Times of India | 1 week ago | 23-06-2022 | 09:23 am
GANDHINAGAR: Consul general of Canada in Mumbai, Diedrah Kelly, paid a courtesy visit to chief minister Bhupendra Patel in Gandhinagar on Wednesday. The CM and the consul general discussed potential Canada-Gujarat partnerships, in the fields of education and green technology. Kelly said Canada has focused on opportunities in sectors such as automotive, clean tech and renewable energy, education, infrastructure, life sciences and has started a trade commissioner service office in Ahmedabad. Kelly said special focus is on Gujarat students seeking to study in Canada. Patel said that Gift City offers opportunities for Canadian financial institutions. He invited Canadian institutions to invest in Gift City. tnn
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to make an entry in Madhya Pradesh in the coming local body elections and has fielded candidates in 14 of the 16 municipal corporations. It has promised the electorate free electricity and water, and corruption-free municipal corporations committed to resolving civic issues.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a road show in support of the party’s Singrauli mayoral candidate Rani Agarwal on Saturday. In his address, the AAP convener said, “We will solve all the issues of the municipality, including roads, electricity, water, and employment with the support of the people of Singrauli. Both the BJP and the Congress are peas of the same pod. They both only care about amassing wealth when in power. The AAP doesn’t believe in gobbling up funds, we put money in the common man’s pockets.”दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री माननीय @ArvindKejriwal जी से मुलाकात हुई। मध्यप्रदेश के निकाय चुनाव के विषय पर सकारात्मक चर्चा हुई। केंद्रीय नेतृत्व के सहयोग से हम निश्चित ही निकाय चुनाव में सकारात्मक परिणाम लाएंगे।@AamAadmiParty @AapKaGopalRai @Mukeshgoelaap @AAPMPOfficial pic.twitter.com/xQWKHk0BO6— Rani Agrawal (@AAPRaniAgrawal) May 25, 2022Referring to his government’s welfare schemes in Delhi, Kejriwal promised to replicate it in Madhya Pradesh by giving free electricity, free education, and free water, and developing the education system,“We will change Singrauli in the next five years if voted to power,” he told the voters. “If I cannot walk the talk, I won’t show my face in the next election seeking votes.”In the coming days, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, and Delhi MLA Atishi Singh are scheduled to visit Madhya Pradesh to campaign for the party’s candidates.The AAP made its debut in Madhya Pradesh in 2013 but failed to make any impact in the state’s politics. Now, looking to expand its footprint nationally — after Punjab and Goa, the party is eyeing states such as Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Assam — it has decided to enter the poll fray in Madhya Pradesh.AAP state president Pankaj Singh told The Indian Express that the party started off with two membership drives — Mission “Buniyad”, followed by Mission “Vistar” — to consolidate its presence in the state and has more than 2.5 lakh workers across the state. At present, the party claims to be in a good position in Singrauli. Its mayoral candidate Rani Agarwal grabbed attention in the 2018 Assembly polls by finishing third on the party ticket with a 21.59 per cent vote share. She was marginally behind the BJP’s Ram Lallu Vaishy who won the seat with 24.63 per cent votes while the Congress’s Renu Sahu finished second with 22.13 per cent votes.Poll promisesOn June 26, the AAP released its poll manifesto called the “Seva Vachan Patra”. Congress youth leader Akash Hunka joined the party on the occasion. “We extend a warm welcome to Hunka and his colleagues into the party. There are many leaders both from the BJP and the Congress who are keen to join the AAP as they feel frustrated in their respective parties with little scope to work for people’s welfare. If their ideology is compatible with ours, they’re most welcome,” said Pankaj Singh.The AAP state chief explained that in every ward won by the party it would ensure free water, a library, and a mohalla (neighbourhood) clinic. Singh said 22,000 education institutions were shut down in 2018 and at least 42,000 schools did not have drinking water facilities as either handpumps or taps were not functioning. He alleged that only the schools run by BJP leaders and workers were thriving in the state. The AAP leader also announced that cleaning workers on contract would be made permanent municipal employees if the AAP got elected.The local body polls are being held in the backdrop of a heated debate between the Congress and BJP over reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Along with the AAP, Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) are in the fray for seven mayoral seats, a handful of councillor posts, and one panchayat.
