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'Buy a Girl:' An Unusual Anti Child Marriage Campaign - India Real Time - WSJ - 1 views

    As India celebrated Akshaya Tritiya on Tuesday, a festival associated with mass weddings, many activists renewed their calls against child marriage.

    "Raise your voice against child marriage on #AkshayTritiya, an auspicious day for Hindu marriage in India," UNICEF India said on Twitter.

    There are many campaigns around the world against child marriage in India, where the practice remains common despite being illegal. Perhaps the most original one is "The Girl Store" - which some may find is in bad taste.
Teachers Without Borders

National council of teacher education begins revamp of teaching education system in cou... - 0 views

    ALLAHABAD: The National council of teacher education (NCTE) has taken an initiative to reform and revamp teaching education system in the country. Following the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education-2009, the government is now gearing up to reform the teaching education system with an aim to improve the quality of procedures and practices.

    Following the exercise, all courses of teacher education like BEd, MEd, NTT (Nursery Teachers Training), BPEd and MPEd will get revised.
Teachers Without Borders

Safe Schools Campaign - 0 views

    The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), Ahmedabad, India, is a community-based action research and action advocacy organisation which has been working towards bridging the gap between policy, practice and research in disaster management since 1995. AIDMI's mission is to reduce the vulnerability of poor communities by increasing mitigation efforts, through learning and action, to ensure water, habitat, food, work and human security. The organisation operates locally but also maintains an active international presence.
Teachers Without Borders

Indian culture reflected poorly in school syllabi, finds survey - Hindustan Times - 0 views

    The survey found that texts such as Ramayana, Mahabharata and tales from Panchatantra, Jataka and Hitopadesha were omitted from textbooks but Aesop's Fables had been included.

    "It is shocking that the south and north-eastern parts of India are almost neglected in the textbooks which are overwhelmingly tilted toward central and north India," said the survey report, which rated books on different parameters such as tradition and culture, history, heritage, Indian thought and spirituality.
Teachers Without Borders

How cycling set deprived Indian girls on a life-long journey | Bike blog | Environment ... - 0 views

  • In Bihar, one of India's poorest and most populous states, half of the women and a quarter of the men are illiterate, and about 90% of its 104 million inhabitants live in rural areas. Life here is particularly difficult for girls, and one of the greatest hindrances to their development is the simple journey to school. For many, the trip is long, expensive and dangerous.

    But here, in rural Bihar, we recently saw that a two-wheeled solution to the problem has been found.

    Three years ago the state's new chief minister Nitish Kumar adopted a "gender agenda" and set about redressing his state's endemic gender imbalances in an attempt to boost development in one of India's most backward states. His vision was to bring a sense of independence and purpose to his state's young women, and the flagship initiative of this agenda is the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna, a project that gives schoolgirls 2,000 rupees (about £25) to purchase a bicycle.

  • 871,000 schoolgirls have taken to the saddle as a result of the scheme. The number of girls dropping out of school has fallen and the number of girls enrolling has risen from 160,000 in 2006-2007 to 490,000 now.
  • Girls like Pinki Kumari (15), a student from the high school in Desari, previously had 14km round trip each day. When she got back home, she would have to help her mother with daily chores. "At the end of the day, it became tiring and attending school became a ritual. I hardly got any time to study,"
Teachers Without Borders

India announces $35 tablet computer to help lift villagers out of poverty - The Washing... - 0 views

  • NEW DELHI — India introduced a cheap tablet computer Wednesday, saying it would deliver modern technology to the countryside to help lift villagers out of poverty.
  • Developer Datawind is selling the tablets to the government for about $45 each, and subsidies will reduce that to $35 for students and teachers.
  • “This is not just for us. This is for all of you who are disempowered,” he said. “This is for all those who live on the fringes of society.”

    Despite a burgeoning tech industry and decades of robust economic growth, there are still hundreds of thousands of Indians with no electricity, let alone access to computers and information that could help farmers improve yields, business startups reach clients, or students qualify for university.

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  • The Android 2.2-based device has two USB ports and 256 megabytes of RAM. Despite hopes for a solar-powered version — important for India’s energy-starved hinterlands — no such option is currently available.
  • India, after raising literacy to about 78 percent from 12 percent when British rule ended, is now focusing on higher education with a 2020 goal of 30 percent enrollment. Today, only 7 percent of Indians graduate from high school.
Teachers Without Borders

Will a More International Curriculum Help Indian Students? - India Real Time - WSJ - 0 views

