Children must be taught how to think, not what to think
May 2017 IGNITING MINDS
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Dr Sanjay Parva
Why not have a single education board?
he Government of India recognises 37 different education boards; each following, more or less, its own pedagogy, syllabus, assessment and evaluation. The pattern of marks is different in each board, but when students from these boards apply for different higher education courses or degrees in different universities, the scale applied by these universities is uniform across all; without any consideration for the board from which the student has passed out. This gives one board an edge over the others, and the final impact is born by none other than a student. So thirty seven boards for one country; does it make sense? Can't the whole country have a single education board, a single set of norms, one uniform syllabus and one measuring scale for all students? This will ensure that a student from one board doesnâ€™t pale before another student from a different board when it comes to marks obtained. A lot is happening in the education system of the country, except, possibly, a review of this issue. It is not difficult to bring in uniformity. What it only needs is an initiative on the part of the government to look into this matter seriously. Both central and state governments are empowered to make laws regarding education, and amendments in this regard are not that difficult to make. It could well be that governments are not too keen to address this disparity. Parents have a right to choose any education board of their choice and suitability; but the choice is largely dictated by their economic condition than anything else. If that is so, it again means strengthening of this disparity. One reason given for this diversity of education boards is that it helps states preserve their regional languages, ethnic sentiments and culture. But that is something even a single board can achieve. Let there be one board and additional changes in the syllabus keeping in view the territorial considerations. Under the ambit of a single Board, India can still have all schools â€“ both public and private. And if educational experts critique negatively the need for a single board; the least the Government of India can do is simply centralise school education. Agree or not, this would also be pivotal in creating a level playing field between the rich and poor students. The straight talk is that not all rich students are intelligent, and not all poor students are weak. Educationists need to think about this.
Published for the month of May 2017 Total number of pages 104, including Covers
FIND US ON
Education Boards in India How much do you know?
OP-ED: The Global Citizens of Tomorrow Must Grow in the Classrooms of Today
It becomes important to choose the right educational board for your child keeping in view his academic calibre and career interests. This will provide him with a solid foundation right from the beginning.
36 Innovation: THE QUEST FOR DIGITAL INTELLIGENCE
RIGHT TO EDUCATION: All children must have the right to education irrespective of their background
Far from being self-absorbed, young people across the globe have a strong sense of responsibility that extends beyond their countryâ€™s borders. For instance, in most countries, young people want to make it easier for migrants to live and work legally, and want their government to do more to tackle the global refugee crisis.
42 ISSUE Intellectual Disability: A challenge yet to be surveyed Currently the term intellectual disability is being used instead of mental retardation to pay regards to such people and free them from the stigma of being mentally retarded. But the change in nomenclature has not broken the prejudice and discrimination against them by even an inch.
MUSINGS: REVOLUTIONISING SOCIAL STIGMAS
YOURS TRULY MAGGIE MACDONNELL You are doing a great service to the field of education. I am a teacher in a remote village, 60 miles from Kolkata, and thanks to your magazine I came to know about the Global Teacher Prize. For thousands of teachers in thousands of schools in India, this must be news. Very inspiring. Thanks for bringing such pearls to us. Pallavi Ghosh, Kolkata
SADHGURU'S MANTRAS Read your two stories on Sadhguru. His 10 mantras are a collector's compilation. Each
school must have the same tagged to their graffiti boards. I did the same in my school, including your out of the box story, which teachers are trying to derive a lesson from. ScooNews is making a positive change. God bless the team. Satarupa Amantya, Orissa
GLOBAL EDUCATORS FEST I am a principal with a school in Madhya Pradesh and have been vocal about bringing reforms in Indian education system. Your fest is like a whiff of fresh air. I have already registered as a delegate. And I look forward to joining the team which I hold in high esteem. Pragya Ojha, MP
HOLIDAY HOMEWORK Your story on holiday homework was an eye-opener. We have sent a request for Scholastic free books and also a list of 300 students from different classes whom we have shortlisted for the pilot. Your magazine is now a regular companion of our teachers and students every month. Brilliant coverage! V J Thomas, Kerala
GUIDE Your story on 100% job guarantee has shown us a way for our son, who was not too keen on engineering and medical. We are already in touch with an institute that the story mentioned and he is likely to join them after the results are out. Much appreciated. Thank you. Anil Jat, Haryana
MOTIVATOR Recently picked up a copy of your magazine from a friend in Patiala and read with interest all your articles, cover stories and editorials. I must say it is a refreshing change. With media making it difficult to steer clear of negative reportage, your magazine has come as a gush of fresh morning breeze. The global teacher coverage was a motivator and it was good to know the amazing work teachers across the world are doing. I am a school principal and the management has decided to send you a bulk subscription request soon. Gurvinder Kaur, Amrtisar
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# UNCONFERENCE 2017
India’s Largest Education Brainstorm There are thousands of conferences taking place around the globe every other day. While they all have varying impact; one thing stays common between them all. You attend, you listen, they speak – and all go home. You hadn't been there to only listen; you also wanted to speak, you wanted to ask, you wanted to share too... well, that is why you were there in the first place. But then, in the second place, you felt you shouldn't have been there. There was this wall that you perceived between you as an attendee and the speakers. We will be dismantling that wall in August. It is one small reason why we are Unconferencing on 18th and 19th August 2017. Believe it or not the very concept of work at ScooNews is on the lines of Unconferencing. Pay us a visit and you will see yours sincerely is not the boss. Yours sincerely doesn't even want to become one. There are up more down the hierarchy. And actually, there is no hierarchy. We Unconference throughout the day –
this is one of the primary reasons why we are here today; all in a span of one year with someone as special as you reading this. We want you to speak, ask, and not just listen in New Delhi at the Unconference. Unconference 2017 is going to be India's largest education brainstorm. It will be an exchange of minds rather than just thoughts. You will be more in command of the conference than us or even the speakers. You won't jostle to be around the speakers, introduce yourself, shake hands, make acquaintances and of course take selfies for your social media posts - they will come to you, encourage you to ask a question, share your ideas, take your card or simply brainstorm. When two intelligent minds meet, there must be a storm. Conferences don't create it. Unconferences do. If you haven't registered yet, hurry. Check our website to know who you would rub shoulders with! -Ravi Santlani CEO Scoonews
TRENDING Mandatory Changes made by Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh – Yogi Adityanath
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh wants to introduce English in government schools from nursery rather than class 6 as a part of the boarder overhaul of the state’s education system that will blend nationalist and modern curricula. The 44-year-old leader asked officials to plan educational road maps that will bring in measures to check cheating in examinations and also to introduce foreign languages from class 10. He announced that schools will no longer have holidays on the birth or death anniversaries of great personalities. Schools will remain open on these days and will hold a two hour special event on the life of these personalities. According to him holding such events will ensure that children learn about these personalities and in turn help contribute to the nation and society. “Is liye chhuttiyan band karo… school chalao (stop holidays and open the schools),” Adityanath said. The CM directed that ‘Rani Laxmibai Aatmaraskha Kaaryakram’ (self defence programme) and ‘Yog Shiksha Kaaryakram’ (Yoga education programme) would be compulsory. The Government has also decided to come up with guidelines to curtail exorbitant fees being charged by private schools and colleges. They have decided that examinations must be held over a span of 15 days and results must be delivered in 15 days as well. Teachers vacancies in institutes of higher secondary education are to be filled, and possibilities must be explored to use resources from private engineering colleges on the verge of closure by other institutes. All these measures were spoken of at a meeting held by the government of Uttar Pradesh.
Technology Institute meets medicine The first technology institute that will offer medicine courses from the 2019 session with a batch of 50 students will be IIT- Kharagpur. The institute will seek permission from the Medical Council of India once a 400 bed hospital on campus will start functioning. They plan to start admitting patients from mid 2018. The hospital will also act as a teaching facility. Simran Kumar Bhattacharyya , deputy director of the country’s oldest IIT said "For the first MBBS batch, we will restrict the number of candidates to 50," IIT- Kharagpur will award the MBBS degree but are yet to formulate the admission process. "We will be at liberty to conduct our own entrance examination and not necessarily admit students from NEET. The IITs are governed by a separate law, which enables them to hold their own admission exams, like for engineering courses. Admissions to engineering take place through IIT-JEE (Advanced). A final decision is yet to be taken," a source said. Bhattacharyya said, "The purpose is to cater to the needs of local patients as well as the institute. We want this to be a research hospital and patients should benefit from the technological developments at IIT." Departments, such as cardiology, neurology, orthopaedic, out-patient, besides a medical diagnostic centre and an emergency ward will be present at this super speciality hospital. "The hospital will run as a special purpose vehicle under a registered society with a Board of Governors at the helm. The society will be registered under the West Bengal Registration Act. The IIT-Kgp director will be the chairman of the board," Bhattacharyya said. An MOU will be signed between IIT and the Society- run hospital and will work in collaboration with each other. Reputable hospitals have been approached to run and manage the hospital operations. Talks are on to get Cardiologist Devi Shetty along with several other renowned doctors to be associated with this hospital, a source said. IIT wants the hospital to be focused on research and to carry out medico technical research by associated doctors. The human resource and development ministry has given the Khargapur institute the go ahead to start the curriculum.
TRENDING The NCERT Way The Gujarat government has made it compulsory for maths, science and English to be taught as per the NCERT syllabus through the NCERT books from the academic year 2018-2019. Education minister Bupindarshinh Chudasama spoke to media persons in Gandhinagar, Gujarat that students from across the Gujarat board will be able to compete with CBSE students and will help them do better in the NEET and JEE exams due to this decision. A committee was formed and is being led by Smt. Sunaina Tomar, principal secretary of education, and launched a pilot project across 57 English medium schools in the academic year of June 2016. Schools under the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board will teach students of 9th std the subjects of maths, science & technology and English and 11th std students will be taught maths, physics, chemistry and biology in the English and Hindi medium schools through the NCERT books and will follow the NCERT syllabus in the academic year of June- 2018. Books will be translated in Gujarati for the Gujarat Medium schools. Gradually NCERT books will be introduced for 10th and 12 std as well.
2 Crore Scholarship for Lucknow Boy Lakshya Sharma gets a 100% scholarship worth a whopping 2 crore to the University of Pennsylvania. Rated as one of the top 8 Ivy League colleges of the world. “It is an overwhelming feeling to win a scholarship ... And that too from a coveted University like Pennsylvania,” Lakshya Sharma said. Lakshya was like thousands of other students who enrolled themselves into training institutes in Rajasthan’s Kota to get into the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology. Soon though he made it his goal to compete for admissions at universities around the world and not just in India. “When I was in grade 10, I had the good fortune of coming into contact with Sanjeev Sir, who advised me to apply to US universities. He became my mentor and guided me in my preparation for the standardised tests needed for admission to the most selected universities. He gave me rigorous training for the ACT,” the 17-year-old said. An alumnus of Montessori School in Gomti Nagar, Sanjeev Sharma mentored Lakshya to build his profile for applying to a top university in the United States. Sharma says that Lakshya has been preparing for the admission process since he was in Class 10.
NCERT and its affiliate institutes to get INI status The NCERT(National Council of Educational Research and Training) Bill 2017 has been proposed by the Government of India and recommendations have also been made to the bill to include NCERT and all its affiliated institutes to get the INI (Institute of National Importance) status. The objective for the NCERT Bill 2017 will be as follows: To help the HRD ministry in the formulation and execution of educational policies and programmes and to provide top priority to teacher and school level education. Ideas and data relating to school education will be approved by them. To collaborate with premier national and international schools in the education sector will be another one of its objectives. Institutions engaged in educational research and teacher education will now receive help through the services extended by NCERT. They will take up the task to coordinate courses and award degrees, diplomas and certificates in the school and teacher education domain. Another objective would be to assist the State government and other educational bodies on matters regarding school education. Across all branches of education the council will take responsibility in promoting and organising research activities. The bill will be taken into consideration 30 days after the notification release date. This notice has been released on the official website of the HRD ministry to the common public. Encouraging research and to enhance training in the field of education has been the purpose behind naming the NCERT an Institute of National Importance.
Cremate or Burn: Class 12 question stirs misunderstanding and outrage
A question in the biology paper of the class 12 CBSE exam confounded many students and also created a stir on social media. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar was tagged in a tweet asking if he was "aware of the question in today's biology paper of class 12 about different cremation practises?" People were outraged as this brought up religious practises of cremating the body according to the Hindu customs. The question under section D of paper reads: "Public all over India is very much concerned about the deteriorating air quality in large parts of North India. Alarmed by this situation the Resident's Welfare Association of your locality organized an awareness programme entitled "Bury not burn". They invited you, being a biology student to participate.
“The Best Shape”- School textbooks objectifying women Objectifying women has become a part and parcel of our culture and society. Recently a text book on physical education, which is being widely used in the schools of Delhi, describing the ‘best shape’ for a woman was brought to light. We see that there is no sensitivity or scrutiny of what is being published in school books. Though many school principals agreed to using this text book, they conveniently stated that they were not aware of the contents. In the past there have been instances where students were taught misleading information in the name of imparting education. School is where children learn by reading and forming opinions. These young minds are at an impressionable age and providing textbooks with absolutely no scrutiny over what is being printed will only lead to encouraging male dominance and patriarchy, reinforcing that women are to be objectified and that it is ok to do so as it’s a norm. Strict measures have to be taken to make sure that what is printed in school books are correct facts and must not mislead or demean either women or any other groups or cultures. In the meantime, Anil Swarup, the secretary of department of school education and literacy, MHRD, has stated that the book in question was neither CBSE-approved nor published by NCERT and thus appropriate action will be taken against the private publisher of the book.
20% quota for female students approved by the IIT board for 2018 There has been a drop in the number of girl students in IIT and a concerned JAB (Joint Commission Board) set up a panel last year under the chairmanship of professor Timothy Gonsalves to find ways to correct this situation, a HRD ministry official said.
Many later pointed out that the question did not specify the burning or burying was referring dead bodies.
Earlier this year a suggestion was made to create a 20% supernumerary seats for women out of the total number of seats at the IITs. During the JAB meeting the recommendations were taken up and the quota was approved.
A lot of tweets showed outrage and a lot tweeted saying it was a misunderstanding and it didn’t refer to the cremation of bodies but to leaves that were being burnt by gardeners in Delhi and Chandigarh.
The prestigious IITs would see an increase in women students in the upcoming 2018 academic session.
According to a report in Deccan Herald, the Human Resource Development Ministry is looking into the matter. Mr Javadekar has also reportedly expressed his displeasure over the question.
An HRD ministry official said that every year the supernumerary seats will be decided and that the increase will not affect the existing seats that are available for men and the changes would be implemented over the next 8 years and the seats that are vacated by women will be filled only by women candidates.
(a) How would you justify your arguments that promote burying and discourage burning?" (Give two reasons) (b) With the help of flow charts, one for each practice depict the chain of events that follow."
THE GLOBAL CITIZENS
Must Grow in the
CLASSROOMS of Today Far from being self-absorbed, young people across the globe have a strong sense of responsibility that extends beyond their countryâ€™s borders. For instance, in most countries, young people want to make it easier for migrants to live and work legally, and want their government to do more to tackle the global refugee crisis.
By Sunny Varkey
he Global Education and Skills Forum 2017 which just concluded in March had its primary focus on one ofthe most pressing questions of the age: How do we teach children to become real global citizens? With the world facing immense and unprecedented challenges from war, terrorism, anincreasing divide between rich and poor and climate change, today’s children will inherit both a burden and a responsibility to tackle problems not of their making. These will be of unrivalled complexity: the problems their parents’ and grandparents’ generations could not solve and left them as a legacy.
With the world shrinking every day thanks to digital advances that allow us to see what is going on instantly on the other side of the planet, together with a network of ever more tightly knitinterdependencies around the earth’s finite resources, it will simply not be possible to retreat behind old ideas. Today’s young people will be global citizens regardless, as what affects their neighbour cannot help but affect them too. Since we met this time last year, events have shaken many of our
assumptions to the core. Governments have fallen and new populist forces have risen. Public debates have become angrier – amplified by shrill voices on social media. In this climate, it can be difficult to predict what will happen in the next ten days. However, as educators, our concern must be what happens in the next ten decades. Solving these myriad problems will be impossible without the concerted effort and talents of young people from every background and from every corner of every continent. They will certainly never rise to the challenge if the stereotype is true that they are more interested in the latest reality TV programme, the pursuit of fame and consumer goods than the future of the world and each other. Ahead of GESF this year the Varkey Foundation set the scene by testing these assumptions about young people by asking 20,000 15-21 year olds in 20 countries searching questions about their lives, hopes, fears and aspirations in our report Generation Z: What the world’s young people think and feel. Contrary to the myth, we discovered a generation of smart, informed world citizens who share a remarkably similar outlook. It showed that this generation are natural global citizens: it’s part of the air they breathe. Two-thirds of young people we polled had close friends who belong to a different religion and very few (less than one in five) say that a person’s religion is an important factor when deciding on friendships. They have a real-time window into lives of friends through social media – even if they live a continent away. There is less room for mutual misunderstanding when they know the smallest details of each other’s lives. This technology also gives them enormous power: they are the first generation that can mobilise an army of like-minded activists through the screen of their smartphone. No wonder thatnearly nine in ten place faith in technological advance to make the world better. Far
Two thirds of young people think that making a wider contribution to society - beyond helping their family and friends - is important. We found that young people are motivated to get involved, but need our guidance on how to do it. young people across the globe have a strong sense of responsibility that extends beyond their country’s borders. For instance, in most countries, young people want to make it easier for migrants to live and work legally, and want their government to do more to tackle the global refugee crisis. Two thirds of young people think that making a wider contribution to society - beyond helping their family and friends - is important. We found that young people are motivated to get involved, but need our guidance on how to do it. Many say that they need better skills and a greater knowledge about how they can make a contribution. They need the help of all of us: parents, teachers, and citizens. Young people in India were the most positive about legal immigration of any country polled and were also among the most hopeful about the world of any country polled. 49% of Indian respondents think the world is becoming better,
compared to just 18% who think it is becoming worse. 31% think it is becoming neither better nor worse. This internationalist outlook and positivity of young people chimed with many of the outward looking ideasthat formidable thinkers expressed at GESF. Former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard spoke of the need to spend more on education globally if the UN’s Strategic Development Goals are to be met. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedmantalked about the skills needed to survive and thrive in the new world ushered in by the technological changes of a decade ago, from data morphing into “big data” to cloud computing becoming a reality.OECD Education and Skills Director Andreas Schleicherargued that global citizenship can thrive if we recognise the challenges of so much information being available and we ensure digital freedoms are not used to disadvantage communities. The presentation of the Global Teacher Prize at the conclusion of the two-day GESF is always a highlight, and we were proud this year to present the award to inspirational Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell. She so impressed the judges with her dedication in helpingnot just her school pupils but the wider community in the remote Inuit settlement on the edge of the Arctic where she works. Maggie MacDonnell reminds us that teachers are the best of us, that what they do helps the rest of us. When they pour such dedication and professionalism into the classroom and beyond,we can see how important it is to shape young people’s minds. We devote vast resources to dealing with the aftereffects of so many of our problems. Imagine if were to devote the same intellectual and financial capital to influence young people in those brief early years where their minds can still be moulded. Only thenwill this generation will stand a real chance of turning their dream of a more peaceful world into reality. Sunny Varkey is Founder of the Varkey Foundation
Education Boards in India How much do you know? It becomes important to choose the right educational board for your child keeping in view his academic calibre and career interests. This will provide him with a solid foundation right from the beginning. Though you can shift him from one board to another later on in life, but the task is quite cumbersome.