AHMEDABAD: As many as 1,655 students of Class 12 (general stream) from two centres, 38km apart in Dahod, chose one essay of the two in their Gujarati exam — “Vasant no Vaibhav” (the glory of spring). This raised eyebrows and ultimately it was determined that mass copying had occurred at the two centres where all students wrote stereotypical answers and the essay from a guidebook. It is learnt that their parents had provided the answers from the guidebook. Sources in the state education department said that mass copying had occurred in Pipero and Dasa in Dahod. “The assessors found that too many students had written the same answers and all of them seemed to have even attempted to answer the questions in the same pattern,” said a source in the education department. “This issue was brought to the examination reform committee which analyzed the papers and found that 1,655 students were involved in the mass copying case.” The committee checked CCTV footage, took the statements of the examination-room observers, and questioned the students too, but did not find any clue for a long time. Last week, the committee again called the students and grilled them. This time, some students told the members of the committee that their parents had helped them write the answers. “Some observers of the two examination centres might have been involved in the mass copying case,” the source said. “But the state government is yet to initiate any action against the guilty.” This mass copying incident is similar to the ones involving the Jam Kandorna centre in Rajkot where irregularities had surfaced in 2010 and 2011. About 2,100 students’ results were withheld as they were found to be involved in cheating.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged the issue of proxy teachers in village schools at a recent conference, suggesting that states try to curb the occurrence by placing photographs of permanent teachers in classrooms, it is learnt.He also suggested campus recruitment drives in teacher training institutes and getting private schools to adopt schools in remote areas during the national conference of chief secretaries, held in Dharamshala on June 16-17, The Indian Express has learnt.The PMO is learnt to have directed the Education Ministry to ensure that the action plan formulated by him is implemented “quickly” to improve the country’s pupil-teacher ratio (PTR), which, in states like Bihar and Jharkhand, remain below the standards set by the Right to Education Act, 2009.At the conference in Dharamshala, the implementation of the National Education Policy-2020 was one of the key items on the agenda.On school education, the PM made broadly 20 suggestions at the conference, where top officials of the Education Ministry were also present, a source said. “He began his remarks by referring to the issue of proxy teachers, especially in village schools. He suggested that placing photographs of teachers in every classroom, which some states like Rajasthan have experimented with, can be replicated elsewhere,” an official said.In 2018, a World Bank report on India had highlighted the problem of proxy teachers, where teachers employed by the government illegally send others to teach on their behalf. It is a major issue in the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland, according to Education Ministry officials.In 2018, a World Bank report on India had highlighted the problem of proxy teachers, where teachers employed by the government illegally send others to teach on their behalf. It is a major issue in the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland, according to Education Ministry officials.In teacher recruitment, the PM suggested that states and Union Territories explore the model followed by government as well as private companies in carrying out hiring of final year engineering graduates from campuses across the country. “The PM strongly suggested that campus recruitment drives can be done in teachers training institutes as well,” the official said, seeking anonymity.According to the RTE Act, at the primary level, there should be at least one teacher per 30 students, while the ratio should be 35:1 at the upper primary level. But the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) report 2020-21 shows many states are yet to achieve the desired levels.For instance, in Bihar, the PTR at the primary level is 57:1 and 60:1 at the higher secondary level; 30:1 and 55:1 in Jharkhand. Education is in the concurrent list of the Constitution and the recruitment of school teachers comes under the purview of states and UTs.In response to a question in the Lok Sabha, the Centre had said in August 2021 that Bihar has 66 per cent government schools with an adverse PTR, followed by Jharkhand (52 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (37 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (35.51 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (33.56 per cent).To improve the standards of school education in remote areas, the PM also suggested officially implementing the practice of private schools adopting schools in remote areas by following a CSR model. “The PM said that the idea is to launch student and teacher exchange programmes under the model to enhance exposure,” the official said.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceThe PM also pitched a similar exchange programme model for anganwadis and schools located close to each other to prepare pre-school students for formal schooling. Another highlight of the PM’s action plan is to do away with single teacher schools in the country, this official added.According to a UNESCO report released in 2021, there are nearly 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in the country, of which an overwhelming 89 per cent are in rural areas.“States with a high percentage of single-teacher schools include Arunachal Pradesh (18.22 per cent), Goa (16.08 per cent), Telangana (15.71 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (14.4 per cent), Jharkhand (13.81 per cent), Uttarakhand (13.64 per cent), Madhya Pradesh ( 13.08 per cent), Rajasthan (10.08 per cent),” the UNESCO report states.