  • Indian education has often been criticized for focusing on rote learning rather than problem solving. Experts say the curriculum in most schools is outdated and disconnected from the actual world.
  • Randeep Kaur, education adviser at Plan India, a New Delhi-based children’s organization, said most Indian students learned only with the aim of scoring marks but never with the intention of understanding and enhancing their knowledge. “How many of them (students) can actually make use of what they had learned?” she asked.
  • The new program of study, called the CBSE-i will put less emphasis on methods such as memorization and greater focus on developing analytical and communication skills.
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  • World literature will also have greater space in this curriculum.
  • Languages are an important component of the international curriculum. The students are also expected to study three languages, rather than just two. Compulsory languages are English and either Hindi or another local language, as is already the case in the regular curriculum, plus a foreign language. Options could include French, Russian, Spanish, German and Portuguese.
  • Anjali Chhabra, education officer at the CBSE in New Delhi told India Real Time that subjects will be taught with a more global perspective. For instance, when it comes to history there will be more space for world history, rather than just Indian history, as is the case in the regular curriculum.
  • So far, only ten schools across India have applied for the international syllabus.
  • In a major leap for India’s education system the country’s Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to go international with a brand new curriculum.
Teachers Without Borders

Role reversal in Andhra Pradesh: Students to evaluate teachers - Times Of India - 0 views

  • HYDERABAD: State schools will see a role reversal in their classrooms soon. Starting this academic year, students will be asked to evaluate the performance of teachers.
  • The evaluation sheet will have questions on teachers ranging from their teaching skills to their attendance and also whether they are approachable. It will also evaluate the approach adopted by the teachers in class, especially towards students who are poor performers.
  • Officials said that the teachers will be evaluated on a ten point scale. "We thought of a new evaluation process as the department felt that teachers should be accountable to students. The process will be introduced in classes V to X and we are even thinking of extending it to junior colleges that fall under the school education department," said a senior official.
Teachers Without Borders

CBSE's new evaluation system leaves teachers groping in dark in Bangalore - Bangalore -... - 0 views

  • A year after the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system has been implemented, and two years since the introduction of the new grading system in schools affiliated to the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), teachers appear to be groping in the dark.

    There are vast variations in the manner in which the system is being implemented.

  • Though the approach, when it was first introduced, was touted as being child-centric, many teachers feel that its implementation is not practical, given the reality of large class sizes in many schools.
  • “It is a very detailed system of evaluation, and teachers are ill-equipped to do it. It’s too idealistic,” remarked Raman.
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  • The onus on the teacher is high, and many teachers are still learning the ropes.

    “In the first year, teachers found it quite cumbersome. Even now, teachers are learning the system,” said Mansoor Ali Khan, general secretary, Management of Independent CBSE Schools’ Association and secretary, Delhi Public School (DPS).

  • DPS conducts a five-day workshop each year, so that teachers understand the system better and new staff can be oriented to it. Experts are also brought in to address teachers.
  • Menon draws attention to the fundamental concern: “What is important is that teachers are able to diagnose learning difficulties in a child. This is not merely a question of assigning a mark or grade. The whole concept of CCE would be defeated if teachers cannot identify which child has understood the concept taught, and which hasn’t.”
    A year after the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system has been implemented, and two years since the introduction of the new grading system in schools affiliated to the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), teachers appear to be groping in the dark.

    There are vast variations in the manner in which the system is being implemented.
Teachers Without Borders

English or Konkani: Goa debates on what to use in schools - Times Of India - 0 views

  • PANAJI: Lawmakers and parents in Goa are debating whether English or mother tongue Konkani should be the medium of instruction (MOI) in schools up to Class 8.

  • "The poor are sending their children to English medium schools because they believe that English will propel them to excel in their studies. Why, even the Chinese are learning English. Parents whose students are studying in (English medium) schools run by the Archdiocese (Church) are agitated. Why is the government disbursing grants only to Konkani/Marathi schools?" Godinho said.
  • As per the education department's policy, schools with English as MOI - which includes several privately-run educational institutions and other schools run by the church in Goa - are not entitled to government funding.

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  • "Is Konkani only for the poor to study? Let the parents be given the choice (of deciding which MOI to choose)," Godinho said, with legislators from the ruling Congress backing his demand.
Teachers Without Borders

In India, the Premji Foundation Tries to Improve Public Education - - 0 views

  • PANTNAGAR, India — The Nagla elementary school in this north Indian town looks like many other rundown government schools. Sweater-clad children sit on burlap sheets laid in rows on cold concrete floors. Lunch is prepared out back on a fire of burning twigs and branches.
  • But the classrooms of Nagla are a laboratory for an educational approach unusual for an Indian public school. Rather than being drilled and tested on reproducing passages from textbooks, students write their own stories. And they pursue independent projects — as when fifth-grade students recently interviewed organizers of religious festivals and then made written and oral presentations.
  • Nagla and 1,500 other schools in this Indian state, Uttarakhand, are part of a five-year-old project to improve Indian primary education that is being paid for by one of the country’s richest men, Azim H. Premji, chairman of the information technology giant Wipro. Education experts at his Azim Premji Foundation are helping to train new teachers and guide current teachers in overhauling the way students are taught and tested at government schools.
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  • But within India, there is widespread recognition that the country has not invested enough in education, especially at the primary and secondary levels.
  • In the last five years, government spending on education has risen sharply — to $83 billion last year, up from less than half that level before. Schools now offer free lunches, which has helped raise enrollments to more than 90 percent of children.
  • But most Indian schools still perform poorly. Barely half of fifth-grade students can read simple texts in their language of study, according to a survey of 13,000 rural schools by Pratham, a nonprofit education group. And only about one-third of fifth graders can perform simple division problems in arithmetic. Most students drop out before they reach the 10th grade.
  • Those statistics stand in stark contrast to China, where a government focus on education has achieved a literacy rate of 94 percent of the population, compared with 64 percent in India.
Teachers Without Borders