Dr Sanjay Parva firstname.lastname@example.org
ducation is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”, said Nelson Mandela. Gone are the days when parents were only worried about education as a means to earn money, or to take up any profession that fulfils your monetary requirements of life.
Though the importance of scores and grades in exams is unnecessarily exaggerated, the importance of education in carving the whole life of the student can’t be undermined, at least not by conscious parents. Parents are well aware of the benefits of choosing the right school for their kid, the right institute to deliver what is called the birth right of their child; the right to quality education. Your house may seem a small battleground for a moment; everyone struggling to decide the right school for the
child. “Will I be able to afford the school fees?” “How far is the school located from my residence?” What is the mode of teaching in the school? The teacher-student ratio, the qualification of the teachers, safety in the school and other such criteria are hovering in the minds of parents at the start of every academic session. To add to the confusion, yet another tricky situation facing parents is the dilemma to choose the right education board. Earlier, it made little difference which board was the school affiliated with; now it matters more. The safety issues, the annual fee structure, qualification of the teachers, their teaching methodologies and more are dependent not only on the school, but also the education board to which the school is affiliated with. Hence, it becomes equally important to choose the right educational board for your child keeping in
view his academic calibre and career interests. This will provide him a solid foundation right from the beginning. Though you can shift him from one board to another later on in life, but the task is quite cumbersome. This is more evident when shifting from a state board to the central education board. As said by a career counsellor, Surabhi Dewra, “Switching from a state board to CBSE or ICSE can bring some amount of pressure on the students in order to keep pace with the curriculum.” It’s advisable to not follow the herd while choosing the right board for your child. Even if you want to switch from one board to another, take the advice of a counsellor to do so. Here is the summarisation of various education boards in India you must know about before choosing the right one for your child:
CBSE Central Board of Secondary education Central Board of Secondary Education, a name every Indian is well-versed with was born in 1921 as UP Board of High School and Intermediate Education. Central India, Rajputana, and Gwalior were under its jurisdiction at the time. In 1952, the board’s constitution was amended and it was baptized as Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The board gradually spread its wings to other areas to provide stress-free education and serve educational institutions across the country more effectively. Gradually, in 1962 the board was finally reconstituted and became the leading choice amongst parents who were appointed in Central Government jobs and faced frequent transfers. This was so because all the major cities in India now had schools affiliated to CBSE. Starting from mere 309 schools in 1962, CBSE has now reached the figure of more than 18,000 schools including 197 schools in 23 countries. Amongst these we have 1,078 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 2,482 Government/Aided Schools, 11,443 Independent Schools, 585 Jawahar Novodaya Vidyalayas and 14 Central Tibetan Schools. The board lays prime focus on designing the learning methodologies suited and centred on the student, bringing reforms in student assessment and evaluation practices, training students in job-oriented skills, and conducting training programs to upgrade pedagogical skills of the teachers and school administrators. Working on the curriculum of NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training), the board endeavours to provide
substantial and structured content to the students. It is quite extensive and dwells on a wide array of topics, though not in much depth. It lays special emphasis on Maths and Science and is apt for the students aspiring to join engineering or medical courses in future. It conducts All India Secondary School Examination for X, All India Senior School Certificate Examination for XII, and entrance examinations for engineering and medical colleges in India.
Sreya Sen, a mother of a class 9 student of the CBSE board says,” The CBSE board syllabus is more application based and though quite extensive does not dwell in-depth into the various concepts. Like, the syllabus for English is more concentrated on enhancing the communication skills of the student, as would be of use to him later on in life. Also, the all India tests conducted during schooling period helps students understand and gauge their performance in comparison to the national standards.”
Cambridge International Examinations
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is a branch of Cambridge University in U.K. It offers programs at all levels, and is the oldest and world’s largest International Exam board conducting 2.25 million exams a year across 160 countries including Australia, the Middle East, Singapore, India, the U.K., France, Argentina, and Brazil. The Cambridge Curriculum is divided into four stages: • Cambridge Primary for the age group of 5-11 years • Cambridge Secondary 1 for the age group of 11-14 years
Cambridge Secondary 2 for the age group of 14-16 years and leading to the IGCSE qualification Cambridge Advanced for ages 16-19 years and leading to the AS and A Level qualifications CIE are the world leaders in raising the standards of education via the introduction of IGCSE and A level study programs. They have structured their teaching methods to align them with the requirements at a global level. The ongoing teacher training workshops and regular evaluation and support promises a continuous progress in teaching quality. Thus, it aims to be a world leader in offering students and parents the very best of modern education. Regarding the curriculum, the students are offered a choice between 70 subjects including 30 languages. Furthermore, the students can
then take the AS or A level exams before graduating from the high school. The Cambridge curriculum in addition has a more structured framework as compared to IB programs making it easier for the schools to implement it. Moreover, the flexibility of the teaching methods and curricula ensure that the schools have complete freedom in choosing the parts that suit their situation the best. Studying under the Cambridge curriculum gives you an opportunity to explore global issues of your interest, to acquire the presentation, research and collaboration skills highly regarded by the Universities and employers as well
as the freedom to question and think independently. Declaring the benefits of the Cambridge curriculum, a student at Singapore International School, Hong Kong says “The Cambridge Global Perspectives course has honed my writing and research skills. It was an enriching and eyeopening experience for me, allowing me to understand the current global issues in depth. “ Supporting him is another student from Bangalore International School, India who says, “It’s about real life. You can relate to that in every subject. It’s not about reading a textbook and studying but about how you see the world and how it’s constantly changing.”
NIOS National Institute of Open Schooling When CBSE and ICSE are there to cater to the education needs of the students, why is any other board necessary? However, there are children who cannot attend regular schools, like sportspersons who have to travel throughout the academic year, those with special needs or the ones suffering from a chronic illness. Keeping in view the education requirements of such children, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of Government of India established NIOS in November 1989. NIOS provides opportunities to children with special needs by making available the following courses through distant learning mode: • Open Basic Education
Programme for age group above 14 years • Secondary Education Course • Senior Secondary Education
Course • Vocational Education Courses • Life Enrichment programmes
Though the board was initially experimented as a project of CBSE, it was later hived off as a separate autonomous organization. Understanding the special needs of the students who opt for NIOS board, the syllabus is not very vast and a choice is offered to select subjects from the list of options. Thus, students have the flexibility to choose the subjects they want to appear in according to their mode of interest. They can also choose from among three languages for
the medium of instruction, and can change their subjects’ midway in the course if they wish to. NIOS has an unjustified image of being an option for weak students. However, the truth is different. It’s an option for those who can’t attend regular schools due to their personal circumstances or any serious health issues. Jaspal Singh shares his success story as one of the candidate at NIOS. In 1993, his parents met with an accident and he had to discontinue his tenth class in order to earn a livelihood and support his family. 10 years later in 2003, Jaspal Singh resumed his studies by enrolling for the Secondary level course in NIOS. “The flexibility of the NIOS system enabled me to pursue my studies along with my job”, he says. He acquired certain skills in fashion designing while working as a freelancer in garment export houses. However, he was adamant to continue his studies and completed the Senior Secondary course from the NIOS. Following the course, Jaspal Singh has managed to obtain admission in University of Thames Valley, London to pursue further management in Fashion Designing. The examination is conducted at two levels, secondary and senior secondary. Students are allowed to appear in the examination for a maximum of nine times spreading across the span of five years. Moreover, the question papers are easy requiring answering in short paragraphs or points and examiners are lenient too, while checking them. Yet another advantage of the NIOS board is its offering of on-
demand examination system. So, a student who has completed his preparation in one subject can visit the board office and demand an immediate examination. However, this facility is currently available for only few subjects and only at the NIOS headquarters in Noida, Delhi. But, it is bound to expand to other subjects and other centres shortly. Ishan Mittal, a student at the N.C.Jindal Public school, New Delhi was a brilliant student. But, after passing his X boards from the school, he found it difficult to cope with the curriculum for higher secondary classes. So, he opted for NIOS for his Senior Secondary education where he could study at his own pace and appear for the exams when he was completely prepared. The flexibility of the NIOS system is further highlighted through Ishant’s experience. Ishant Gandhi passed the Secondary examination from the NIOS in 2007 and Senior Secondary examination in 2010. Belonging to a family of artistes, Ishant started acting at the age of eight. Although he attended a regular school till class IX, he found it difficult to cope with the formal schooling along with his schedule as an actor. The NIOS which offers the option of flexible education enabled him to enrol and pursue further education. A highly talented learner, Ishant performs Kathak dance and also cultural and devotional programmes on stage. The board has a current enrolment of about 2.71 million students at secondary, senior secondary and vocational levels making it the largest open schooling system in the world.
International General Certificate of Secondary Education IGCSE is a globally recognised qualification taken at the level of class 10 and is similar to class 10 examinations conducted by CBSE and ICSE or the middle year programme of International Baccalaureate (IB).
classroom, to think critically and independently and collaborate with their peers for successful completion of the project.
Formed in 1988, IGCSE is a comprehensive two-year programme spread over class 9 and 10. The exams are conducted by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and the syllabus focuses on developing a passion for life-long learning in students.
more practical approach is followed in teaching and learning making the concepts fit into the student’s mind perfectly and building a strong foundation for him.
IGCSE is a balanced curriculum offering a similar choice of subjects like CBSE and ICSE but with a flexible course of study. The subjects offer a choice between a core and an extensive curriculum and any can be picked depending upon the academic capability of the student.
Moreover, the methods of assessment are not limited to conventional written papers but to a variety of tests including oral and listening tests. The assessment is aimed at a wide range of abilities in students, with an eight-point grading scale, from A+ to G, with A+ being the highest.
There are five subject groups with several subjects in each group to choose from:
For each subject, the certificate only indicates the grade scored and not passing or failure in the examination. The board is now recognised by many Indian Universities and is most sought after by Indian parents to inculcate skills like communication, investigation, problem solving and teamwork in their children.
• Group 1 – Languages mainly
English and a foreign language • Group 2- Humanities and Social Sciences (History, Geography, English literature etc.) • Group 3 – Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics etc.) • Group 4 – Mathematics • Group 5 – Creative, Technical
and Vocational (Accounts, Business studies, Computers, Music etc.) By offering a wide range of subjects and encouraging high academic standards, the syllabus is tailored to meet the requirements of a multi-lingual audience. A
Say, for example while designing a history course, the teachers want their students to really engage with the historical evidence and learn how to do research. The exams will assess these skills, and this in turn impacts the way the course is taught in the classroom. It’s not about simply recalling the facts and memorizing the dates. Aditya Sakhuja studied Cambridge International Level A Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics at Delhi Public School International, India. He is currently pursuing a course in Electronic and Information Engineering at Imperial College, London and attributes his successful admission to the course on teaching and learning methodologies adopted by the Cambridge International board.
The curriculum is balanced, lends an international perspective to studies and takes into account the difference in the ability of each student; a factor not accounted for in other boards.
Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai quotes the reason for choosing IGCSE curriculum for their school. "A generation ago, teachers could expect that whatever they taught in school would last their students a lifetime. Today, because of rapid economic and social change, schools have to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not yet been invented and problems that we don't yet know will arise."
The curriculum is currently viable in over 140 schools across the world especially in UK and Commonwealth Nations. Cambridge classrooms are more than ordinary classrooms of the school. The students are encouraged to play an active role in the
This preparation could only be done through IGCSE curriculum that develops the learner’s knowledge, understanding and skills in the subject content and trains him to apply his knowledge and understanding to new as well as unfamiliar situations.
International Baccalaureate International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is a non-profit educational organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1968, the organization is not associated with any particular country and is free from any national, political or educational agendas. It offers premium quality programmes for children in the age group of 3-19 years. There are more than 5, 96,000 IB students at 2,218 schools in 125 countries. India has a total of 40 IB schools currently. The programmes offered by these schools are: • Primary Years Programme for
Kindergarten to class V • Middle Year Programme for Class VI to X • Diploma Programme for classes XI and XII In comparison to the other education boards, IB program is more practical and application based. It has a much broader spectrum of subjects for an all-round development of the child. The focus of the board is on ‘how to learn’ rather than ‘what to learn’. Vijayalakshmi Sundaram from Pune talks about her elder son who is enrolled in the Primary Year Programme of IB board. As the days pass by, she sees her son becoming more confident and able to take his own decisions. The teachers are supportive and she doesn’t have to fuss over her child’s studies and homework. Consequently, students are exempted from taking any external evaluation examinations till class X and any examinations conducted in higher classes are for testing the student’s knowledge, not their speed and memory.
eties (History, Business and Management, Economics etc.) • Group 4 – Science • Group 5 – Mathematics and
Computer Science Regarding the quality of assignments given, the curriculum is more challenging than that of CBSE and ICSE and is designed for the sole purpose of producing global citizens through the medium of education. Though the Board allows tremendous flexibility in choosing the subjects, students are advised to be farsighted while picking their subjects. They must pick some high scoring subjects alongside the subjective ones. It is also vital for the students to have some idea of what they plan to pursue in the future. This is especially important if they want to stay back in India post IB. Sharing her views on the teaching methods, Arthi Nachiappan, an IB alumnus says that IB programmes focus on independent thinking and have helped her become a better all-round thinker. Writing ability is one of the fundamental pillars of IB students and continues to be one of the most important aspects of Universitylevel work, said Colter Moose, another IB alumnus. The students enrolling in the Diploma Programme are given an option to choose their subjects from the following groups: • Group 1 – English language • Group 2 - Second language
(French, German, Hindi etc.) • Group 3 – Individuals and soci-
• Group 6 – Electives ( Visual arts or second subject from groups 3,4, and 5)
In addition, the students must study a two-year programme called Theory of Knowledge, work to produce on Extended Essay and engage in Creativity, Action, and Service. Theory of Knowledge is an essay of 1200-1600 words written on a given title (from a choice of ten) followed by a ten-minute presentation of the essay by the student in the class. The Extended Essay is an original independent research performed by the student in any chosen subject followed by the production of a comprehensible written piece of 3500-4000 words. Under Creative, Action and Service (CAS), each student must engage himself in some form of creative work like participating in sports or other physical action, and doing social service. Since University admissions are getting hard nowadays especially in foreign countries, admission officers are looking for skills other than the theoretical knowledge of the student before enrolling them to any course. IB programs equip the students with all such tools required for higher education like self-confidence, research and organizational skills, an international outlook and social service.
The International Baccalaureate offers 4 programmes for students from the ages of 3 to 19. The first IB programme, the IB Diploma, was established in 1968 to provide a challenging and comprehensive education that would enable students to understand and manage the complexities of our world and provide them with skills and attitudes for taking responsible action for the future. Such an education was based on the beliefs that people who are equipped to make a more just and peaceful world need an education that crosses disciplinary, cultural, national and geographical boundaries. The philosophy was extended to the Middle Years Programme in 1994, the Primary Years Programme in 1997 and the Career-related programme in 2012. The IB’s commitment to creating a collaborative, global community united by a mission to make a better world through education stands it uniquely to most commercial and national education systems. Access remains fundamental to the mission of the IB and a variety of initiatives and projects are helping to take it forward in the state and public schools in Ecuador, United States, Australia, Republic of Macedonia, Malaysia, and Japan. Initially limited to schools with the children of diplomats and ex-pats, International Baccalaureate is becoming increasingly popular in national schools in India and spreading across geographical regions in cities like Nasik, Bhopal, Indore, Pathankot, Hosur, Chhattisgarh, Lonavala, Erode, Meerut. There are 138 IB schools in India, the first IB Diploma Programme (DP) was authorized in 1976. Priyamvada Taneja, Development and Recognition Manager, India, International Baccalaureate Organization (Singapore Branch)
Indian Certificate of Secondary Education ICSE is an examination for class X and XII conducted under the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). Every council or the board is formed with a purpose. To understand the purpose of setting up this council, you need to dig somewhat in history. The background of the story can be traced back to the year 1952 when an All India Certificate Examinations Conference was held. The conference was scheduled to discuss and decide the ways for replacing the overseas Cambridge School Certificate Examination by an All India Examination. A proposal for setting up an Indian Council to administer University of Cambridge Examination system and adapt it to the education needs of India was adopted in 1956 and the CISCE was born in 1958. The board was granted permission in 1966 to conduct examinations in the country in English medium. In 1973, the Council was listed under Delhi School Education Act as a body conducting “public” examinations. Currently, the Council conducts 3 examinations: • ICSE exam for class X • ISC (Indian School Certificate)
exam for class XII • CVE ( Certificate for vocational education) exam for class XII Unlike CBSE, the syllabus of ICSE is vast and comprehensive. It focuses more on the overall development of the child and imparts practical knowledge of the subjects in contrast to the theoretical in CBSE. The syllabus allows the students to choose from a wide range of subjects like English, Mathematics, Science, Arts, Fashion Designing, Technical Drawing, Economics Applications and others. Moreover, in-depth knowledge is delivered to
strengthen the basic concepts pertaining to each subject. Internal assessments, projects, and activities performed by the student are weighed more than the final examinations, thus keeping the student focused throughout the year. The board is recognised all over the world and is specially suited to the needs of the student who wish to study abroad in future. Manikankana Ray Chaudhuri, a mother of a Class 7 student of the CISCE Board feels, “The CISCE syllabus is quite extensive and indepth in comparison to that of CBSE. It dwells more on the student gaining knowledge of various subjects and having a solid foundation. The syllabus is quite balanced and lays equal focus on languages, arts and science.” Since the syllabus is more oriented towards real-life concepts and the medium of instruction is English, such students gain an edge over others especially if they wish to appear for exams like GRE, TOEFL, GMAT etc. to study abroad. Moreover, the syllabus offers a challenging yet fruitful opportunity to understand the core concepts of the subject for those who choose careers in management and humanities. Sreya Sen, a mother to a Class 11 student of the CISCE board feels, “For a student interested in the arts and languages, the CISCE is a more suitable board. Focusing on a very detailed understanding of the subject, the teaching methodology of CISCE might seem a little unnecessary for students not particularly interested in these subjects.”
SB State Boards
State boards are specific for each state of the country and follow a separate syllabus and grading system than central educational boards. The State board has maximum number of schools across the state under its affiliation and is incharge of the academic affairs pertaining to each state of the country. The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the West Bengal Board of Higher Secondary Education are examples of State Boards. Similarly, each state in India has an educational board pertaining to the educational needs of the children of its state. The syllabus of the State board is more limited as compared to the central boards and offers less variety of subjects to choose from. Regional languages and culture find their way in the curriculum of the State Boards. Exams are conducted at the end of each academic session. Class X students appear for Secondary School Certificate exam (SSC) and class XII students for Higher Secondary Certificate Exams (HSC). However, students shifting from the state boards to the central education boards or those going for higher education find it difficult to cope with their vast syllabus and the medium of instruction. According to Nilima Ganguly, a principal of a reputed school affiliated to the State Board in Kolkata, “This is definitely the toughest Education Board in the state. Most schools affiliated to the board have a vernacular medium of instruction which is Bengali. This poses a difficulty for the students when they go on for their graduation, as colleges have English as the medium of instruction.” Parents and students alike are
the educational boards prevalent in the country, it’s time to draw a side-by side comparison of each; to describe the issues that worry majority of the parents.
Safety and hygiene
also dissatisfied with the curriculum followed by the State Boards. Voicing their opinion in Tamil Nadu, the parents complain that the syllabus for some classes is too Tamil Nadu-centric and the students find it much difficult to cope with competitive exams after XII. Moreover, they felt anxious about what their children were learning and found CBSE/ICSE syllabus to be much better in those regards. K. Sajith, who is going to appear for the class X board exam this year, said the syllabus was not challenging enough especially for the Science subject and he plans to switch to CBSE next year. However, one major advantage of studying in the state board is that examinations for the state engineering and medical colleges are based on this syllabus making it easier for the students to clear the exam. The state engineering and medical college entrance examinations also have vernacular assessments making it easier for the students. Nevertheless, there are plans to follow the syllabus similar to that of CBSE to ensure the students can study and appear for All India Entrance Examinations. After a brief introduction about all
Hygiene is not much stressed upon in CBSE, ICSE, and schools affiliated to the State Boards. However, safety is school-dependent with affluent schools being safer than those with a lack of appropriate infrastructure. Concerning the schools affiliated to IGCSE and IB boards, safety as well as hygiene are well looked after.
