrive.

The HBSC study’s findings underscore the complexity of adolescent bullying and peer violence, highlighting the crucial role societal, cultural, and technological factors play. By providing a detailed overview of current trends and challenges, the report offers valuable guidance for stakeholders at all levels in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of young people across Europe, Central Asia, and Canada.

Investing in evidence-based interventions to combat bullying and peer violence is not just about supporting adolescent well-being; it offers broader societal benefits. From reducing healthcare costs associated with mental health issues to improving educational outcomes, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

As we delve deeper into the digital age, the need for fast, comprehensive, and evidence-based interventions has never been more critical. Cultivating empathy, respect, and resilience among adolescents is paramount in creating a safer, more inclusive digital landscape. The time to act is now, ensuring every young person can thrive in an environment that promotes their health and development.

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Education

GD Goenka Group To Establish 12 New Schools from April 2024

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The GD Goenka Group has officially announced the launch of 12 new partner K12 schools across India, set to open in April 2024. This significant expansion underscores the group’s dedication to delivering quality education and promoting holistic development among students.

“The new schools aim to cater to the growing demand for high-quality education while bringing GD Goenka’s renowned curriculum and teaching methodologies to more communities across the country. These exceptional campuses are equipped with modern facilities and amenities to enrich students’ learning environment,” stated Mr. Nipun Goenka, Managing Director of GD Goenka Group.

The introduction of these schools is a strategic move by the GD Goenka Group to build a comprehensive network of educational institutions that excel in academic achievements and focus on nurturing individuals who are well-prepared to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0. The group’s presence will now extend to over 130 schools Pan-India, covering 20 states.

Mr. Gaurav Himkar, Group CEO, expressed his excitement about the expansion, remarking, “The opening of these 12 new schools reflects our dedication to building a larger pool of mutual benefits for GD Goenka partner schools by being a member of a pan-India GD Goenka ecosystem.”

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These new institutions are poised to offer a diverse range of academic opportunities, specifically designed to meet the educational needs of students from various backgrounds and regions across the country.

Further details on the expansion were provided by Mr. Vipin Jha, Director of Partnerships, who noted, “A lot of new generation entrepreneurs reach out to us for partnership and have built world-standard school setups in the past couple of years. We have a steady pipeline of such new schools at least until the end of this decade.”

Mrs. Bharati Sharma, Director of Partnership Engagement, added, “The opening of these 12 schools underscores our commitment to expanding access to quality education. By providing state-of-the-art facilities and innovative learning environments, we aim to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and innovators.”

This expansion by the GD Goenka Group is a pivotal step towards realising the vision of the institution in ensuring every child in the nation has access to quality education, setting the stage for a brighter and more prosperous future for the upcoming generations.

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India-Bhutan Strengthen Ties: Focus on STEM Education

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Image Source- ANI

In a significant move to deepen bilateral relations, India and Bhutan have announced plans to expand their partnership in the education sector, particularly focusing on enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) pedagogy in Bhutan with the support of Indian educators. The decision comes in the wake of the Bhutanese Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay’s recent visit to India, accompanied by his wife Tashi Doma, from March 14-18, marking his first international trip since taking office in January 2024.

According to a joint statement released by the two nations, the visit aimed at bolstering the already vibrant people-to-people relations, with education at the forefront of their collaboration. The initiative reflects a shared vision to strengthen the foundation of mutual understanding and cooperation in various sectors, including digital technology, startups, and STEM education.

Furthermore, the two countries have committed to enhancing collaboration in new and emerging fields such as digital technology and startups, alongside a continued focus on sports infrastructure development in Bhutan, a gesture appreciated by the Bhutanese side.

In addition, the partnership extends into space technology, with both nations acknowledging the fruitful collaboration in this domain. Recent initiatives, like the technical capacity-building programme on remote sensing technology organised by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the Royal Government of Bhutan, underscore the strategic and cooperative relationship between the countries. They also celebrated the formulation of a Joint Plan of Action on Space Cooperation, signifying a new chapter in their bilateral ties.

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This enhanced collaboration marks a milestone in the Indo-Bhutanese relationship, paving the way for a future of shared growth and prosperity in the education and technology sectors.

(with inputs from ANI)

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