From less than 50 per cent in Class 10 and over 100 students enrolled outside the village to private schools commuting a distance of as much as 100 kilometre, Kubadharol High School did a turn around to over 93 per cent result and not a single student from the village seeking secondary education outside the village.With the community resolution passed in 2017, Kubadharol, a small village in Sabarkantha district’s Vadali taluka, not only provided infrastructure to the village school but also decided that no parent will send their children outside the village for studies.“Until 2017-18, over 100 children from the village would go to private schools as far as Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. The same year, the school’s Class 10 result was less than 50 per cent,” Kubadharol Yuvak Mandal chairman Ravindra K Patel said.“The same year, villagers got together, arranged for infrastructure in the school like computers and projectors while the Ahmedabad-based Dr K R Shroff Foundation helped the school with their teachers for Class 9 and 10. We held meetings with parents and passed a resolution that no child would leave the village for secondary education,” Patel added.The Yuvak Mandal is managing the high school—Class 9 and 10 of the Kubadharol grant-in-aid high school attached to the government primary school.Ravindra is one such parent whose son Chaitanya cleared Class 10 from the village with 87 per cent in 2020 while his daughter Nishtha, studying in Class 9, has achieved the first position in the National Merit cum Means Scholarship (NMMS) exam.Convincing parents was not easy initially, says Hiteshbhai Patel, the Prinicpal of Kubadharol High School. “We held repeated meetings with all the parents and convinced them that with the infrastructure facilities like digital aids and teachers available at the school, it is at par with any other private school to which they are sending their children,” Patel said.“It was tough initially but gradually as the results started improving, parents had faith in us and things got better. In 2020 SSC exam, 36 students had appeared in board exam, out of which, 78 per cent could clear. This year in the Class 10 exam, 30 students had appeared, out of which, 28 students could clear Class 10 with a pass percentage of over 93 per cent while 3 students have scored more than 90 per cent” he added.Vasubhai Patel, father of Kavya, who secured 94 per cent in 2022 Class 10 Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board results, said, “Because there were no teachers in secondary school, students were forced to move out of village for Class 9 and 10. But after Kubadharol school got support from the foundation with Math, Science and English teachers for Class 9 and 10 students and the infrastructure improved, we decided to not send our children outside the village and we are happy that we took this decision.”“Dr K R Shroff Foundation started working with Kubadharol school in 2012. At that point of time, children of farm labours and from economically weak background were studying in government primary schools and majority of the village children were studying in private schools in Vadali. Gradually, the school result and student attendance improved due to committed and dedicated effort made by Dr K R Shroff Foundation teachers,” says Uday Desai, president Dr K R Shroff Foundation.This also saw the increase in enrollment at the school. From an enrollment in the higher school (Class 9 and 10) to 52 in the year 2017, it is 76 in the year 2022-23.
Inspired by Gujarat’s ‘school on wheels’ initiative, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is considering starting mobile schooling buses where children of labourers as well as homeless children can study and learn.NDMC vice-chairperson Satish Upadhyay said, “It is a great initiative started by Gujarat and we are planning to implement the same here. Although, if compared to Delhi, Gujarat is a big state. While in Delhi, if you notice in the New Delhi area there is a school every kilometre – be it an NDMC or Delhi government school. One school is there near every cluster. So, on a pilot basis we will start here.”Upadhyay said as the New Delhi area, which falls under its jurisdiction, is small, they will start the mobile bus school on a pilot basis and assess the result. Before implementing it, a feasibility survey will be conducted across the New Delhi and Lutyens’ areas to identify the number of such children.“A bus will be redesigned into a classroom with chalkboard, desks, lights, fans etc… As our area is very small, we are planning to start the initiative for dropouts, the homeless, street children who are most often seen begging at traffic signals or seen playing below the flyover. The mobile school can also be very useful to teach children of labourers at construction sites,” said Upadhyay, a BJP leader.Upadhyay will also write a letter in this regard to the NDMC’s education department to explore the idea and make a proper plan.Some NDMC officials said the council is already discussing the initiative and is planning to get in touch with the Gujarat education department for ideas.Upadhyay said that they will use the bus as a day school for children and may use it as a night school too, to provide education for labourers and construction workers.The ‘school on wheels’ buses in Gujarat, started in 2018, are solar powered and come with a green board, writing desks, PVC flooring, fans, drinking water facility and a TV.