Annual fees The schools recognised under IGCSE and IB board systems are more expensive than their counterparts under CBSE, ICSE or the State Board.
Qualification of the teachers Experienced teachers can be found in schools affiliated to any educational board. However, prevalence of CBSE and ICSE curriculum over IB and IGCSE schools result in more qualified and experienced teachers in CBSE or ICSE boards.
Learning style and creativity Though the curriculum designed by CBSE is more application based and the one by ICSE is more practically oriented, students do not have the liberty of independent thinking. Ideas portrayed in the recommended textbooks are thrust upon them and individualistic thinking is not encouraged.
The comparison and analysis of various boards is not an attempt to bring out the supremacy of one board and degrade the other. Each educational board has its pros and cons. However, CBSE and ICSE are the only boards which majority people are cognisant with. Yet, they do not know the intricacies and detailed curriculum followed by each of them making it difficult to choose the right one for their child. Each child is different and has his own calibre with regards to academics. Taking into consideration his calibre and interests is important lest you overburden him with a syllabus or curriculum he canâ€™t cope with. The rising incidence of depression and suicides among teenagers in India reflects the vastness and inadequacy of the curriculum followed by these boards; an undue pressure to score good marks is an added burden.
However, this is not the case with IGCSE and IB boards that train students to become an all round independent thinker. Exploring their interests and subjects is encouraged by these boards. Vijayalakshmi Sundaram from Pune enrolled her children under IB system of education. She was thinking to shift to the CBSE curriculum to prepare her kids for Indian entrance exams but stepped back due to the thought provoking nature of the IB syllabus.
Teaching style CBSE, ICSE and State schools follow one teaching style for all, paying no attention to the individual needs and calibre of each student. Contrastingly, individualism is favoured by IGCSE and IB systems that cater to the needs of each student.
Stress and competitiveness As such the parents are concerned about the grades scored by their child, rather than stressing on his ability to learn and grasp the con-
cepts of the subject. This is further enforced by the curriculum followed in CBSE, ICSE and State Boards, though state boards are somewhat lenient. As a result, the syllabus becomes a bit cumbersome and stressful to cope with for the students. On the other hand, IGCSE and IB boards have a much flexible course of study resulting in less stress and peer pressure on the students and encouraging them to give their best in each subject. IBDP coordinator Basabi Ghosh added that takers for international curriculum were on the rise. "While there were only 73 schools that offered IBDP courses in 2010, now there are 113. The international curriculum under the IB board is very well-structured. The main difference with other boards is that it's completely research-based, the research being facilitated by the teachers. Students in other boards feel overburdened with knowledge without clear explanation of the concepts. Here, they learn the concepts and not terminologies. Students can experiment more and have a better understanding," said Ghosh.
However, they are still preferred by the majority due to its adaptation by more schools in the country and being less expensive than other boards. The passage is an attempt to throw a light on educational boards other than CBSE and ICSE, the ones which are less familiar amongst masses but are increasingly gaining recognition in Indian Universities and by the Indian Government. The balanced summarization and comparison of the educational boards expressed here is an endeavour to help Indian parents to choose the right board for their child, to inform teachers and schools across the country about upcoming educational boards and awaken the government on changing trends in education that can be employed in the schools and Universities of our country. Irrespective of the board one chooses, it is essential for students to realize that they need to put in their best efforts to acquire knowledge in their schooling life and for parents to support their child. As parents you must support the decision of your child rather than assaulting him with your own and help him take the right decision with regards to his education.
CONFERENCING to build a Global
CLASSROOM With the constant upgradation of technology, the biggest challenge is to be adaptive to the change and having a strong solution which can take those technological changes to the learners in the most basic form.
Abhishek Pratap Singh email@example.com
raditional education has failed to metamorphose in order to be relevant for today’s rapidly changing requirements. The rate of advancement of technologies and resulting opportunities is much too rapid for traditional programs and curriculum to keep up. India is already the second largest market for eLearning after the United States. The sector is expected to reach $1.29 billion by 2018, growing at over 17% CAGR.
The major growth driver has been the government funded projects for literacy & skill development in the rural parts of the country. Some major Initiatives taken up by the incumbent government includes the likes of “Skill Development” and “RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan)” projects, which have been the centre stage of this growth path. The trend of those government initiatives can be seen in the budget allocation by various states and centre. There are a number of companies that have been extremely responsive to the challenges and are working to develop a remedial solution around it. The challenges faced are of the following types:
INFRASTRUCTURE AVAILABILITY Leased line internet connections and corresponding digital classroom setups are still not available in abundance. The trend is growing and a lot of awareness is building around the need for infrastructure. The solutions are capable of connecting even on basic data card connections which most other solutions don’t support. This has helped in connecting rural villages with the Institutions of higher learning based in major cities.
TECHNOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT With the constant upgradation of technology, the biggest challenge is to be adaptive to the change and having a strong solution which can take those technological changes to the learners in the most basic form. Obsolescence-
free technology is the key to realizing this outcome. One of these includes webRTC platforms to make the video enabled learning offerings ubiquitous and to enable their online courses to keep pace with the latest technology.
CONTENT Learning institutions have different ways of imparting knowledge. There are a lot of other platforms like MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) which hints towards having an online web based access to the students for providing them with a self-paced Learning platform. The challenge which arises is from the content perspective. A number of times it so happens that the content and technology do not support each other, that is where companies like PeopleLink play a major role by providing a user friendly CMS and a universal standard based Course curriculum, like being SCORM Complied.
POLITICAL FACTORS (POLICY-RELATED) Policy-related dependency is generally beyond ones control. But interestingly over the last 2.5 years it has been significantly predominant and majority of the countries are supporting its development and acceptance. India too has very strong government projects and policies which are making efforts to optimise the e-learning scenario in the country. Government’s Digital India Vision along with RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) which runs projects of automating the institutions of higher learning; thus making videoconferencing a part of their drives.
THE BENEFITS OFFERED ARE UMPTEEN, AND INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING Mobility – Learners are looking out for ubiquitous collaboration. Retraining the technology to a specific technology-enabled room is not the solution. Video-enabled LMS has taken a huge leap in providing mobility in learning. BYOD has been made a reality in terms of extending the learning to remote locations with the existing Infrastructure resources. Bandwidth – There are still a lot of territories in India wherein the bandwidth is a constraint. Unavailability of fixed lines has created a wide gap in
PeopleLink extends a two pronged solution offering for the Billion Dollar E-Learning market in India. Our Education specific hardware have been making the Classrooms, go Digital. At the same time our unique video enabled LMS has been offering an online portal for the educators & learners.We believe in offering our custom built solutions for the Education Institutes which aligns with their teaching methodology strategy for a quicker acceptance. Amit Chowdry, CEO PeopleLink Unified Communications Pvt. Ltd.
the visual collaboration. Verticals like rural education were, for a long time, deprived of gaining the collaboration. Having their distant education courses become a reality and attracting students from distant geographies is something which every institution needs. With a bandwidth conserving solution, the reach and availability for remote students has been enhanced several folds. WebRTC – It is the way forward for the video industry. This is expected to play a pivotal role in the field of collaboration in future. All the major browsers are getting WebRTC-enabled to be able to offer a platform for the upcoming technology which is entirely a clientless solution. This is a much awaited technology shift which will pave way for several customizable integration projects. Abhishek Pratap Singh heads Marketing and Managed Video Services at PeopleLink, and is a seasoned Visual technology evangelist, certified on different collaboration technologies available to consult users on setting up their Unified Communication strategy for their organizations. Abhishek comes with an experience of being part of several large video deployments for various Industries.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION
THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO EDUCATION All children must have the right to education irrespective of their background
Unfortunately in India we have different systems of education. A system for the elite, mediocre, low income groups and the poor. Due to this segregation, quality cannot be ensured. Anjana Deepak firstname.lastname@example.org
he National Convener of the RTE forum Ambarish Rai is a man who’s not very popular among the politicians as he raised very controversial questions regarding the state of the education systems and policies in the country. Ambarish hails from a landlord family with his father being the chief medical officer in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Influenced by Julius Fuchik, a Czech revolutionary and Shahid Bhagat Singh, he started his education movement during his student days against the dual system of education in India. He held a rally from Varanasi to Dehradun. He and fellow protestors protested in front of the Doon school considering that this school had introduced the dual education system in the country. They were lathi charged and arrested. 50 years ago the first education commission led by Daulat Singh Kothari recommended a common school system because schools are a place of socialization. Ambarish says that every child whether rich or poor, upper or lower caste should come under one roof to learn from each other and form a big strong society. Bringing integration in the society has to start from education. Since India still has a segregated hierarchical society he started the education movement. In a case called the Unnikrishnan judgement he stated as an example, the Supreme Court said that “Education is
the right to life”. If people were not educated then they weren’t leading dignified lives. It is the state’s duty to provide quality education to every child upto the age of 14 years, and if resources permitted then that education should go beyond 14 years. Ambarish Rai formed an organisation in the year 2000 by bringing people together from the society and fought for the fundamental right to education in the constitution to provide education upto the age of 18 years. He brought 40,000 people to the Ram- Leela maidan in Delhi in 2001 to make preprimary and higher secondary education compulsory. If there is no equality then there won’t be quality in education. Quality is not isolated but is a perspective. Improvement in the personality of a child comes from the quality of the environment, quality of the teacher, infrastructure and a good curriculum. This will not be possible if the system is not equal. If people are not educated then they aren’t leading dignified lives Unfortunately in India we have different systems of education. A system for the elite, mediocre, low income groups and the poor. Due to this segregation, quality cannot be ensured. A campaign for common school systems was started to focus on passing a law to provide suggestions to correct the system. The group contained intellectuals, people from the masses, professors, the former foreign secretary, educationists and universities to provide suggestions
to the drafting committee. It was Ambarish’s dream to bring all the children together and there be no discrimination in education. The government didn’t quantify the expenditure needed for it. It would require the full extent of resources and commitment of the state. There should be 75 thousand crores additional funds for the implementation of RTE and if every year up to 5 years, an additional amount of 75 thousand crores were brought to the RTE then education could be universalised. But the government has allotted only 25 thousand crores per year (not an additional fund) in the total budget. Due to the lack of resources only 9.5% of the schools were made RTE compliant. It is a bad situation. The law that was passed came after a 100 years struggle and should not be allowed to go in vain. So in 2010 Ambarish formed the RTE forum which included 10,000 grass root organisations that had educationists, Dalit movements, minority movements, movements working for displacement, movements working for tribal areas come together. Education is an agenda that brought all the people together and they started the annual stock taking convention and brought state reports annually. RTE is the largest civil society platform on education in India where everybody comes together and raises issues and submits their recommendations. ScooNews interviewed him and asked him a few questions.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Have you had an open debate with the MHRD on a public platform? 50 years ago Kothari had said 6% had to be allocated from the JDP for education and 3% has to go to secondary education. Nowadays we are investing less than 4%. The issue that we face today is that there are 5 lakh teacher vacancies and 6 lakhs are contractual teachers. When Rs.2 and a half lakhs is paid as monthly salary for a cabinet secretary and only Rs.3000-5000 is paid a month to teachers, then what is the dignity of the teachers? Teachers work and are overburdened. They are made to do election duties, census, accounts, aadhar cards, etc. Teachers are responsible for making the future citizens of India. They have been given a precious job but are demotivated from doing their original duty. Without training or focus on education or child centric teachers or the right qualifications you can’t bring quality education. These are the problems. The school scenario in India is horrible. The UN has called for the universalization for secondary education. But in India according to the census still 8 crore children are out of schools. The MHRD brought data in 2013 that 6 million children are out of schools and that is a big number. The biggest challenge are the dropouts. Children are not completing their education. 40% of the children drop out before they complete
their 8th std and 60% drop out before they complete their 12th std. Among the drop outs are the Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, children from the remote areas and mostly the girl child. For the present no road map for education has been declared by the government of India. Resources have also come down. The UPA government has introduced 2% cess to fill the gaps. 65% of the funds come from cess. The original funding for education was declined. So cess has become the basic source for funding. This just goes to show that the people are being cheated. Private sectors are coming in, but a regulation must be set for the private sectors. Bridge International Academy and Pearsons run the Omega schools. They charge 6 dollars as their monthly fees. I have visited their schools in Nairobi and they are in a bad state with no proper hygiene, qualified staff or even clean drinking water. Bridge International has just signed a MOU with the Andhra Pradesh government of India. They have decided to give up 4,000 government schools to Bridge International to run them under low cost schools. The government is just abdicating its responsibilities. There are only 400 teacher training institutes run by the government. 92% of the other institutes are run by private sectors. Parameters have to be set for the govern-
ment and private sectors. Kendriya Vidyalaya, Prathibha Vidyalaya are government schools but they get 10 times the allocation and the teachers are not duty bound to do any other work. You have been demanding RTE for children under the age of 6yrs of age. But research says that children below that age should be left to bloom. How do you handle these contradictions? Private systems runs nursery schools and government systems run it under the ICDS. It is a big scheme in Asia and deals with malnutrition, health issues and education. The education component in The ICDS is very weak. Children under the age of 6 should have the legal right to education only then the government will invest money across the K-12 sector. The law will ensure the resources for those children and that they have comprehensive legal entitlement for all children upto the age of 18 years. The biggest challenge are the dropouts. Children are not completing their education. 40% of the children drop out before they complete their 8th std and 60% drop out before they complete their 12th std. You are from Delhi. How would you rate Manish Sisodia as the education minister? The Delhi government has done a good job on education. The AAP has increased the education budget by 24% which has been a substantial increase. The focus area that they have chosen is education. There are 27,000 teachers and money should be invested in training them. Bringing teachers from other countries like Finland will not work. But AAP is doing a better job than the rest, but they should be open to suggestions. They brought the Chunauti Program in 3 levels which is wrong. But their intentions are good. What do you do besides being an RTE activist? How do you earn your daily bread and butter? I work as a counsel for social development. It is a reputed research industry. I’m using that research and study to build a national movement. I take a fixed salary which takes care of my personal expenses. We get contributions from the people as we are critical of the government. I’m sure you have watched the Anil Kapoor movie ‘Nayak’. What would you do if you became the minister for HRD for India? What are the two things that you would change? I would force the finance minister to prioritise education and I would strengthen and re-organise the education system on the basis of equitable and quality education. Any political desires in the coming days? No, I don’t think like that as politics is very volatile. India has a long way to go to clean up and change the systems that are in place. Though small changes are being made it is instrumental to make sure not to deprive the future generations of the right to education.
REVOLUTIONISING SOCIAL STIGMAS Robin Founded Kranti, an NGO that empowers marginalised girls from Mumbaiâ€™s red-light area to become agents of social change
It's not about being kicked out but the whole experience of growing up as a lesbian fully knowing that you will never be able to openly talk about it and also being colored, being a colored person in US is something which defined my trajectory. It's a very different world, when you think of the people growing up in the US. As a colored person, you will find very few people who share your experiences, very few people who relate with the things you are passionate about. I personally feel that marginalization itself is what makes me feel or do something towards the world. The many injustices that I saw throughout the course of my life, because of gender, because of sexuality and also I am a survivor of abuse, has shaped my worldview of what I want to change in the world. It is very connected to what I am doing now. robin candidly
Anjana Deepak email@example.com
RANTI’ means revolution. An apt name for an NGO that tirelessly works towards empowering girls from the red-light areas of Mumbai to become agents of social change. Kranti feels that girls who are children of sex workers or sex workers themselves are not a burden on the society but a boon since they have endured so much and would make better leaders when given a chance to be accepted into the society, have access to education, training or opportunities like the rest of us.
The Founder Kranti was founded by Robin Chaurasiya in 2009. She was brought up in the US and she too came from an abusive home and vowed to make a difference. She holds a masters in gender studies and is also a psychology and political science graduate. Robin went on to join the United States Air Force but her stint at the Air Force was short lived as they had a policy that prohibited gays/lesbians to openly serve in the military. She faced multiple challenges when she decided to fight back as she was a person of Indian origin, a colored woman and a lesbian. Robin worked with an anti- trafficking NGO in Uganda and Mumbai. Somewhere along this journey was where the idea of Kranti was born. She moved to India and took up a place in Mumbai to house and rehabilitate the girls from the red-light areas. Since
these kids were facing discrimination and stigma in mainstream schools, an exclusive school for them was the only way out of the problem. The co-founder of Kranti was responsible for doing raids in brothels and taking the girls out of brothels and Robin was responsible for managing the shelter which was overcrowded with around ninety to hundred girls. The society had no faith in their potential as human beings... that was the kind of environment they were in.
The Need of the hour Kranti was born to deal with giving these girls the tools and a space to work on these issues, to empower them and lead the change. But of course, things didn’t sail smoothly for them as it was tough to set up an organisation like Kranti in a city like Mumbai. The girls faced two major issues of housing and education. Once these girls were brought home they were evasive about their backgrounds to the neighbours knowing only too well they would be shunned from the only place they could call home. They were forced to start their own school as their kids were facing discrimination and stigmas in mainstream schools. Struggling with various issues and having very specific needs that no other place could meet, Kranti started it’s own school to address those needs. Kids were also put into foundations
like Akanksha, Pratham and Teach for India classrooms. Kranti has a lot of programs which include education, therapy, extracurricular activities (such as photography, drawing, singing, etc), social justice (Curriculum covers 20 topics such as caste, class, religion, environment, gender/sexuality and women's rights), workshops and theatre and travel.
Achievements Kranthikaari’s are what the girls are called. Robin says that people are judgemental and they feel the best case scenario for these girls future is “shaadi ho jayegi”, but they are strong and resilient woman who can achieve absolutely anything. Some of them have been doing exceptionally well in the field of academics. One of the girls received a scholarship to the University of New York, another is heading out to do her Master’s in the U.K. Even those who were not very academically inclined have found success in other things. A girl who loved to drum, received a nine month scholarship to study music in Washington. She’s now a drum circle facilitator and a music therapist working with young kids, migrant children, sex workers’ children, helping them boost their confidence through music. We got a chance to speak to Robin at the GESF held in Dubai and were able to get an insight on the work they were doing and the problems they faced.
“Success is not about attending a university anymore, it's about the happiness that you create for yourself, that you're able to spread in the world” says Robin.
According to Robin “All over the world everyone's talking about creating agents of social change and yet the fact of the matter is the best social change agents are under our noses and we're treating them like shit. So we and these girls just come from a space of really wanting you to know, “jo mere saath hua who kisi aur ke sath nahi hona chahiye.......”
What stigmas did you face? I think when we started this work one of biggest fears was that the whole community would find out that I'm lesbian and eventually of course that these girls come from red light areas. The most special thing about my kids when I talk about them being revolutionaries is watching them go from the space of you know being victims to being people who are really inspiring others and being incredibly forgiving and compassionate, especially because all of them have been raped or assaulted. I have this preconceived notion that the red light area and all the sex workers would be against me. It's like they found out I was lesbian and they don't care, you know so many of our girls have been raised by sex workers, there's so many transgender people even within the sex workers community. I haven't faced so many issues within the community as I have outside the community, but it's also been nice in the sense of just realizing that there is a lot more acceptance out there as we only perceive. How many students do you have now? We have 20 girls right now, we're taking two more in a couple of months or so but it's always a difficult and a scary process because to us it's not like they just go to school and the kids will pass out in a couple years it's like we're adopting them. Where do you receive your funding from? So I do a lot of fund raising myself. Unfortunately it's one of my full time jobs, crowd funding and small grants from smaller global fund agencies, and a lot of crowd funding. When people realize like oh they're just ordinary kids I think that's the biggest moment of change.