Soon, tougher eligibility for school teachers - The Times of India - 0 views

  • MUMBAI: Becoming a primary school teacher will get tougher. Beginning from next academic year (2012-2013), the state government is making passing graduation compulsory for those aspiring to be educators.
  • Admitting that with change in education system such as virtual classes, e-library, internet learning and other hi-tech education methods, it is a need of the hour to change the decade old rules and qualification needed to take up the job of required a teacher. But, the minister refused to reveal details of the department plans on the issue.
  • Some teachers have supported the move, while few have objected it. "Raising the qualification limit for becoming a primary schoolteacher will not help in improving the quality of education. There is need to change their mindset of teachers in view of Right To Eductaion (RTE)," said Ramesh Joshi, who heads Brihanmumbai Mahapalika Shikshak Sabha, the largest BMC teachers` union.
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  • However, Aruna Pendse, associate professor with the Mumbai University`s department of civics and politics, supported the move. "Raising the pre-qualification condition (for a primary schoolteacher`s job) may result in children getting quality education," she said.
  • According to the existing rules, to become a primary schoolteacher one needs to pass the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam and then enrol for a diploma in elementary education (DEd).
Teachers Without Borders

Primary school curriculum in Gujarat may see a major shake up - India - DNA - 0 views

  • According to top officials of the state education department, government is all set to effect thorough changes in the curriculum of primary and upper primary education in accordance with the Right to Education Act (RTE).

    Instead of the current curriculum which focuses more on writing answers, the new syllabus will focus more on activity-based learning.

    Outdated subjects and chapters will be removed and more informative and knowledgeable ones will be added.

  • Almost 350 teachers from all over the state will be trained and eventually will be given the responsibility of suggesting changes
Teachers Without Borders

Mandatory test for teachers` eligibility soon: Sibal - 0 views

  • New Delhi: Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said that a Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) will soon be made mandatory for teachers as the Right to Education Act is implemented.
  • Speaking at the meeting of central and state regulatory institutions for School education, the minister said that this test will be as per the norms of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
Teachers Without Borders

INDIA: 100-Dollar Laptops Bring In Distant Kids - IPS - 0 views

  • Responding to the lack of computer training in Mukteshwar’s schools, Veena Sethi, a retired Delhi University professor, set up two used personal computers in the basement of her home with the aim of bringing the basics of computing to school children.
  • UDAAN, however, moved on. A partnership with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University made it possible for the NGO to introduce the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme in selected schools in Mukteshwar in May 2010.

    OLPC’s stated mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression, and exploration to some two billion children in developing countries with little or no access to education.
  • "The XO machine is ideal for children in remote places where the classroom may be no more than the shade of a tree," explains Satish Jha, who heads OLPC in India.

    The XO laptop’s wireless connectivity and free, open-source "Sugar" operating system allows children to reshape, reinvent, and reapply both software and content. "The laptops grow with the children," Jha said.
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  • Ashish Garg, country director for the United Nations Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative, told IPS that she sees little difference between students emerging from India’s schools today and those who did so 20 years ago when the country first announced plans to introduce ICTE in its 1.2 million schools. "They may as well have been working on typewriters.
  • Nanyang University is already preparing an evaluation report based on tests in three areas of cognitive empowerment - computer self-efficacy, academic self-efficacy, technological literacy and functional literacy.
Teachers Without Borders

The Hindu: Help implement right to education: Manmohan - 0 views

  • Addressing the nation to mark the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 that makes elementary education an entitlement for children in the age group of 6-14 years, Dr. Singh said the States should join in this national effort with full resolve and determination.

    “Our government, in partnership with the State governments will ensure that financial constraints do not hamper the implementation of the Right to Education Act.

    “Today, our government comes before you to redeem the pledge of giving all our children the right to education.

  • “I call upon all our teachers across the country to become partners in this effort. It is also incumbent upon all of us to work together to improve the working conditions of our teachers and enable them to teach with dignity, giving full expression to their talent and creativity.''

    He said parents and guardians, too, had a critical role to play having been assigned school management responsibilities under the Act. The needs of every disadvantaged section of our society, particularly girls, Dalits, Adivasis and minorities must be of particular focus as the Act is implemented.

  • Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said the biggest challenge to the implementation of the Act would be lack of infrastructure and teachers. Bringing children from the disadvantaged sections into the net would also be challenging, he said.
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