Do you get your children to interact with children from the outside areas? What difficulties do you face? Our kids do trainings regularly for Teach India's teachers, for American schools in Mumbai and teach students that nobody's above the law or anyone else, just because they're richer or from bad backgrounds and you're not above them or below them because of the things you've experienced or who you are. We are literally all just like everyone else and it doesn't matter what your background is or what your problem is. It's a lot of work to show these kids that you are just as valuable as the other students. I think a lot of it comes from the kids as they really enjoy teaching and sharing their lives. When people realize like oh they're just ordinary kids I think that's the biggest moment of change. What’s next Robin? Spreading happiness, what else. We've been looking at expanding a little bit because right now our curriculum just reaches those twenty girls in our house. We are looking at wanting to include more boys, get a more you know like Open Program which we want to call the Country School of Happiness that not only specifically focuses on the red light area but also getting girls as well as boys who aren’t living in our program to do youthful stuff. On a parting note Robin tells us that “Happiness comes from a place of being content with who you are, being able to accept things as they are and being able to embrace the world as it is. Not being judgmental comes from a true need with a lot of empathy and compassion” The most remarkable thing about Robin was the way she spoke. You can feel the happiness that radiates from her. Her openness and willingness to speak on “Taboo” topics with us just blew us away and we are in awe of this incredible woman who not only shows her mental strength and ability but also empowers and encourages more people to bring a change in the society that hides behind a veil.
A non-profit organisation providing education for thousands of children from the slums of Mumbai and Pune
Kids who are 2nd, 3rd, 4th language learners of English, even in their mother tongue donâ€™t have high levels of literacy and their vocabulary is not right as they are not exposed to the text as young kids.
Anjana Deepak firstname.lastname@example.org
kanksha was founded by Shaheen Mistri in 1991 and is a non-profit organisation. Afterschool centres were set up serving children from the slum communities of Mumbai and 10 years later in Pune as well. The foundation’s focus was mainly on children who were already attending Municipal schools and to provide them with supplementary learning centres focused on English proficiency, math and values. Over time in addition to their after-school centres kids had access to many other Akanksha programs that centred on art, sports, etc. Kids stayed with Akanksha from the age of 5 years to 18 years. In 2007 they opened their first school under a public private partnership. This was essentially an English medium municipal school which was not running at that time, so the government provided the infrastructure and all of the physical material that was required and Akanksha provided the principal, teachers or any other staff and ran the school according to their methodology, but the school remained free of cost. They felt that schools were much more impactful to serve their children and communities and also a way to potentially influence what was happening in other municipal schools and so in 2010 they made a decision to completely focus on schools and transitioned from an after-school model to a full school model. Today they have 20 schools across Mumbai and Pune under this model. Once you have a good quality public school then no one is going to want to go anywhere else.
The Ambassadors The founder Shaheen Mistri chose to leave Akanksha to start the Teach for India program. This is where Vandana Goyal stepped in. Born and raised in the US, she studied economics in the State of California. Though not planning on pursuing a career in education, after college she joined an organisation called Citizen Schools in Boston and became a teacher in that program and helped them launch one of their new sites. After 4 years with the organisation she decided to come to India and work in education. She had a very transformative experience in India after the first year. She helped Shaheen get Teach for India off the ground and worked on the blue print of Teach for India with her. When Shaheen chose to leave Akanksha to start Teach for India Vandana took over the organisation.
Their Fundamentals When Akanksha started these schools, over-time they evolved a 5 pillar model which they believed takes to run a good school and one of those pillars is accountability to results. They conduct bi- annual school reviews called the school development reviews which are qualitative and observation focused. They also do a lot of testing and third party assessments called asset. Annual performance reviews of the team are done making sure goals are defined and achieved. Internal government assessments are done 3 times a year to review school goals and speak to all the stakeholders of the school and provide a rating based on the goals and how much they have achieved that year. Right now Akanksha has 6,500 kids. But each school is growing. About half their schools are still really small preprimary and early primary centers, but they go all the way up to the 10th standard and are totally free of cost. They believe that once you have a good quality public school then no one is going to want to go anywhere else. ‘Buckle Up and Read’ is an initiative by Akanksha were they deal with kids who are 2nd, 3rd, 4th language learners of English and even in their mother tongue don’t have high levels of literacy and their vocabulary is not right as they are not exposed to the text as young kids. Since all of their schools are English medium they make sure that they get fully fluent and are able to grasp all the different content and skills being taught in English. It was a big struggle across all their schools, so ‘Buckle Up and Read’ was introduced and is about building independence and the love for reading in all of the kids.
The Future Akanksha aims to do 2 things. Firstly push the envelope in being the highest quality and the largest public private partnership network of schools in the country and are able to redefine for all the other schools what education can look like for children from communities with the most disadvantages. The second thing is to show people the pathway as to how to get there, how any school can do what they do and how you can do it really well. They hope to build the capability to quantify what they are doing and share what is being done in a very intentional way which can lead to advocacy of their education policy which is reflective of what’s really best for kids and that enables them to be a larger voice in that conversation over time as well.
Vandana Goyal speaks: Your tagline reads ‘Ensuring quality education for all children in India’. What do you mean by all children? How do you ensure that? That’s a good question. So obviously we are not serving all children but the idea is whether we can create a model that does. We felt through this supplementary system we were constantly addressing the shortcomings. The idea is that even with these failing schools you can actually demonstrate that kids can really learn at high levels even if they are coming from poor communities and you can do that within the constraints of the government system. We also thought of how we file what we have learnt, how do we research what we have learnt and to prove through this data that it’s actually working and then share that as broadly as we can. Now we are thinking how is the learning and innovation in our schools really transferring to the wider system. That is kind of the next big push for the organisation. What do you do to increase student enrolment in low performing government schools? We manage the schools ourselves. In the 1st year when we opened our school, the kids that came were from a 1 km radius of our school buildings and so often we are going door to door and communicating that we are an NGO running this municipal school. For the 1st year we had to reach out to the community, but then what happened is that the parents were so happy with the quality of the school that we never had to go back and ask people to join and I think that really demonstrates that parents have a tremendous value for education. They will make sure that their kids will go to school and stay in school when they see that it’s delivering value for their kids. Lots of people say that we have to address the issue of dropouts and attendance, but you address those issues by providing a good school. What is your view on low cost schools? What I do think is that for kids who have a disadvantage, it is really unfair to say that you have to send your kid to a government school. I believe that if parents can see that government schools are improving, they still don’t want to pay right? They are just paying because they feel this is the only way out for my kid, they can’t afford to pay really, as they are sacrificing a lot of things in order to pay that money.
THE QUEST FOR
It is the duty of every human being to learn, but itâ€™s an even bigger duty for them to protect themselves during that learning.
INNOVATION Anjana Deepak
Impact of DQ on Children’s Risky Behaviours Online
oday’s children are all about technology. The minute they are old enough to grasp things in those little fingers you’ll probably see them messing with an iPad or mobile phone, pressing the keys or scrolling through those screens. Little do they know that digital technology will play a huge role in their futures. We are all familiar with IQ – Intelligence Quotient and have evaluated our children’s IQs by qualified experts.
So what is IQ? It’s nothing but a standardised test usually given to a same age group of people designed to assess the person’s ability to think and reason which can often be critical in many phases of ones life. As humans we are bound to work with other people and hence came about ‘EQ’ or ‘Emotional quotient’. For some, emotional intelligence became more important than IQ as just having facts and figures was not enough. It became important to develop mature emotional intelligence skills to better understand, empathize and negotiate with other people as the economy has become more global and success would elude those who didn’t have EQ. Digitization has brought about what is called ‘DQ’ or ‘Digital Intelligence quotient ’. Apart from IQ and EQ, DQ is important in today’s world as everything is technologically driven. DQ is the capacity to be aware of, participate and contribute in the digital economy for professional and personal reasons. Technology brings change and a lot of us are stubborn towards change. But we need to keep abreast with technology to be able to participate in an increasingly digital world which is fast covering news, online shopping, personal fitness, communication, education, etc. If we do not embrace change and develop a certain level of digital intelligence, we will be precluded from these services. DQ has been tried and tested by over 500,000 students and is poised to launch in 17 different countries. Kids, especially, should keep up with digitization as their success depends on it. Imagine a child not knowing how to operate a computer or an iPad? These things play an important role in their lives as they are
being fast integrating as part of their education.
helped minimise the impact of children’s risks online.
Keeping our children cyber-safe is a huge priority. So we go and search for educational sites where children can learn and have fun without being worried about online dangers like cyber bullying, identity thefts and online predators to name a few.
DQ institute has achieved many feathers in its cap since its inception. It has developed the world’s first DQ assessment metrics, has twice been the UNESCO award winning programme, has been tried and tested by over 500,000 students and is poised to launch in 17 different countries.
The DQ INSTITUTE One such place is the DQ Institute. The institute was founded by Dr. Yuhyun Park and was developed in collaboration with Stanford University, Iowa State University, Yonsei University and Singapore’s National Institute of Education and Nanyang Technological University, among others. The Institute has its roots in Seoul, Korea. The DQ World’s online education programme has improved children’s DQ score and
The Goal of the DQ Institute In today’s hyper- connected digital world children will either become leader’s who create new possibilities with the advancing technology or become passive followers and consumers of technology. Their DQ will determine which of these categories they fall into.
DQ’s goal is to empower every child to be the master of technology and help create new opportunities for a better future anchored in strong identities and positive values.
The 3 Levels of Digital Intelligence The first level is DQ Citizenship where children use digital technology in effective and responsible ways. Second is DQ Creativity where children learn to co- create new ideas and turn them into a reality and help them become a part of the digital eco- system by using new technologies and media. And last but not the least DQ Entrepreneurship where they are able to bring a change and solve problems. There are 8 different aspects of Digital citizenship, most of which are overlooked as focus is on creativity and entrepreneurship. It becomes very important for children to know their digital identity and be aware of the safety and security measures or they will be exposed to various digital risks. In today’s hyper- connected digital world, children will either become leader’s who create new possibilities with the advancing technology or become passive followers and consumers of technology. The institute has formulated 8 topics to make sure that children can effectively, safely and responsibly use digital media and technologies before they become creators or developers. The topics that are included are Digital Citizen Identity, Screen Time Management, Digital Footprint Management, Cyber Bullying Management, Digital Empathy, Critical Thinking, Privacy Management and Cyber Security Management.
Learning from DQ DQWorld.net is a platform provided for children to play and learn online (online and mobile e-learning app) unlocking rewards and achievements as they move forward. It provides a conducive environment that does not require close supervision from either parents or teachers for learning and absorbing lessons. It is recommended for kids between the ages of 9-12 years.
Interview with Dr Yuhyun Park IQ is widely known. But what is EQ and DQ and how is it relevant to Indian students? EQ stands for Emotional Intelligence Quotient which measures a person’s ability of the areas of self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation and others. DQ stands for Digital Intelligence Quotient which measures a person’s facility and command of digital media and technology as a competence. Especially, there are eight DQcitizenship skills (digital citizen identity, screen time management, cyber bullying management, cyber security, digital empathy, digital footprint management, critical thinking, privacy management) which every child should acquire at the start of their digital life. DQ is very relevant for all Indian students as the nation is going through digital transformation. DQ enables students to make discerning and deliberate choices to maximize the benefits of technology while mitigating cyber risks such as technology addiction, fake news, cyber bullying, online grooming and radicalisation. It is fundamental to a person’s ability to use technology and live happily, successfully and responsibly in the digital world. DQ will help Indian students level up their ability to thrive in the fast changing digital world, leading them to shape the future of their own lives and the entire nation with wellbeing, security and economic growth.
INNOVATION Through this programme every child will have his/her own digital intelligence competency assessed through a DQ profile. On joining the DQ programme, a preliminary assessment is made by creating a DQ profile on DQWorld.net, after the assessment of the child’s DQ competencies they are engaged in a DQ online program and on completion of it a DQ profile is again generated which is used to compare the results with the preliminary assessment to see how well the child has learnt and progressed.
for each set at 100.
In the hyper-connected world we live in, children as young as 8 years old critically need DQ to be smart and responsible users of technology. These children are the first generation born and raised in a digital world, and they need to learn digital skills for the future. But they are often exposed to various cyber dangers, such as cyber- bullying, fake news, online grooming and radicalization, and are left alone to navigate the negative side effects of technology.
The assessments are done using surveys, quizzes, interactive activities and through mobile chats by communicating through comic characters. This fun way of learning helps the DQ profiling of the child and to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their digital intelligence.
Children need help to navigate this landscape safely. Just like we need a driving license before we can drive on the roads, children need digital education before they start using digital media and technology.
The fun learn and play online platform is built on a sound curriculum and provides a safe online environment for children to self- learn the skills for digital intelligence through gamification. The DQWorld.net was tried and tested on over 90,000 children in Singapore and South Korea and has been highly rated by the children themselves. DQ helps parents and educators bridge the gap between themselves and children by providing digital tools that help them understand the language that today’s kids speak in. Also in guiding children in their quest for digital intelligence. Schools can introduce the DQWorld.net online program and since its designed to be a self- learning tool it can be assigned as ‘Homework’ and can be reinforced in classrooms with the help of workbooks and a teacher’s guidance. DQ has 3 educators’ programmes, DQ self- learning program, DQ classroom program and DQ school- wide program. It also helps home schooled children by providing a safe way to acquire the knowledge and skills for digital intelligence. DQEveryChild™ aims to reach 20 million children aged 8-12 years by 2020. In association with the DQ Institute, the World Economic Forum will explore the integration of a Global DQ Index – measuring the average DQ™ across participating countries – within one of its main annual reports. DQEveryChild™ is a combination of
Dr Yuhyun Park, founder of the #DQEveryChild™ movement
online education tools and real-time assessment which is free for every child globally, and can be easily ‘plugged’ into any national or school curriculum via the DQWorld.net platform. The curriculum of 20 lessons totalling over 15 hours is delivered through story-telling and gamified design, which makes learning interactive and fun and encourages a positive attitudinal shift and behaviour. At the end of each lesson, children take an online real-time assessment that provides DQ scores for each of the skills acquired. DQ helps parents and educators bridge the gap between themselves and children by providing tools of digital technology, helping them understand the language that today’s kids speak in. Children are ‘scored’ against a range of criteria – such as sharing personal data; meeting online strangers; online sexual behaviours; exposure to violent content; cyberbullying and game addiction – with the average DQ score
Focusing on DQ has been identified as an impactful and effective method for improving digital citizenship by the World Economic Forum. The alliance includes national governments, leading NGOs and ICT companies who are committed to digital citizenship and digital literacy. More than a dozen countries are already pledging their support for the movement in 2017, including Argentina, India, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and the US. Other members include the World Economic Forum, Singtel, the Varkey Foundation, Google, and LG U+. How does DQ programme handle children’s online risky behaviours Included in the program is a unique system to detect a child’s exposure to various cyber-risks. In addition, it can diagnose their parents’ digital media mediation style as well as assess support being provided by teachers and schools through internet safety education. A reporting system will be included in the platform which can be triggered both voluntarily by the child (via a request for support) and when exposure to risk factors are detected. This system will provide a timely and easily accessible avenue of support through the online platform. In Singapore, they will work with a Singaporean government agency to connect their reporting system to the government’s e-counselling system. A 2014 e-counselling study conducted by the National Institute of Education has proven to be effective in increasing happiness, self-regulation and lowering negative emotions of children exposed to cyber-risks. In other words, timely intervention is critical. DQ is currently exploring options with the government of India if they would like to connect the system with their national counselling program or law enforcement as an intervention program for children at high risks. More specifically, in the case of Singapore, DQ World's online education programme improved children's DQ score, on an average, from 93 to 106 - a 14% increase. Moreover, it has proven to minimise children's risky online behaviour, and maximise their personal strengths, such as critical
thinking and empathy. For example, with a DQ of 93, a child is at 24% risk of sharing personal data online, however, with a DQ of 106, this risk is halved to 12%. Please refer image below.
Relevance and Scope of DQ in India DQ is very relevant for all Indian students as the nation is going through a digital transformation. DQ enables students to make discerning and deliberate choices that maximize the benefits of technology while mitigating cyber risks such as technology addiction, fake news, cyber bullying, online radicalisation. It is fundamental to a person’s ability to use technology and live happily, successfully and responsibly in the digital world. DQ will help Indian students level up their ability to thrive in the fast changing digital world, leading them to shape the future of their own lives and the entire nation with well-being, security and economic growth. It is very important to ensure that every child in India is safely and meaningfully connected online. Educationally, it is important to empower children with digital competencies that can enable them to minimize cyber risks while maximizing opportunities arising from technology. This platform can be easily incorporated within any public education system and be used by any teacher in India: At its most basic, it allows for selflearning & play with minimal support from teachers or parents More detailed assessments are available for parents who want to get more involved in their child’s DQ education Additional teaching resources have been created to allow teachers to use the programme proactively, incorporating DQ World in their classroom as an integral part of lessons & assessment. Likewise schools can use the assessment and metrics as part of school wide DQ programmes. In India, DQ had an initial discussion with State of Rajasthan and had plans to engage with the private and public sectors to bring the program nationwide within 3 years to support India to raise the national DQ significantly and inclusively.
How does the programme work and how important is it in India's context? #DQEveryChild is a global movement to empower every child globally aged 8-12 years with Digital Intelligence. This education has been recognized by two UNESCO international awards for its pioneering efforts to promote youth digital citizenship education. The movement utilizes an innovative digital education platform called DQ World in order to accelerate national implementation of DQ education and risk assessment for 8-12 year old children worldwide. It is very relevant to India as the nation started expanding digital infrastructures for schools, connectivity is not enough and must also include accessibility to appropriate digital media. Moreover, we need to ensure cyber security for children as well as to build a support network to protect children from risks such as online grooming, addictions, and violence. It is very important to ensure that every child in India is safely and meaningfully connected online. Educationally, it is important to empower children with comprehensive digital competencies that can enable them to minimize cyber risks, but also to maximize opportunities arising from technology. This platform can be easily incorporated within any public education system and be used by any teacher in India: At its most basic, it allows for self-learning & play with minimal support from teachers or parents More detailed assessments are available for parents who want to get more involved in their child’s DQ education Additional teaching resources have been created to allow teachers to use the programme proactively, incorporating DQ World in their classroom as an integral part of lessons & assessment Likewise schools can use the assessment and metrics as part of school wide DQ programmes How has your online education programme helped children improve DQ score? Our DQWorld.net is designed as a play & learn online education program. It will enable children to self-learn DQ without much supervision of teachers and schools. Therefore it can be easily used in Indian schools and by families. Through a fun and engaging learning curriculum online, 8-12 year old children work on 20 self-learning sessions. During the up to 15 hours of digital education, the children experience transmedia story-telling using gamified design, which makes learning interactive. At the end of each learning journey, they take an online real-time assessment developed based on research which will provide DQ scores for each of the skill acquired. It provides an intensive and comprehensive Digital Citizenship education targeting children age 8-12 It provides well researched and easy-to-use tools and resources for teachers and students It provides a fun and engaging self-learning experience with gamification, so that teachers and parents do not need to closely supervise the programme It provides individual and school-based feedback and assessment, so that children can keep progressing Can you list out children’s risky behaviours that your programme claims to handle? Included in the program is a unique system to detect a child’s exposure to various cyberrisks. In addition, it can diagnose their parents’ digital media mediation style as well as assess support being provided by teachers and schools through internet safety education. A reporting system will be included in the platform which can be triggered both voluntarily by the child (via a request for support) and when exposure to risk factors are detected. This system will provide a timely and easily accessible avenue of support through the online platform. In Singapore, we will work with a Singaporean government agency to connect our reporting system to their e-counselling system. A 2014 e-counselling study conducted by the National Institute of Education has proven to be effective in increasing happiness, selfregulation and lowering negative emotions of children exposed to cyber-risks. In other words, timely intervention is critical. We would like to explore with the government with India if they would like to connect our system with their national counselling program or law enforcement as an intervention program for children at high risks. More specifically, in the case of Singapore, DQ World's online education programme improved children's DQ score, on average, from 93 to 106 - a 14% increase. Moreover, it has proven to minimise the impact on children's risky online behaviour, and maximise their personal strengths, such as critical thinking and empathy. For example, with a DQ of 93, a child is at 24% risk of sharing personal data online, however, with a DQ of 106, this risk is halved to 12%. Please refer image below. What are your plans for India and how far have you reached? We had an initial discussion with State of Rajasthan. We plan to work with private and public sectors to bring the program nation-wide within 3 years to support India to raise the national DQ significantly and inclusively.
INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: A challenge yet to be surveyed
Currently the term intellectual disability is being used instead of mental retardation to pay regards to such people and free them from the stigma of being mentally retarded. But the change in nomenclature has not broken the prejudice and discrimination against them by even an inch.
Dr Sanjay Parva email@example.com
wareness about health issues, their causes, incidence, and risk factors still lacks amongst Indian citizens. Studies and surveys are conducted to create the same but not every health condition find a mention in the database. Intellectual disability is one such example that remains untouched from the extensive studies and surveys conducted by the government. Given that 21 million people suffer from one or the other disability in India, the problem demands greater consideration from our government. The National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) estimates that currently 1.8% of the total Indian population is disabled, yet the data may not be completely accurate. The prevalence of intellectual disability has been estimated at 1-4% i.e. about 20 people per 1000 in the population. The data collected from various resources shows the spread and pervasiveness of intellectual disability amongst the general masses, more so in the child population placing about 33% in the category of disabled. However, talking about the rate at which the cases are being diagnosed,
the data is wanting. This reflects the negligence on the part of the Indian government to calculate and remedy intellectual disability in our population. It thinks that by revising the nomenclature of the condition from mentally retarded to intellectual disability, it has completed its job. Yes, currently the term Intellectual disability is being used instead of mental retardation to pay regards to such people and free them from the stigma of being mentally retarded. But the change in nomenclature has not broken the prejudice and discrimination against them by even an inch. The rural, underprivileged areas and male sex account for maximum cases of intellectual disability, but psychiatrists are still doubtful of the causes of higher prevalence of the condition in such people.
involved in a semi-skilled vocation and in a structured and restricted environment. The shortcomings in computing the incidence and magnitude of intellectual disability in the Indian population are just one of the deficits in the Indian governmentâ€™s efforts to support the disabled children of our country. Adding to the grievances, no single ministry has been assigned to protect these intellectually disabled children. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been assigned the responsibility to look into the same with some of the issues being managed by the health ministry. This results in varying data about the occurrence of disability in children.
The Indian population not only by its size, also by the diversity in psychosocial, educational, economical and cultural background offers difficulty in conducting surveys with high accuracy. A limited number of specialists and lack of standard tools for assessment are added flaws.
The pre-independence era of the country witnessed a period of segregation and discrimination of disabled children. Though physically challenged children also faced the same, the ones with mental challenges were more stigmatised. Separate schools were constructed under charitable and voluntary organisations to provide education to the disabled community but still intellectually disabled received the least attention, more so at the last.
Moreover, those with a mild degree of disability remain unidentified, being
After independence, things seem to have changed a bit but not as much as
needed to create a positive impact on the lives of intellectually weakened members of our society. The Indian Government formulated the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995 to safeguard the rights of disabled members. Do you know what this act is supposed to do for the challenged members of our society? Provide free education, integrate disabled children into regular schools, make space for the special schools to cater to their needs and work in alignment with the regular schools, train teachers to attend to the students with special needs, design vocational training and non-formal education programmes and a never-ending list of instructions to preserve the rights of such people. But reality is exactly opposite of what is quoted under the portfolio of the Act. Disability in India is still functioning in the realm of social welfare instead of a rights perspective. Teachers are not trained; schools face a drought of
infrastructure, and the curriculum is not designed to meet the needs of the challenged. Mental health disorders account for one-sixth of all health disorders, yet India spends only 0.83% of its health budget on mental health. Only 8% of the mentally disabled children attend schools past the second grade. Reasons are numerous; no access to quality education especially in rural areas, schools denying admission, stigma and fear amongst parents regarding bullying and aggressive behaviour towards their child and most importantly the lack of proper infrastructure to cater to their special needs. The National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE), brought out by the NCERT, recommends inclusive schools for children with special needs to provide them with an environment conducive to their normal development alongside their non-disabled peers. However, the government needs to tread a long path in conceptualising this development. Developing inclusive schools that cater to a wide range of pupils in both urban and rural areas requires an articulation of a
clear and forceful policy on inclusion together with adequate financial provision; effective public awareness to combat prejudice and create informed and positive attitudes; an extensive programme for training the educational staff; and the provision of necessary support services. Schools need to restructure their curriculum, buildings, organisation, pedagogy, assessment, staffing, ethos, and extracurricular activities keeping in mind the special needs of disabled children and help in their holistic development and lead a fruitful life. An inclusive curriculum means one curriculum for all students rather than a separate one for the students with special needs and another for those without. Apart from the curriculum, the teaching methodologies must be revised according to the capabilities of the disabled child. People must understand that such children may be slow to learn, to adapt but are not a burden on the family or the society. A little extra care and effort will make them bloom like any other child. The only disability is the bad attitude towards such children in our society.
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BETT MIDDLE EAST 2 0 1 7
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bu Dhabi opened its doors to the second edition of the BETT Middle East under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. The 2 day event was held on the 25th and 26th of April 2017 and saw participation from speakers from illustrious global organisations and regional government entities. Taking place at the Dusit Thani, the event welcomed 1,600 policy makers, leaders and experts from over 35 countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Bahrain, United Kingdom, Egypt, and Oman.
The theme for the event this year was “Igniting Excitement through Innovation in Learning”. The summit featured keynote addresses, discussions and debates on bringing about educational transformation. The Summit included latest trends in STEM education, educational equality and access, employability and 21st century skills, as well as data. His Excellency, Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, ADEC’s Director General, in his welcome speech said: “It is with great honour that this event is under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice Chairman of ADEC, who looks forward to a successful outcome. Your excellency, ladies and gentleman, principals, teachers and students, ADEC is happy to partner with BETT to create a high notch education platform that not only enhances networking opportunities for Abu Dhabi, but for the region, one that brings about best practices and experiences in education.” He added: “As part of the Abu Dhabi Plan, one of ADEC’s top priorities and responsibilities for schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is quality edu-
EVENT WRAP UP cation. Our goal is to offer a promising future for our youth who are expected to contribute to the service of the country and society. Our wise and prudent leadership has always thrived to enhance its position as a global leader in education, thus attracting some of the most qualified and talented educators across the world to share their experiences and showcase updated strategies and plans towards elevating the education system in par with international standards.” 500 educators including principals and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) teachers from across various public and private schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, attended the Expo where they interacted with exhibitors and participated in the Learn Live, Microsoft School Leaders Academy and Teachers Academy. For the first time at the BETT Summit & Expo, Microsoft held a “Digital Transformation Track” addressing what digital transformation means for education and how to optimize institutions in a new digital era. Anthony Salcito, Worldwide Education Vice President, Microsoft, spoke about the importance of introducing technology in education to enhance student learning outcomes and ensure their success in the future. He stressed that importance should be on the skills students need and how new practices should be implemented, so that technology naturally becomes a service to bring the vision to fruition. “Technology today is changing the way teachers and students share and connect with each other. These ways of collaborating are creating new ways of learning - empowering students with skills for the modern workplace. Said Salcito. “We are proud to be associated with BETT as a global partner and in bringing it to the Middle East again, which is a unique platform for us to share new practices, and address the need for academia to transform and implement curricula that recognizes a shift in learning and expectations; to ultimately transform end results”. Microsoft introduced the Teachers Academy in partnership with ADEC a range of workshops during BETT that aimed at training teachers from
Public and private schools to enhance their skills and develop creative digital lessons using Office, Mix and Creative Coding Through Games and Apps (CCGA). The Teacher’s Academy initiative is part of an ongoing partnership between Microsoft and ADEC. The initiative is to build
teachers’ capacity to leverage latest Microsoft solutions, and empower them with the right tools and resources so that they can provide students with dynamic learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom, and prepare them to meet future global challenges.
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BETT Middle East Expo also introduced the Learn Live Theatre that will feature seminars and practical demonstrations to address questions and help develop skills of educators. The Learn Live Program will also include students led sessions.
The winners of the awards according to category were: Leadership Award – Institution Caledonian College of Engineering – Oman Game Changer Award
This year the BETT Middle East Awards were introduced to honour individuals, institutions and organisations that inspired educational excellence. The jury for the awards was a panel of BETT’s VIP steering committee, BETT Diwan.
ITWORX – Sustainable Education for Refugees project (WinjiGo) – Egypt
The committee faced the task of selecting creatively challenging submissions that showcased originality and innovation in addressing key issues facing the region’s education sector.
Technology Initiative Award
All the winners were awarded during the Bett Middle East Gala Dinner on 25 April 2017.
Leadership Award - Individual Fatma Al Bastiki, Hamdan Bin Zayed School – UAE
Ministry of Education – Kuwait Innovation Award – Higher Education Ankubut – UAE
Innovation Award – K-12 Classera – Saudi Arabia Innovative Student Project Award Maitha Salem Al Abri, Al Haneen Public School Bett Middle East 2017 addressed the latest trends, challenges and advancements in education and innovation, with a distinct focus on the Middle East and Africa. The event offered educators and education professionals a platform to network with government officials, education leaders and brands at the forefront of educational transformation. The event was covered by various media houses from around the globe and ScooNews was the only media partner from India for BETT Middle East 2017.
JOURNEY BACK TO SCHOOL
“Journey back to school” a 4 day conference from the 26th to the 29th of April saw the attendance of 50 school leaders from reputed schools across the country and was held in Dehradun. May 2017
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ver the 4 day conference, various dignitaries such as Neeta Bali, Head of Kasiga School, Dr. Harish Chaudhary Professor of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, Matthew Raggett, Headmaster, Doon School, Valentina Trivedi from Kaleidoscope and Jyotsna Brar, ExPrincipal Welhamâ€™s Girls school and Kalpana Kapoor were present and imparted their expertise and knowledge on various subjects pertaining to school improvement processes. The event was organised by EduExcellence and each dayâ€™s programme was held at a different venue including the Kasiga School, Doon school, Welham Boys School and the final day was at the Hotel Solitaire Express.
Day 1- Introductory session and visit to Welham Boys’ School The first day started with introductions. All participants met at the Hotel Solitaire express for lunch. After the meet-and- greet, it was time to visit the Welham Boys’ School. Ms. Gunmeet Bindra, Principal of the school, gave a warm welcome to the delegates, which was then followed by the tour of the school campus. Post tea, Ms. Gunmeet Bindra conducted a session where she spoke on the School processes with special focus on discipline in the school which sets their school apart. The boldness with which she spoke made it very evident that she along with her school management are in total control of the school processes and that the school discipline forms the backbone of their vision. She said that the school receives full support from the parents as well. She asserted that a school leader is required to be emotional and empathetic towards the students and needs to listen carefully but at the same time be assertive and clear to the students about what the norms of the school are. The session ended with a question answers round with Ms. Gunmeet Bindra and she extended an invitation to all the school delegates to attend the school’s cultural spring festival to be held a day later.
Day -2 Visit to Kasiga School The second day was scheduled at the Kasiga School. Kasiga is one of the most beautiful school campuses of the city providing a very conducive learning environment for every child. Dr. Neeta Bali, the head of the school warmly received and welcomed all the school leaders and took them around the beautiful campus showing them various aspects of the infrastructure and the ideology behind those aspects. She gave a detailed presentation on how Kasiga has focused to embrace the individuality of each child and the principles of Individualized instructional plans that have been embedded in the daily functioning of the school’s systems.
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Dr Harish Chaudhary an enterprising man with wit and humor spoke about values and branding in school. He said that values have no curriculum or syllabus, they can’t be taught through lectures. The only way values can be inculcated into children is through role- modelling. According to current psychology, children upto the ages of 6 to 7 years like to copy others. Be it their parents or peers. This is the time when they learn the most. Neurosciences suggests that there is virtually no connection between the various parts of the brain at the time of birth. It is important to keep the mind exercised. Not doing so will make it weak. At the age of 7 years the brain map of a child will be messy and complicated. It is at this age that the child decides who he/she needs to copy and who they need to ignore. This stops by the age of 13 years. The child’s brain map at this age has clear and neat segregations of the brains. The age of adolescence starts which in turn makes a child question everything. IQ tests do not actually test your intelligence but the memory of a person. Studies have shown that a brain doesn’t really improve after the age of 13 years. So a 13 year old is far more intelligent than a teacher. The IQ of a person significantly reduces by a point every year as the mind deteriorates with age. Children ask questions to some of which we don’t have answers, not having these answers will have children questioning our beliefs. When we were young those questions weren’t answered for us and we continue to have the same teaching methods that were used to teach us. Parents need to play an integral part in the education system.
to phenomenally high salaries and there is no dignity of labour.
brands as we are not their target audience.
Schools must all have a brand. A good school brand will ensure a good principal, teachers and students. Difference in the fee structure define the brand value of the school. Every brand must be based on traditions and culture. A strong brand is created when schools look at those parents who have not enrolled their child in a particular school. Getting feedback from these parents becomes important.
Media plays an important role and knowing mediapersons will help better market schools. Not being connected to media will have a negative impact as sometimes news about an incident at schools might just be there for bad publicity. Schools must make sure that they have a planned relationship with the media and understand their psyche.
He goes on to say that there are only 2 components to education that a child should know. One is to earn a living and the other is to learn how to live.
Branding is done with a lot of care. Symbols that are chosen for brands are studied and then associated with the brand to make sure that they stand out and catch the eye of a potential customer. They must have a personality. Customers must see the vision of the institute the way the institute see themselves.
India is not an equitable society. There are exceptionally low salaries
Every brand has a target audience. We might not be aware of a lot of
Children need to learn through demonstrations. It is not enough for them to learn the theory. Most experts find it difficult to explain what they do.
Dr. Chaudhary’s session was followed by Ms. Kalpana Kapoor where she talked about creative leadership. Her session was full of activities which helped school leaders understand various aspects of school leadership and how they could use simple tactics to execute the school’s vision.
Day 3 – Visit to The Doon School Dr. Harish Chaudhary, being the
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alumnus of the school himself talked about what he has learnt from the school and what he didn’t. Dr. Harish spoke about core values. He shared that one of the core values of the Doon school is equality. Every child in this school is equal irrespective of their backgrounds. IIT’s core value is safety. These core values are seen through practises. Such as in an IIT campus a woman can pick up any one of the campus internal phone dial 1000 and a security guard will be there to escort them back to their hostel, irrespective of the time. Every institute must define values in simple terms and create visible rituals around them as their success depends on this. Some of the criteria that schools should look at is whether they cater to weak or intelligent children, if the personality and confidence of the child is an important factor, should there be uniforms, imbibing etiquettes and manners so the students stand out in the society. He used his experiences during his time at the Doon school as a child to drive a takeaway that the school nurtures the individuality of each kid keeping the core values and vision of the school intact. On a parting note he says that our core values have remained the same over the last 5,000years. We are all still the same. Love, passion, honesty and integrity will always be our core.
a session by Ms. Anez Katre, HOD of Training at The Doon School who gave a wonderful presentation on Teacher Training and Development at the Doon school and why it is important as an ingrained process in the school. Dr. Harish Chaudhary also talked about Developing and Retaining Teachers which remains a critical issue in schools.
After tea at the campus, the group interacted with the alumni of the school. Some of the alumni present for a panel discussion with Dr. Harish Chaudhary were Mr. Sanjeev Bathla, Sameer Dhingra and Ms. Valentina Trivedi. The panel discussion was more of a Q&A session between the delegates and the alumni. There is no one better to learn from than the people who have lived in the school themselves. The session was quite a bright one and the alumni spoke about their time at the school and at the same time answered the queries of the delegates.
The next session was chaired by Dr. Matthew Raggett, the Headmaster of The Doon School. A very enterprising personality, he talked about learning and leading the way forward for the school. He focused on continuous learning as a school leader and showed various aspects of his research to gain deep insights into the criticalities of teacher and student development, developing and sustaining a unique culture within the school and being data driven. As a headmaster of a legacy school, he said that every school leader has a unique leading style but it is important to maintain the core values of the school culture while implementing their own personal style of leadership.
Post Lunch, the group had a group photo session, which was followed by
Post the marvellous session by Matthew the delegates were taken for
a campus tour by none other than an alum of the school, Ms. Valentina Trivedi after which the delegates moved to The Welham Boys School to attend their annual cultural spring festival followed by dinner. The spring festival saw all students and parents come together to attend the festival from across India.
Day 4 – Closing sessions & Acknowledgements On the fourth and final day of the conference, Ms. Valentina Trivedi gave her take on the evolving schools and cities, while Ms. Jyotsna Brar- Ex Principal of The Welham Girls’ school, enlightened everyone with a school head’s perspective on managing the external and internal environment of the school. She focused a lot on how a school leader manages his/her team and the teachers who form of the backbone of every school. She spoke deeply about various facets of parental management and student engagement during her session. The successful event closed with the distribution of certificates to the participants from EduExcellence.
STEAMed TO EXCEL
ART AND SCIENCE: THE TWAIN SHALL MEET! Dr. Sheenu Jain firstname.lastname@example.org
A Creativity is that marvelous capacity to grasp mutually distinct realities and draw a spark from their juxtaposition. Max Ernst
rt and Science twain are considered to be polar opposites which shall never meet. Students, universities, corporates -- all of them have considered both as separate entities. Increasingly people started believing that this is not good enough to prepare future workforce in this volatile environment and data drenched world. One of the first people to realize this was Georgette Yakman, considered to be an architect behind STEAM. But before understanding STEAM, it is important to understand STEM.
What is STEM? Curriculum integration based on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) was initiated in US in the year 1998. Instead of teaching students four disciplines separately it was decided to package them together to develop a holistic approach amongst the students.
Science and technology were the transformative forces of the past century, today it needs to be coupled with Art + Design to bring transformation in society, in our learners, and in our education system.
Blended learning environment, and how scientific methods can be applied makes STEM education different from traditional learning. Techno innovation is widely accepted as a bright career choice today and it will also shape our future. But STEM education does not yield the mental agility that comes from an intuitive, initiator, and innovative problem solver and that courage lies in understanding art and design at length.
What is STEAM? Science and technology were the transformative forces of the past century, today it needs to be coupled with Art + Design to bring transformation in society, in our learners, and in our education system. The modern approach to learning and catering to meet the new education needs of the 21st century was initiated and called STEAM which integrates subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts, and
Mathematics to draw points to cater to students dialogues, inquiry, and critical thinking ability. The end result of STEAM education is, it makes students calculated risk takers, constantly engage them in experiential learning, develop a creative and collaborative approach and engage in problem solving. It makes them truly educated, innovators, and learners of 21st century. STEAM concept was formalized by GeorgetterYakman in 2006 but it did not gain much attention. The Barack Obama administration in 2009 promoted in US the â€˜Educate to Innovateâ€™campaign which inspired and motivated students, educators, industries, and policymakers. STEM to STEAM is an initiative advocated by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and it was globally adopted by education institutes, individuals, and corporates. It is simply said to be a way to teach things related to each other which is considered to be more engaging and fun than traditional learning.
Someone has rightly said, we learn how to organize with Maths, by using technology we research as historians so that we are able to comprehend, and communicate through engineering. The transdisciplinary skills developed in students make them valued by employers.STEM to STEAM movement was rolling forward positively in last few years as STEM lacks key components of education desired by the industry and required by students to thrive in future. Albert Einstein was an accomplished artist, and Charles Darwin was culturally inspired from theatre, literature, and poetry. DaVinci used both art and science together in his work. STEAM education is igniting conversations across the globe about how creativity and innovation; the essentials coming from art and design education are today being valued by employers and for economic growth today it has to be integrated with science and technology. The journey of STEAM education sounds quite intriguing, but at the same time itâ€™s quite puzzling if not
implemented properly and there are educators who are not even sure how to deliver it in the right spirit. Tata Sons Chairman, Natrajan Chandrasekaran, in his recent interview to PTI said, STEM education is important to us, and we are committed to promote and encourage education in this filed and support the children across the globe. He remarked that all of us are very close to technology, and especially when we are dealing with customers across the globe we need to embrace their psychology and adopt cutting edge technology.
Some of the core components of STEAM education are It is an assimilated approach to learning where there is a connect between learning standards, evaluations, and lesson design; It involves integration of two or more
than two streams while teaching, delivered and assessed in an integrated manner; Appreciating inquiry, collaborative approach to learning, and following logical processes are the essential core components of STEAM education. Use of veracity from the Art stream in teaching science or technology make this initiative more beautiful.
Benefits of STEAM education Traditional education focused on convergent thinking, while inclusion of arts and design thinking developed divergent thinking amongst graduates which helps to explore various possible solutions. Students who possess both set of skills can contribute much better to workplace productivity. It engages students into STEM subjects at the same time ensuring that student’s creativity do not fall by wayside. To make scientific experiments results broadly fathomable and actionable artistic hand and mind can be a worthy choice. “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.”DaVinci One stream is data driven, while another is driven by emotions. One is more dominant by tech introverts, while other by expressive characters. But I would call these only stereotype differences. But when we start practicing these two disciplines together we realize how important both the discipline are. Both the disciplines search for truth, and rationale for the same deeply. Yes, agreed artist studio, and scientist lab are the last places reserved, but they generate lot of thinking and doing. Streams have borrowed themselves from another streams and hybrid education is a way of life today. An artist can be a great partner in triangulation of the scientific unknown. To me art, and science are natural partners as in both the streams approach problem through inquiry, and open-mindedness. None of the stream has a fear of the unknown, and possess complementary thinking. When both the streams join hands, the collaboration brings out unexpected results. The unusual nature of today’s problems can be bridged by best of the
talents from integrated discipline and we can solve them by application from both the qualitative and quantitative domain. That science linked with creative pursuits can yield better results has been proved again and again. Let’s have a look at few success stories Schools often struggle with students who are not open to learn, and deliver poor test scores. Schools who have embedded literacy education in their curriculum have seen rising assessment scores, and increased willingness to learn amongst their students; Taylor Elementary School at Virginia embedded art and music in their regular curriculum. Traditionally presented geometric principles were explained drawing a scenery while to understand different stage of plant lifecycle music was created using Apple software. It inspired students for peer learning and developed more positive inclination towards deep understanding of the subject; University Place elementary School, Alabama is facing complete education revival due to STEAM education. They feel STEAM education made their students come out of the trauma coming from the loss of loved ones and their homes and they have emerged stronger than ever. An 18 year old Chennai boy, Sai Kiran, won second prize in NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest, 2017 where he visualizes creation of link between moon and earth that will allow human settlement in lunar space. Sai applied designed thinking and took a concrete step towards converting a dream into reality. Kavya, a 12 year old engineer, robotics champion, and environmental philanthropist, became the first youngest team to qualify for First Lego League – European Open Championship in Aarhus this year for her new designed product Bee saver Bot. Her unique idea, integrated with technology made her class apart for this championship.
Roadblocks in STEAM education I believe by providing art instructions we can actually help produce innovative scientists today. Even today art-sci-
ence partnerships in India are very subjective and it is still felt that creative instincts developed through art education can be transferred and used in other fields. STEAM education in India is still in its nascent stage and has not realized its full potential because there are no clear cut guidelines, and people also do not have conceptual clarity. There is also lack of tech support and infrastructure with schools and colleges as well as lack of resources to implement. Even there is scarcity of trained STEAM education teachers. Resistance to change is also a common disease in the Indian education system, and you will find old educators especially reluctant to adapt themselves to newer ways.
The future of STEAM education STEAM education creates an active and collaborative learning environment in the classroom and engages students in learning. We just can’t deny that STEAM education enhances employment opportunities and inculcates a practical problem solving approach, so it has a great future even when it is facing many roadblocks. In times to come schools, colleges, industry will naturally encourage STEAM education to match demand and supply of necessary workforce skills. Policymakers and educators in India really need to act fast to keep pace with the advancement happening across the globe scientifically as well as economically and bring changes in the education system. The world has accepted the fact that it isfine to commit mistakes, think out of box, commit failures, and cherish the joy of exploring at the same time having a strong bond with science and mathematics to discover. Teaching art and science together in the curriculum is vital, essential, and desirable today. Students need to learn sound methods, develop logical thinking, testing hypothesis, and interpret results with valid conclusions. It is equally important for them to understand and develop arguments, and creative decision making process. It will clearly enhance their employability and foster new skills. It’s time to see a new generation of resurgent men and women who recognize the importance of coexistence of analysis and creation.
May 2017 IGNITING MINDS
Children must be taught how to think, not what to think Margaret Mead
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Dr Sanjay Parva
Turning vacations into vocations
y the time you read this, your summer vacations must have already been announced, or you must be expecting them anytime soon. Most of you would stay home, some of you must be thinking of spending your vacation in the hills, or many of you must have some other plans. But have you ever thought of doing something different? For example, turning your backyard, if your home has one, into a mini-farm – tend to existing plants and maybe plant more. It is a fulfilling experience to think and care for nature, which, without asking for much from us, gives us a lot. Summer vacations can be your window to put some brilliant ideas to productive use. You can be innovative. You can be adventurous. You can be humane. You can be entrepreneurial. You can be heroic. You can be much more – depending on the type of task that you decide to take up. One of the most rewarding one, which can also complement what you are learning or eventually will learn in school is knowing where you live – not the colony that your house is located in, but the beautiful Earth on which your colony is just a tiny dot. You normally begin looking at the world to know your place in this vast universe but that is a wrong way of learning about it. What use of you knowing about the world without having known your immediate surroundings? So start from your house itself, move to the colony, then to other colonies, then more colonies, then the whole district, surrounding villages, beyond, then other districts and cities, then the whole state, more states, the country, more countries, continents – and there you are on a voyage of the whole universe. On the way, starting right from your house and beyond, you can make a note of the trees that provide you oxygen, herbs that go into medicine-making, birds that wake you up in the morning, animals, reptiles, mosquitoes – in fact all 8.7 million species on our planet; of which 2.2 million live in the ocean and 6.5 million live on land. Mind that these species do not include bacteria, and you know that some of these can cause deadly diseases. At the end of the vacations, you would realise your vocation has made you a scientist in your own right – part that of geography, part that of zoology, and whole that of an inquisitive student. This is all possible from the comfort of your home; all you need is internet for a thorough but well planned search. Schools would never teach you as extensively as you are capable of teaching yourself. You only need a will to change a vacation to a vocation.
Published for the month of May 2017 Total number of pages 104, including Covers
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THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT There was a time when comic books were the easiest way of entertainment and publications made sure that they were full of fun and adventures to keep children hooked. However, with digitalisation came a period which was so bad for existence of comic books that more than 50 publications shut down.
Dr Sanjay Parva firstname.lastname@example.org
nce upon a time there lived a generation which enjoyed reading those thin colorful books with illustrated graphics. That was the best thing a child could do during hot summer afternoons. Those books were their friends in long journeys, at home and an ally during study. The companionship was strong. Characters of these books illuminated something within and made sure every child lived the funny side of life, turned adventurous in his own way and forayed into a magical world that these books presented. This was the time when comic books were at their best. They were welcomed by parents and children alike. Not only were they presented as a treat but some brands also held higher opinion over others.
They took the children in the fantasy world of colorful characters which
were strong and wanted to save the world and gripped them with their exemplified graphics and exciting story line. It was the time when Indian super heroes were born and were read by children all over; a time that gave wings to every childâ€™s imagination, taking them not only around the planet earth but also to different galaxies. 1990â€™s was the time when comic books were the easiest way of entertainment and publications made sure that they were full of fun and adventures to keep children hooked. However, with digitalisation came a period which was so bad for existence of comic books that more than 50 publications shut down. Videogames and later computers and mobiles took away the spell the comics had on children. There are few comics which are still published or are worth reading from the archives that will be talked about in this article.
COVER STORY The first name that clicks when comic books are mentioned is that of legendry cartoonist Pran. He made sure that children get all cuddling and fun experiences of life through colorful comic books and with Diamond Comics; he gave birth to an era where comics were treated like prized possessions. They were traded for latest or past issues, collected as souvenirs and cherished forever. They were the best entertainment a child could get while growing up. Let alone children, even grown-ups sought out the latest editions as soon as they were out. On one hand where there were characters like ‘Billoo’ and ‘Pinki’ who represented young boys and girls, at the same time there were characters like ‘Raman’, ‘Shrimati Jee’ and ‘Channi Chachi’ which represented the adults. The equation and the balance of every character suited the scenario. They fit in perfectly amongst developing India. Whether it was a middle class employee or a modern housewife or a naughty teenager, the comics ensured that nothing was beyond the child’s comprehension.Today while talking about comics it would be unfair if we leave Pran and his evergreen creations for the last. Let us relive some characters that were cherished by children while growing up during the golden era of comic books.
“Chacha Chaudhary’s brain works faster than a computer.” Every child knew this legendary line by heart. Nobody can forget the elderly man ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ who with his wit was able to solve all the complications that were thrown at him. Such was his fame that later he was personified on television too. His companion ‘Sabu’ was every child’s dream as it was believed that he was a real resident of Jupiter and the most powerful man on planet earth. The children craved for their character to win over all other villains like ‘Raka’ and ‘Gabbar Singh’. The not so designer but lovable dog ‘Rocket’, his nagging wife ‘Binni Chachi’ and an old truck Dag-dag which was half machine and half human made sure that all the
essence of a middle class family was present. The comic was even personified on small screen by actor Raghuveer Yadav.
Sabu’s strength could master even the most difficult situations in no time and that’s what made this duo the most loved. There was one such situation which came in front of Sabu when he was playing Cricket and a character ‘Datuk’ who although hated cricket called him for a match. He also added his condition of playing with his own ball.
The show has made five hundred episodes and used to run on ‘Sahara One’. It is the first Indian cartoon character which was brought on screen. Chacha Chaudhary’s wit and
While Sabu goes back home to collect stumps, a passerby reveals that his ball was made of stone and he just want to break his bat and want to have some fun. Meanwhile when Chacha Chaudhary finds Sabu taking only stumps from home and leaving the ball behind he asks Sabu the reason for doing so. After hearing Datuk wants to play with his ball, Chacha Chaudhary asks him to take a different bat which Sabu does. When Datuk bowls Sabu it was welcomed by a smacking shot and ball break hitting Datuk in return. It was then Chacha Chaudhary was shown speaking, “If he can bowl a stone ball we can also play with a steel bat.” Such incidence made him the master of wit and delivered a clean and refreshing entertainment which adorned every kid’s book shelves.
Billoo was shown as a naughty school going teenager who is mischievous and who gets in trouble due to his pranks. He is a lovable character and along with his pet pup Moti he has few more members like Gabdu, Jozi, and Monu etc. His hairstyle is shown such that the hair covers his forehead and eyes all the time and nobody has seen them so far. A character of a clever teenager who loves to play cricket connected with almost every boy of that generation and thus gained popularity in no time. To add to the challenge we had Bajarangi a cunning wrestler and his side-kick Dhakkan who are constant trouble creators. Billoo and his gang detest them completely. Initially comic books had shown Billoo as a
COVER STORY kid however later his character developed as a teenager, in one of his comics it was shown that Jozi, his childhood friend becomes his girlfriend.
home and brings her toy car’s tyre saying innocently that her squirrel also bit only a little of the whole tyre. Her natural quaintness came because of her age. She for all the reason became one of the favored comic characters of the lot.
Sheila or Shrimati Jee as she was called in the title was a character dedicated to middle class Indian women and was first published in Sarita, which was a women oriented magazine. It soon got a massive female fan following as it mostly covered situations that a normal Indian women would go through, whether it is about price rise or problems with kids or issues with husband or that with kitty parties etc. Shrimati Jee lived it. She was mostly shown with her husband Kishore. The issues talked in the comic were very common and funny. In one such episode, Kishore was shown taking leave from work and glued in front of the TV to watch some cricket match (a very common household scenario). From the kitchen Shiela aka Shrimati Jee, calls him for breakfast, he requests her to serve him his breakfast there only as he did not want to move away from TV.
Pinki is shown as a kid and is created by Cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma. She is shown as a five year old kid and is extremely naughty. So much so that entire neighborhood is scared of her mischievous nature. She is always shown with her pet squirrel kut-kut who is equally naughty and completes the duo with similar energy. Constant characters of her comic books were her friends Bhiku and Champu and her neighbor Jhaptji who is shown as the most common victim of Pinki’s mischief. Every episode where Pinki is shown to help Jhaptji ends up with him being in trouble and lots of laughter. Pinki is otherwise a lovable kid with a pure heart. In one such episode, it was shown that her pet kut-kut chewed away someone’s car’s tyre. The owner angrily tells her that she will have to compensate. Our beloved Pinki cutely asks him if she could give him another tyre in return. When the owner agreed, she ran back
She willingly does it. Then after a while she reminds him that he needs to get a haircut. To this, he makes a phone call to the barber and calls him home to get a haircut in front of TV. Irritated, she tells him to take a bath after getting the haircut to which he sighs and wishes for the water to come to him so he needn’t leave his match. Angry as a bull she is shown bringing a water hosepipe in the drawing room and drenching him saying, “Here it is.” Totally hilarious, such situations happen to most women and we all have lived it someday or the other. Many such small instances were covered in the cartoon which made it a regular feature in Manorama, another women magazine. Apart from Diamond Comics, Raj Comics were another famous name which kept the torch burning even during tough times. Characters crafted by this group were more of action figures and superheroes. Most of them fought criminals and goons to save the earth from destruction. Some comics that were immensely successful were:
Raman was a middle class office executive who was yet again a milestone creation of Cartoonist Pran. His character was released by the then Prime minister Late Smt. Indira Gandhi. Raman is shown having two friends Moga Singh and Khaleefa - a Sikh and a Muslim. Together they stand representing three main religions that dominate India. The essence of Raman is to make people realize that laughter is important while working hard to gain our achievements. Raman through his comic books lived the situations close to the common man and expressed his comfort/discomfort/opinion through the same.
SUPER COMMANDO DHRUV: Dhruv Mehra or Captain Dhruv as he is called by his Commando Force is a fictional character created by Raj comics. He is shown as a normal boy who grows up and trains himself so well that he possessed many skills like speaking to most birds and animals and an expertise in martial arts. He is a stunt biker and a master of acrobats. He gets it from his parents who were workers in Jupiter Circus which plays in the fictional city of Raj Nagar. His name literally means pole star and just like the celestial body, he is strong and adamant on his decisions. The best part about Dhruv is that he does not have any alter ego. There is no mask or appearance that he pulls in front of rest of the world. People
Interview with Gulshan Rai MD, Diamond Comics Pvt. Ltd. What did the comics lose to; computers or television or anything else? In 2003 due to electronic media, there was a lot of effect on entire print media but after 2007 the print began to revive and now due to social media the print media is having the same position as before and now the sale of comics is increasing day by day. Do you see dwindling plots as one cause towards the comic world's downward trend? No. Do you see any hope that the void for superheroes left by Indian comics can be filled? Yes, positively. Now out of all the super heroes the selected characters are dominating in the print, electronic and digital media. Who all can help fill the void? I assume Diamond Comics is making all the efforts. Can public and private schools be roped in to help in the act? Yes, as we are making educational comics in all fields and also making customised comics for different products based on our famous characters for promotion. Why is it that foreign/ online comic heroes are highly popular in India while India's own have faded out? You are mistaken. Indian comics are having very good sales in the digital field whereas foreign comics are read by only one specific segment of people, but they have a worldwide market and Indian comics has only market in India. And also due to their publication in many languages it seems that the digital market of Indian comics is less. Who in your opinion are top ten comic book heroes that India has produced? Chacha Chaudhary, Billoo, Pinki , Sabu, Rakka, Nagraj, Dhruv, Shaktimaan, Motu Patlu, Shrimatiji, Raman, Mahabali Shaka, Fauladisingh and many more.
COVER STORY know who he is and what he is capable of doing. Another thing that makes Dhruv different is that he has no superpowers; however his dedication towards his work has made him a master of all trades. He has learned almost all kinds of martial arts and is master in hand to hand combat. Also, he is an expert marksman and has a very strong sixth sense. He is also the leader and founder of a fictional government â€˜Star Commando Forceâ€™ which aims to diminish crime from the world. In one of his adventures Swarn Nagri came in existence. It was shown located under water hidden in a way that it could not be found by human eyes. It was shown occupied by Swarn Manas or the Deva. A Swarn Warrior Dhananjay was introduced who at first fought Dhruv but later he befriend him and gave him the ability to breath underwater for 20 odd minutes. In the same issue, Natasha was introduced who became Dhruvâ€™s love interest. With changing time and in line with the demand of readers, Dhruv was shown in more sci-fi fictions; he was shown fighting and saving the world from bigger threats like Aliens and mad scientists. Even during the dark ages of comics, Super Commando Dhruv was one of few comics which kept on being published and loved by the fans. Irrespective of all the powers and extra abilities, Dhruv was shown as down to earth and a humble person who respects elders and is well mannered. It was also shown that he loves his foster family more than anyone in the world. He has high value for human life and prefers to submit criminals to judiciary rather than killing them.
Nagraj was yet another blockbuster creation of Ra Comic books which touched the youth and climbed the ladder of favorites. Nagraj as the name says means king of snakes and was evolved from the myth of Ichchadhari Naga that is shape changing snakes. In his debut comic, he was shown being used by wicked Prof. Nagmani who wanted to use it as terror weapon against humans for his benefit. In his debut comic he was controlled by Prof. Nagmani and was asked to steal a golden statue of a goddess which was secured by her devotees, snakes and a mystic Gorakhnath who was said to be 300 years old. Although
Nagraj succeed in stealing the statue initially, he was then defeated by Gorakhnath and his mongoose Shikangi. Gorakhnath reads his mind and comes to the conclusion that he was being puppet by Prof. Nagmani through a mind controlling device which was implanted in his head. After realizing this, Gorakhnath removes the device and sets him free. In return Nagraj becomes his disciple and vows to remove crime from earth. Since then Nagraj has been moving around defeating villains and terrorists. He lives as an alias of Nagraj Shah (Raj) and works as a TV channel employee. He is even shown having a secretary. Nagraj comics have a perfect mix of fiction, mythology, sci-fi and magic which takes them closer to both adults and children. Mysterious life and myths that rotate around snakes makes it more intriguing raising Nagraj to greater heights of popularity. His superpowers include him being ageless and having superhuman strength which developed and increased as the character evolved. He also had quick healing and is an expert martial artist. His acute sixth sense, skills of a hypnotist and his psychic power made him stand out
from others. His other attributes could be connected with other similarities that snakes share like poison bite, venomous breath, skin shedding. Some of his powers were given to him keeping mythology in mind which talked about shape shifting snakes. Most of his power comes from the millions of microscopic shape shifting snakes which live in his blood. Nagraj just like Super Commando Dhruv has survived the worst times for comic books and has been loved throughout.
that in one story it was told that once when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati visited his home and his mother offered them milk; Bankelal put a frog in the milk. This enrages Lord Shiva and he cursed him that in future if he ever tries to do any harm to anybody, his plan will backfire rather benefitting the victim. In doing so he will also get benefitted a little. His curse works in favor of King Vikram Singh which saves him from Bankelal’s trick gaining him more wealth with every experience.
He is a comic character who is always shown in search of some way through which he could kill the King Vikram Singh and take over the throne. At the start of every comic book, he discovers some secret or important information surrounding which he designs his schemes. However, every time by the end of the comic his scheme backfires and King Vikram Singh gets profited. By the end of every comic book readers are left laughing. Bankelal was given the appearance of a not so good looking man. He has a small Charlie Chaplin kind of moustache and buckteeth.
He is probably the most famous antihero of Indian comic books. His existence comes as an orphan infant found in the rubbish dump by dacoit Halkan Singh and he used him as a shield to save himself from the Police. After taking the child with him in his den he treated him like a dog (He even named him kutte) and made him witness horrors of life. Somehow he escapes his captivity with another girl Sonu who was kidnapped by the dacoit. Late he was shown getting in touch with four brothers i.e. Adrak Chacha, Dhania Khan, Haldi Khan and Kali Mirch Khan the owners of the Lion Gym and seeing his devotion they let him train under them.
Bankelal is shown as the adoptive son of ‘Nanku’ who’s a farmer and his wife ‘Gulabati’ who is a homely lady and a devotee of Lord Shiva. Bankelal has been portrayed as a super notorious child. So much so,
Vigorous training gave him lots of muscles and strength. He also learned martial arts, boxing and
COVER STORY marksmanship. He took the identity of Doga and wore a dog mask. His image is that of a one man army and he vows to remove organized crime. He is shown working mainly in Mumbai. His love interest is Monika who is the daughter of Inspector Cheetah, a retired police officer and a private detective.
Verma saves him and shares his secret costume which when worn can give Vinay a lot of superpowers. He wears it and kills his enemies along with the head of police. His costume provides him with many atomic superpowers which include atomic rays, teleportation and shrink rays.
He is a warrior prince descended from the fictional land of Pari Lok. His real name is Alop. He has come to yet another fictional town Vikasnagar on planet earth with the intension of taking part in a fighting tournament. He has superhuman strength and is a skilled swordsman. He also has a shield which helps him block any natural or supernatural attack. The shield also allows Bhokal to fly to his desired destination. His love interest was Turin, a princess from another planet. She later becomes his wife. She also has a shape shifting pet cat which can fly.
A school going boy Vinay witnesses his classmate getting killed by some criminals and vows to revenge her death. He finds out that the head of police was behind this all. He finds out that the murder weapon a revolver and is chased by goons of the police head who wants him dead. However, his uncle, a professor K.K
With the tagline ‘Where learning meets fun’ Tinkle meets every child’s
expectation by being a complete package consisting of stories, comics, puzzles and quizzes. It has been an important part of developing India and its readership included many adults too. It had an intoxicating mix of stories and children columns and provided the perfect blend of education and entertainment. Characters like Suppandi and Shikari Shambhu, Tantri the mantri and Kalia came to fame riding Tinkle’s shoulders. Suppandi is one of the most famous character of Tinkle who is a simple villager whose ignorant but faithful attitude costs him many jobs. In one such strip a postman comes to deliver a letter for Suppandi and he being an illiterate asks him to read it for him. While he was reading it, Suppandi runs and covers the postman’s ears. When he was questioned for his action, he simply replied, “This part of the letters concerns my family business and I don’t want you to hear it.” In another one he was shown asking a blind beggar for his proof of blindness. When he told him that he cannot see the tree which Suppandi can see, this simpleton believes him and gives him alms while feeling sorry for him. His stupidity or lack of understanding left sreader chuckling every time. Shikari Shambhu got his title ‘Shikari’ (hunter) from the fact that he once fell on a tiger while trying to hide from him which made him unconscious. People thought that the tiger was captured because of his bravery and hence he has given the title. In reality Shikari Shambhu is a fearful hunter who rather lives life lazily. In most of his episodes, he tries to run away from dangerous animals but somehow ends up capturing them and becoming a hero. This character is always shown wearing a hat so big that it covers his eyes and curvy black moustaches. He is also shown carrying a large rifle which he has never used properly. Another character which was a regular in Tinkle was Kalia the crow. He has his friends Keechu and Meechu (the rabbits), Shonar (a deer) and Babloo (a bear). Apart from these there are Chamataka (a jackal) who is also the main baddie of the jungle who is either after rabbits or other small animals or after Babloo’s honeycombs. Kalia with his intelligence is shown saving everyone from Chamataka.
Chamataka also has a best friend Doob Doob (a crocodile) who is a little dumb and despises Kalia. Many times it was shown that Kalia fools Doob Doob to save the rabbits. Lubdubi is Doob Doob’s girlfriend and it is his dream to fly some day. Nasruddin Hodja was another creation of Tinkle which made its way to the reader’s hearts through his wit and cheeky ideas. He has many enemies, who try to put him down, however, Hodja with his smartness gets out of the situation turning the tables on his haters.
Madhu Muskan was a humorous magazine where most of its characters were designed to make people laugh. The central character was ‘Daddy Ji’ who remained part of this comic book for almost 25 years. He was the poster boy for every Madhu Muskan issue. He was shown as self boasting who kept botching every situation. He was the kind of character who can be found in every family. Daddy and his son Jojo who is shown as the main source of Daddy Ji’s plight was another important character of the plot. Sometimes he teamed up with his friend Headache, which does justice to his name when adding Daddy ji’s misery. Simple day to day life was
COVER STORY portrayed between father and son. In one such front page Daddy Ji was shown brushing teeth and Jojo was telling him that he has taken his toothbrush to apply grease on his cycle. Daddy jee is shown as complete foodie. A typical Punjabi who loves non-vegetarian and loath any kind of diet. Some of Madhu Muskan’s covers made fun of his attitude towards food too.
shows Chopat measuring Popat’s fat tummy saying every year there is an inch increment wondering what will happen to it in the year 2074. Malik Sahib is shown as their boss too.
At one place he was shown freaking out while reading Dr. Bhatnagar’s prescription where he was asked cut his diet to two chapattis a day and a bowl of yellow dal in his lunch, whereas Jojo is shown smirking on his situation adding to his misery by further describing that dal should be without salt and chapattis without ghee. Many such situations were added to make the character everyone’s favorite. Another character in Daddy Ji was Malik sahib who was his boss and a miser. He was shown as a Punjabi speaking man who adorned a flower above his ear.
POPAT-CHOPAT: Babloo, a teenage detective was famous for his valor and intelligence in solving mysteries. It was shown that his uncle is a superintendent of police and he always looked forward to taking his help in solving cases. Daku Pan Singh, as per the name this character was famous for his goodness and his love for pan where he gets immense strength after chewing on a pan. He is shown as a risk taking and fearless dacoit.
It was another loved cartoon of Madhu Muskan. The characters were the Indian version of Laurel and Hardy. Popat is shown as fat with his tummy bulging out from his shirt and Chopat as the slim one of the two. In many episodes Popat entertained readers by cracking joke on his obesity. The 1974 New Year’s issue
Amar Chitra Katha: As per records it is said to be one of India’s largest selling book series. It was created keeping the most basic thing in mind – to teach students more about Indian history and cultural heritage. The books were published under different genres. There were Fables and Folklores under which Panchtantra comes. :ike Aesop Fables, it used different animals and their natural characteristics, teaching human behavior and psychology. Stories like the ‘Thirsty Crow’, ‘The Lion and the Rabbit’, ‘Foolish Crocodile’ etc not only entertained children, but also left them with a lesson to learn. Next was Mythology where children were given information about stories that build Indian culture whether it
was Ramayana or stories of Krishna, Tales of Shiva or any other God and demon. Amar Chitra Katha brought it to every child’s shelf and explained with ease all that was to be known.
Another genre which Amar Chitra Katha provided was Humor and Wit and The Biographies. Under these segments books like Birbal and Mahatma Gandhi were published. In short Amar Chitra Katha picked up the torch of educating children with aspects which were left untouched otherwise. It used the most loved medium to do the honor and needless to say that it is has been immensely successful. Keeping itself updated Amar Chitra Katha evolved and launched its free mobile app for Windows, iOS and Android phones where users can browse their favorite book from the archive and can also access the upcoming editions. There are both free and paid comics that users can either read in the app or can download on multiple devices using same account.
Lotpot was best known for its characters Motu and Patlu. They were friends with their physical appearance more or less like Popat Chopat but were much more popular among the masses. Motu as the name says was fat amongst the two and Patlu, resembling his name was the slim one. They were simple people with a heart of gold but are shown getting caught up in silly plots tickling the readers. Motu is also shown as an avid samosa fan as a samosa provides him with instant power. Their gang consisted of Ghasitaram who’s pet dialogue in every complicated situation being, “I have twenty years of experience of solving it.” Dr. Jhatka who is scientist and loves experimenting and inventing different gadgets, however none of his inventions are useful and most of the time Motu Patlu gets caught in trouble due to his funny inventions. Chelaram who was another funny member of the group his physical appearance consist of buckteeth which makes him stand out. Motu Patlu became so famous that in the year 2012 an animated series was developed which was an instant hit. There were some character additions in the animated series, namely Inspector Chingam, John the thief, Chaiwala (samosewala), boxer etc. The series just like its comics, was a big hit among children and adults.
The Epics was the genre under which stories like Mahabharata, Heroes of Hampi etc. were published. It was easier to make students understand the complication of Mahabharata through illustrated comics than telling them in the form of a story. For parents too, it was a good way of keeping children busy.
COVER STORY It was a monthly magazine which was present in most households. It was best known for its artwork and published long running stories full of mythology and magic. It had a very different approach towards story telling. It kept the suspense going taking cues from various Indian and foreign texts.
Panchtantra took animals as their muse and taught children different things in simple ways. It also started a story writing competition for children below 12 years which was judged by novelist Chhaya Singh and Vinay Kumar. Annual writing and painting competition held by Champak has been named ‘Champak Creative Childs Contest.’
It has published a very successful and never ending story of Vikram and Baital in which King Vikramaditya was given a task by Vamachari - a tantric disguised as a sage to bring Baital ( a pishach) for a religious practice. It was a difficult task which Vikramaditya vowed to fulfill. Every time Vikram captures Baital, he offers to tell a story with a promise that he will not speak or interfere in between. Baital always finishes a story with a question and asks Vikram to solve it for him threatening him every time that if he stayed quiet even after knowing the answer then he will face heavy consequences. Vikarmaditya was known for his valor and for his truthfulness, each time he is shown solving the riddle and Baital leaving him to go back to his resting place. Next issue starts from the start with Vikramaditya recapturing Baital to take him along with.
Comic books lived as a family member of every child who grew up in the 90’s and still remain fresh in their memory. Today when Indian Comic books are either on their way of digitalization, or have lost their charm, it is for us to help them survive by introducing them to our children. Today’s generation prefers watching cartoons on television rather than sitting and reading comics. They do not understand the thrill one feels while reading and the places our brain travels while reading. Irrespective of the odds, many comics in the race for survival have digitalized themselves and have their websites or Apps from where reader can access to the content. Now it is our job to let them get past our devices so our little ones too can live the enchanted world we accessed.
Champak was a fortnightly magazine which was very popular amongst children. It was published in both a magazine style and comic strips. Many of its stories just like
LAW AS A CAREER OPTION Dr Sanjay Parva email@example.com
ell, I see you've sold your soul to the devil for riches. How can you defend someone you know to be guilty? You, lawyers are heartless and cold-blooded." Such social stereotypes are commonly heard about lawyers and advocates, scaring students to take up law as a career, though it’s also
considered to be honorary on the other hand.
required to be invested in the legal profession makes students creep away from it.
From writers to politicians, the profession of law has donned many hats. Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Rajendra Prasad, and Abraham Lincoln were all famous lawyers. Studying law has been one of the popular career choices in India next to medical and engineering. However, the intensity of reading
But if only the intense reading hours are keeping you away from this lucrative profession, it’s time to think again! Which profession nowadays doesn’t demand an investment of time, hard work, and full-time commitment? None!
Law is a profession where the person has to be tough yet tender, rational as well as compassionate towards his clients. Lawyers are people who work for the advantage of people, to bring justice to them and the society, though this is sometimes not understood by the layman.
And if you are stressed about the stereotype thinking of the society about the advocates, it’s part of any profession in today’s times. No profession is loaded with only benefits or only losses. Each has its own pros and cons. Take for example the medical profession, a profession most noble in its character. Yet, people feel that doctors are losing compassion and
are not humane. They can’t feel the pain of the patients and just work mechanically on any case they attend –which is not true. Similarly, law is a profession where the person has to be tough yet tender, rational as well as compassionate towards his clients. Lawyers are people who work for the advantage of people, to bring justice to them and the society, though this is
sometimes not understood by the layman. Additionally, the scope of the profession is very good. Today law students are better equipped than those about 10-15 years ago. The legal profession has undergone many substantial changes in the past decade. Gone are the days when studying law was equated with only litigations and filing
FEATURE STORY cases in the court. Nowadays, law professionals can mark their presence in many corporate firms, law agencies, administrative sector and much more. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel like studying law but you don’t want to be a lawyer, no reason to panic. The skills and competencies you develop during your study time are relevant for many alternate careers too. Studying law rewards you with skills like good communication, excellent memory, a flexibility of mind, authoritative skills, logical reasoning and an ability to think out-of-the- box. Being a student in an environment of changing times, you are aware of the employability rules of today. You understand that success beyond university isn't just about grades; it's also about having a set of job-related skills, ones which the legal profession will confer you with. “You are in the final year of your law college. And everyone’s eyes are on you. Where will you join? Which court will you practice in? What will be your salary? And so on.......” But hearing the name of the court sends shivers down your back. You were not carved out for the courtroom......”Did I make a mistake by opting for a career in law?” is the question that strikes forth in your mind now. Do not panic. The legal knowledge and the skills you acquired are useful in other sectors too, besides the courtroom. Company secretary, legal publishing, tax consultancy, administrative services, insurance sector and others pave the way for your success as a legal professional. As said, gone are the days where every degree would have limited job prospects to choose from, be it medical, engineering, law or any other vocational courses. Moreover, the civil and criminal laws were the only branches in the previous times for lawyers to specialise in. But now......now you have a list of options; corporate, taxation, labour, cyber, international laws, and intellectual prop-
erty. And as the number of options increases, so does the scope of the profession. Concerning the monetary rewards of the profession, it pays off attractively; though patience is demanded at your end. The beginning may be sluggish but the future in the profession is highly promising. Recalling the words of Prashant Bhushan, Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India; he said, “Do not look at the law as a means for making money but as an instrument for securing justice to the people of your country. Engage in the issues of public interest.” “One of the great things about
being in the legal profession is that you come to learn about a large number of important public issues from people who are experts in the field on a one-to-one basis, something you could never do otherwise. It’s a very rich and rewarding experience” says Prashant. You need to take this career as a mission that will help you to groom and sharpen your communication skills, drive you to think logically and put your points rationally. Since it’s an honourable career, it will surely return you a promising future. His words may sound motivational, but not rational for all. After all, the amount of money you need to
after graduation in any discipline or a 5-year integrated course directly after class 12; the second one being the preference of the majority. Talking about the benefits of the integrated course, Dr. Thomas Mathew, Co-Convener of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) Committee says “Bachelor of Law (LLB) is a traditional 3-year long degree which students can pursue after having completed their Bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Law (BA LLB) is an integrated degree for students whose objective is very clear. With this course, students will be able to focus more. Besides the theoretical knowledge, students are also given practical experience of court.” “Studying law for three or five years doesn’t mean that you get buried under tonnes of Indian Penal Code or Intellectual Property Rights. Internships and moot trials held at the institutes help you blend theoretical knowledge with practical challenges”, says Prof. (Dr) Faizan Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor NALSAR Hyderabad. However, admission in a law college requires you to clear one of the following entrance examinations:
invest and the financial gains do carry some amount of importance, however little it may be, especially in a country like India. Investment in the profession in terms of finances range from 2-3 lakhs depending upon the institution you choose for your admission but yes, it’s weightier in terms of time, patience and hard work. Nevertheless, this investment is worth it and earns you a handsome income ranging from Rs 20,000 to 5 lakhs with advancing career. But, rewards depend upon your calibre, expertise in case handling and the institution you studied in. Getting there is easy where you can either opt for a 3-year course
CLAT - Common Law Admission Test is the national level law entrance exam to secure a seat in any of the 14 National Law Universities (NLUs), TNNLS Tiruchirappalli, DSNLU Visakhapatnam, Nirma Ahmedabad etc. LSAT - Law School Admission Test is a standardised test of reading and verbal reasoning skills. DU LLB/LLM - Faculty of Law, University of Delhi conducts a separate entrance examination for admission to LLB and LLM courses. SET Symbiosis - Symbiosis Entrance Test is a common written test conducted for taking admission to undergraduate law programs offered by various institutes under Symbiosis International University.
ULSAT-UPES Law Studies Aptitude Test is conducted by the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) to grant admission to undergraduate courses in Corporate Laws, Cyber Laws and Intellectual Property Rights. The law courses are regulated by the Bar Council of India which also sets the rules and regulations concerning the practice of the legal profession in the country. But students opting for a career in law must remember that the profession demands loads of patience, logical skills, hard work and dedication to achieve success in your career. Therefore, they must be ready to undertake this pledge before joining a law course. The road may seem tough for the beginners but anything is possible with hard work and determination. It’s advisable to train under a Senior Counsel for a few years early in your career to achieve the necessary expertise. We delivered the synopsis of choosing law as your career after high school. But it would be incomplete without the information of the institutes where you can apply for the same. So here is the list of the top institutes in India to pursue a course in law:
National Law School Of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, Delhi National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University (NALSAR), Hyderabad Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat Indian Law Society (ILS), Pune The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal Symbiosis Law School, Pune National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
FEATURE STORY IIT OR NEET EXAM PREPARATION
The ubiquitous quest for the bestie in town You might be a superhero, outstandingly brilliant but you need a coach to help polish your skills; one who is a constant source of motivation to move ahead with your preparation, no matter what the result.
Dr Sanjay Parva firstname.lastname@example.org
he board examinations are soon going to be over and a contest would commence for clearing the IIT or NEET exam. However, there is a need to remember one concept.
“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.” The same holds true when you crack an IIT or a NEET exam. The championship lies, not in the successful result of the exam but the time spent in preparing for it and how you do it. There is no second opinion on the need for a friend, a bestie to traverse that difficult path of preparation. One who holds your hand, not only in easy times but also in difficult ones and takes you through. So, whom will you credit as your bestie for those times? Your skills, textbooks or parents? All are crucial in your preparation and successful accomplishment of your goal, but there’s one without which you can’t imagine reaching where you aspire to be. Yes...you are on the right track if you thought of the coaching classes. They have become as important as schools to help fulfil your aspirations. It’s not that textbooks and self-study won’t help you in achieving your goal but it can’t do what the coaching classes can. You might be a superhero, outstandingly brilliant but you need a coach to help polish your skills; one who is a constant source of motivation to move ahead with your preparation, no matter what the result. Besides, coaching classes provide in-depth study material and a readymade plan to clear the exam. Don’t underestimate the importance of an effective preparation strategy in clearing an IIT or a NEET exam which these institutes proudly boast of. So, you need not waste your time and energy in searching for study material and an effective game plan to study. Your needs are looked after by the coaching classes giving you ample time to just focus on your preparation.
The idea of high school and college students taking a coaching class has penetrated deep into our society. Students who are serious about cracking an IIT-JEE exam or any other competitive examination rarely stay away from these coaching centres. Moreover, to realise the dream of transforming India from a developing to a developed nation, we need to explore the potential of our youth and utilise it for the goodness of our society. This requires the development of a holistic education system, policy, and infrastructure to meet the demands of our growing population. The coaching classes play their part by providing guidance from the best brains in the field and use of technology to help understand the concepts better. Students receive either individual attention or are put into classes with a smaller student-to-teacher ratio. Plus, the training provided for specific entrance examinations like IIT and NEET reduces the load on the students and gives them the necessary guidance at one place. Kota in Rajasthan is called the heart of coaching centres. But how it earned this name is an interesting tale in itself. Kota’s rise as the hub of IIT coaching began in 1984 when V.K. Bansal, an engineering graduate inaugurated the first coaching centre, Bansal classes; now known as Bansal Classes Private Limited. V.K. Bansal initially started coaching the students for the IIT exam at his dining table. When the students trained by him managed to clear the IIT exam, it paved the way to what’s now called the Bansal Classes Private Limited. Spreading from its parent, many other centres have opened up in Kota to cater to the needs of the students preparing for competitive exams. There are over two dozen major and over hundred smaller coaching institutes in Kota making the annual coaching industry turnover to be Rs1500 crore in the city. Following the steps of V.K. Bansal, today we have hoards of coaching centres, in every nook and corner of the country. However, they are majorly concentrated in Kota and Northern India and have a very
sparse representation in Southern India. Of all the places, Kota respectfully claims to be the city that knows the formula of cracking an IIT exam. Today, students and their parents realize the quality of the classes and the value that a coaching institute provides to the students in qualifying for the competitive examinations. Their preparations start right after the X boards when they enrol themselves in one of the best coaching institutes in their cities. Nearly 1.5 lakh students each year join one or the other coaching centre to fulfil their dream of gaining admission in one of the reputed engineering institutes of India. It’s a do or die situation for them and realising that only the coaching centres can come to their aid at this hour, they never want to miss the golden opportunity. Three years ago, new norms were introduced by IIT-JEE examination that laid stress upon XII boards rather than coaching institutes for competitive examinations. However, ironically, the enrolments in coaching institutes shot up despite these norms. This was due to the coaching provided by these institutes for improving the scorecard of XII boards as well as preparing for future entrance tests. Coaching classes are now a trend in India. Nowadays, integrated courses offered by the schools and junior colleges are also in demand that combines regular classes with coaching for IIT. Because of the increased weightage of Class XII scores in the admission to the IITs, students and parents have started asking for Board exams coaching along with coaching for competitive examinations thus increasing their dependency on coaching institutes. So, as long as the competition for IIT or NEET is increasing, the coaching institutes would not see their presence fading away any time soon in the country.
Indiaâ€™s Largest Education News Network
Interview with Nitin Vijay MD, Motion IIT JEE
How big is the NEET and IIT coaching segment, and what is your market share? Approximately 1000000 aspirants sit every year in NEET and 1200000 for IIT; out of which 50% go for coaching. At Motion around 12,000 students prepare for IIT and NEET. From initial few, the number of coaching institutes has mushroomed in the recent years; how do they ensure quality preparation? The best way to do it is use technology, as single teacher alone cannot keep a track of more than 300 students; whereas if technology is used the same teacher will keep track of more than 3000 students. This tracking helps to improve quality as mentoring every student and ensuring better understanding of strength and weakness of students in their learning becomes possible. What makes you a cut above the rest? We are probably one of the most technologically advanced coaching institutions across the nation. We are using tab in regular classroom teachings to understand how a class is grasping lectures given by our faculty. We keep track of the students based on their usage of our tab and then personalise every test and our suggestions as per their abilities. This helps us to gradually improve their performance. This use of technology has helped us a lot in case of average students (i.e. students scoring 75 to 90%) in boards. Most of these students are selected and some of them even have got ranks below 300. How do you view National Testing Service (NTS) as announced by Arun Jaitley in Union Budget 2017? I am not sure as these reforms look revolutionary but biggest problem in India is correct execution, It will help and will improve testing standards but this should be done for boards as there is a huge gap in level of studies in various boards across India. I think they should be on same level first. Our focus should be on grass root level of education not on secondary or UG or PG courses as learning habits are developed from the very beginning. What average percentage of students from your institute has been getting through these exams in the last 5 years; where do rest of them go? Our average selections for JEE Advanced is close to 32%; for JEE Main it is 55% and for NEET it is 25%. Once these students are selected, remaining are guided towards several good colleges across India like VIT, Thappar, Nirma etc. Has technology made any difference to what and how you impart coaching, and what difference has it really been? Technology has been the differentiating factor for us. It all started with issue related to doubt sessions and time of faculty available to students. We observed that a lot of time was wasted after class in clearing the doubts so we recorded all our lectures and uploaded in 25 computers like a computer lab and then we asked our students to view those lectures if any doubt arose and slowly our doubt timings started to reduce. And since then we got time to innovate new ideas and integrate technology with traditional coaching and now we have made many apps helping students. Where do you see this segment 5 years down the line? Five years down the line it would be more or less the same but the acceptability of technology would increase in traditional classroom teachings and students will get more personalised teaching inputs. Do you have any message for the NEET/ IIT aspirants? All competitive exam aspirants should keep few things in mind while preparing, in long term there are no short cuts, and you need to put in lot of efforts while studying and analysing your strength and weakness before planning your studies accordingly.
READING O O AROUND
THE WORLD Each place has its own aura. An aura that influences your mind, spirit, and the mood. Letâ€™s say, you go to a temple, the aura there soothes and calms your mind; you feel all your stress melting away like an icecube. Contrastingly, you visit a crowded marketplace. What you feel there is only known to you; others can only imagine it to some extent. The same holds true when searching for a perfect spot to plunge into your favourite literature. Calm, quiet setting away from all the noise of your daily hassles is what you fantasise. Be it a wooden ledge across a window, a secret hiding zone or a hanging port; we have picked some first-class reading nooks that cater to the needs of any book lover and keeps you hooked for long. Gaze at our selection to find which style suits you the most:
ARCHITECT: SAFDIE RABINES This white wooden ledge besides a window harbours a heavenly touch to your study corner. The two framed bookshelves help you get a hand on any text with ease.
VIA: REALTOR Austere designing with a white couch and a geometric white window provides the necessary ingredients to the peace-loving reader.
ARCHITECT: PHIL ABRAM SOURCE: HOMES TO LOVE Dive into a rich reading experience in the company of beautiful ferns and creeping vines with a reading nook staged at this window seat. The cool breeze from the open window nurtures your spirit to read more and more.
DESIGNER: GALEAZZO DESIGN Looking for some solitary place with your novel! Hide in this tear drop shaped wicker cane in your room.
DESIGNER: FAMURAT BUILDERS Here’s a spacious and secluded place for reading. The sliding doors keep your secret reading space a secret.
LEATHER AND WOOD Leather and wood form a deadly combo when it comes to the world’s best reading corner. Eamesstyle lounge chair and a matching ottoman help you relax and read at your own comfort.
VISUALIZER: P&M STUDIO A corridor library with a printed squab and cushions at the window ledge showcases a vibrant yet a dignified space for book lovers.
DESIGNER: JWT Under the stairs is a skilfully designed reading place, especially crafted for busy moms to hide away from their kids. Wood, teal, and underseat shelving of the design are hard to ignore.
DESIGNER: EGUE & SETA A white mesh hammock hung from the sides of your bookshelf can form your hideaway when you want to spend time alone with your manual.
DESIGNER: TG STUDIO How about having an igloo at your home? This simple reading dome decorated with array of cushions and pockets of light add the necessary flavour to your cranny.
DESIGNER: WHITNEY PARRIS-LAMB This is an innovative idea to convert the loft space into a mini reading apartment with a relaxing futon bed placed afront a short bookcase wall.
DESIGNER: REES ROBERTS + PARTNERS The experience of reading in the laps of nature is beyond words. Surrounded by greens all over, the reading nook in the garden is a perfect place to doze off after a soothing reading session. A green chaise besides the table and the chair matches the frequency of your surroundings.
DESIGNER: WOODS BAGOT If group reading fascinates you, this large, green square reading nook is an answer to your fascination. Invite buddies to share the reading space with surrounding shelves offering plenty of books to showcase and share.
VIA: HAYNEEDLE Who said that reading can only be done in a chair or bed? Look at this hanging hammocks that can be adjusted to your desired height and provide a deep relaxation while you turn those pages.
DID YOU KNOW
The Inuit have long believed that polar bears are left-handed. They teach their young to jump to the left of a charging polar bear to avoid being clawed by its left paw. Scientists donâ€™t support the claim that the bears are southpaws, but the natives whoâ€™ve had close contact with them for thousands of years live by protection.
In 2004, Forbes named J.K. Rowling the first person to become a billionaire (in US dollars) from writing books. By 2012, she had donated so much money to charity that they had to remove her from the rich list because she was no longer a billionaire.
This calendar displays every day of the year on one paperweight. The DodeCal, which is a variation of a dodecahedron, was created by designer Ric Bell- but carving a 3D shape with 12 four-sided diamond faces was tricky, so he brought in a toy maker and a furniture maker with a math degree to get it just right.
The red planet has blue sunsets. Just as colors are made more dramatic during Earth sunsets, Martian sunsets make the blue around the sun look more prominent, because all the fine dust in the atmosphere is the perfect size for scattering blue light across the sky more efficiently than any other color.
There are red bananas that taste sweet, creamy, and a little bit like raspberries.
Wet dogs can shake themselves about 70% dry in a fraction of a second. Their skin is so loose that it swings almost 90 degrees in either direction when they shake. This helps their bodies conserve energy by not having to stay warm while waiting to dry off, because if dogs were not able to shake themselves dry, it would be like humans being unable to change out of wet clothes on a cold day.
DID YOU KNOW
A group of pandas is called an embarrassment.
After the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, many Civil War soldiers’ lives were saved by a phenomenon called ‘Angel’s Glow.’ The soldiers, who lay in the mud for two rainy days, had wounds that began to glow in the dark and heal unusually fast. In 2001, 2 teens won an international science fair by discovering the soldiers had been so cold that their bodies created the perfect conditions for growing a bioluminescent bacteria, which ultimately destroyed the bad bacteria that could’ve killed them.
This man drives around Kenya delivering thousands of gallons of water to animals dying of thirst. Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua regularly visits the Tsavo, where severe drought threatens the lives of buffalo, antelope, zebras, and elephants. He says he’ll continue providing water each week until it rains, and he hopes spreading the word will help find a permanent solution.
The Titanic wreckage is disappearing. Sunk in 1912, the ship has survived for over 100 years, but it’s gradually being corroded by a unique type of bacteria that’s eating away at its hull. Scientists estimate the great ship might only have 12 years left before the tiny organisms have consumed it entirely and it’s gone forever.
WATCH GIFTED Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the 7-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Cast: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate,Michael Kendall Kaplan, John M. Jackson, Glenn Plummer Director: Marc Webb, Genres: Drama
A DOGS PURPOSE A devoted dog (Josh Gad) discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. Reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades, the lovable pooch develops an unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar). As the boy grows older and comes to a crossroad, the dog once again comes back into his life to remind him of his true self.
AMERICAN WRESTLER: THE WIZARD Fathom Events and Warner Bros. Entertainment present an inspiring tale based on true events, American Wrestler: The Wizard, coming to select cinemas for a special one night event. Based on true events, 17-year-old Ali Jahani is a newcomer to a small California town, where he stands out as different in an unwelcoming community. Living with his embittered uncle, the boy faces a mountain of adversity everywhere he turns. Rejected by everyone but determined to fit in, he joins the school's floundering wrestling team. With a chance to change how others see him, Ali must step up and learn to be a hero.
MISSION CONTROL At the heart of the Apollo space program and a remarkable decade of achievement was the team who worked in Mission Control. They were born against a backdrop of economic turmoil and global conflict. Some came from a rural lifestyle, hardly changed from the 19th century. Others grew up in a gritty, blue-collar America of mines and smoke stacks. They ranged from kids straight out of college to those toughened by military service. But from such ordinary beginnings, an extraordinary team was born. Director: David Fairhead Genres: Documentary
BORN IN CHINA Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard--an elusive animal rarely caught on camera--faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, neverbefore-seen imagery, the film navigates China's vast terrain--from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest--on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together.
THE LOST CITY OF Z Based on author David Grann's nonfiction bestseller, "The Lost City of Z" tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide-de-camp (Robert Pattinson) returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925. An epically scaled tale of courage and passion, told in writer/director James Gray's classic filmmaking style, "The Lost City of Z" is a stirring tribute to the exploratory spirit and a conflicted adventurer driven to the verge of obsession.
Way of the Warrior Kid Fifth grade was the worst year of Marcâ€™s life. He stunk at gym class, math was too hard for him, the school lunch was horrible, and his class field trip was ruined because he couldnâ€™t swim. But what was most awful thing about fifth grade? Kenny Williamson, the class bully, who calls himself the "King of the Jungle." When Marc's mother tells him that his Uncle Jake is coming to stay for the whole summer, Marc can't wait. Uncle Jake is a for real, super-cool Navy SEAL. And Uncle Jake has a plan. He's going to turn Marc into a warrior.
Wordquake Or: The Day Izzy Ashby Removed All the Words from Her Entire School One day, Izzy accidentally shakes every single word out of its rightful place in every textbook, worksheet, and bulletin board throughout Eastwood Elementary.
Make Your Bed
At first, it seems like a dream come true!
Should be read by every leader in America...a book to inspire your children and grandchildren to become everything that they can
At least, until utter chaos breaks out... How will Izzy get out of this mess?
The Mystery of the Missing Money He seaside village of Smugglers Cove is proving to be anything but quiet for the Mystery Kids as they encounter yet another mystery while exploring Brackness Castle. This ruined fortress sits on the outskirts of the village and, as they soon discover, holds more secrets than they could ever imagine. Who is hiding in the dungeons? What is in the bag? Where does the secret tunnel lead to?
The King's Ransom: Young Knights of the Round Table Three Friends...Three Quests...Three Mysterious Predictions. In this action-packed MG/Tween Arthurian adventure, 11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith apprentice Bryan face a ghost, a witch, and an evil villain in their struggle to clear the Wild Man of murder and theft. Do they have what it takes to be Knights of the Round Table, or will they falter in their quests? Answer the hero's call to adventure with Gavin, Philip, and Bryan. See if you have what it takes to be a Knight of the Round Table.
Stephen Curry: The Children's Book: The Boy Who Never Gave Up The Boy Who Never Gave Up is the inspiring true story of NBA superstar Stephen Curry. This Fully illustrated picture book biography tells the story of a young boy who many said was too short to play in high school, too weak to play in college and not good enough to play in the NBA. Against all odds, this small boy who follows his dream, not only makes it to the NBA, but becomes one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball.
TECH IT OUT
ROBOTS IS AN INTERACTIVE IPAD APP
A PEEK into the world of ROBOTS Nintendo Switch - a fascinating new game console
Of apps featuring the world’s most amazing robots. ROBOTS for iPad is the best, most complete guide to the world of robotics. This fun, highly interactive app lets you explore over 150 real-world robots, with hundreds of animations, photos, videos, and articles. Among the amazing robots included in the app are Honda’s famed humanoid Asimo, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, and Google’s self-driving car. There are also androids, drones, exoskeletons, quadrupeds, and toy robots. The app is created by award-winning technology magazine IEEE Spectrum, which is a part of IEEE,
the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. The app also features a detailed glossary of robotics terms, a timeline of robots and artificial intelligence, and a section where users can choose which robot wins in a “face-off match.” All this makes Robots for iPad an unmatched source of information that will inspire and enthral its users with the limitless possibilities of robotics. ROBOTS is available on iOS only. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ro bots-foripad/id566581906?ls=1&mt=8
The Switch is Nintendo’s seventh home gaming console, arriving four and a half years after the Wii U which landed in late 2012. Known in development as the NX, it was unveiled in October 2016, and was released worldwide on March 3, 2017. Nintendo considers the Switch a "hybrid" console; it is designed primarily as a home console, with the main unit inserted onto a docking station to connect to a television. Alternatively, it can be removed from the dock and used similarly to a personal tablet computer through its LCD touchscreen, or placed in a standalone table top mode visible to several players. The Switch uses Joy-Con wireless controllers, which include standard buttons and a directional joystick for user input, motion sensing, and highdefinition tactile feedback. The console is estimated to have shipped over 2.4 million units in the first month of its launch, with Nintendo stating it was the fastest-selling home console in history, with strong sales in Europe and North America. Initial sales of the Switch were highly tied to critically-acclaimed game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, released alongside the console worldwide. The Nintendo Switch has not yet been released in India, China, and other regions.
SketchBook for Art Students
LEGO® Juniors Create & Cruise In LEGO® Juniors Create & Cruise, children age 4-7 can use their imagination to create their very own LEGO® vehicles and mini-figures. Create & Cruise provides plenty of inspiration for real-life LEGO® builds and imaginative play scenarios you can talk to your child about - like why the pretty princess is driving a police car that has legs instead of wheels. The app is available for download on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/lego-juniors-createcruise/id491075156?mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lego.bricksmore&hl =en https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/lego-juniors-createcruise/9nblggh4qts6
NASA releases free software for tinkerers and BUDDING SCIENTISTS
NASA recently published its 2017-2018 software catalog which lists many apps, code libraries and tools that pretty much anyone can download and use. Of course, most of it is pretty closely tied to launching spacecraft and stuff and all “rocket science” things. However, there are a few items that might prove useful to tinkers and curious lay people alike. Looking to build a drone? How to get the imagery on the ground? Need help to visualize fluid dynamics problems? Want to visit the solar system? Well, NASA has the answers to all these and many more problems with their software repository which is an amazing resource for students interested in tinkering, making and doing
SketchBook for Education from Autodesk Inc., is for art students of any age who are ready to go from doodling to shading to brush work and line art. It supports the new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, but it also works with Wacom pens just like our other SketchBook versions. Of course, it’s also great for finger painting! SketchBook for Education contains tools to help you draw perfect squares and circles, and it sets you up with layers so you can show, hide, and merge your drawing elements. SketchBook for Education has one very important feature that we know both teachers and students will enjoy. With Scan Sketch, you can use the iPad’s built-in camera to import sketches you’ve drawn on paper. This allows you to handily switch from a paper-based to digital workflow without losing any of your work. SketchBook for Education is available on iOS only. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sketchbook-education-extension/id1109944367?ls=1&mt=8
hands-on science experiments. There’s a neat Unity-based Spacewalk game in which you or students can simulate various Extra Vehicular Activities conducted by ISS astronauts. You can play it online, on Mac or on PC. NASA has a large collection of 3D models, images and textures that you could use for education or personal purposes. All free of charge, naturally. Glenn Research Center: The Early Years is an iPad app that takes you on a tour of this amazing R&D facility in a bunch of interactive media from between 1941 and 1979. Just head over to https://software.nasa.gov/ and find the software you need for your science project and learning requirements.
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