Pondicherry University launches distance learning through mobile app

Delhi govt's 'Chunauti 2018' academic plan enters new phase

New Delhi: Delhi government’s, Chunauti 2018, has entered a new phase this week as the entire school machinery geared up to meet ‘100 percent Ability to Read’ target set by deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

A baseline assessment done as part of Delhi government’s education reforms had shown that 74 per cent students in Class 6 could not read their own textbooks.

On the occassion of Teachers Day on September 5, Sisodia who also holds education portfolia, had administered a pledge to teachers that all children studying in Class 6 to 8 should be able to read by Children’s Day, November 14.

“The government has constantly worked on improving infrastructure and teaching conditions in government schools of Delhi. Improving learning levels of children is also a priority for our Government. The 100 per cent ‘Ability to Read’ initiative will go a long way in helping children learn better and faster in schools,” Sisodia said.Chunauti 2018–is a plan to provide special support to children who are not able to read their textbook.

Students from the “Nishtha” level, who have till now achieved reading skills and basic mathematical abilities will be now transitioned to their grade appropriate syllabus over the remaining academic year.

Those students who are still non-readers will be given special support and attention to ensure that by November 14, they acquire the ability to read with comprehension.

Under the campaign, one hour a day is being set aside for reading based activities, and a special teacher has been assigned for every set of 30 non-readers to provide them with extra support.

The Directorate of Education is monitoring the progress of children through such activities. Each Saturday, the teacher has to conduct a review of the class’ reading levels using assessment tools designed by SCERT.

Regional Directors of Education also holding weekly review meetings, along with the Deputy Directors of Education, Heads of Schools and Mentor Teachers, to monitor the progress of the “Every Child Can Read” campaign.

School Management Committees (SMCs) of some schools will be organising ‘Reading Melas’ where local children will come with their parents and participate in fun reading activities in a community area.

JNU to get campus-wide Wi-Fi network soon

JNU to get campus-wide Wi-Fi network soon

NEW DELHI: The Wi-Fi service, currently restricted to the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s academic complex, will soon be available throughout the campus, including the hostels and residences.

The varsity had mooted the idea of a campus-wide Wi-Fi network way back in 2008 when it was decided to roll out the project in three phases.

While the first phase was scheduled to cover the academic block, the 16 university hostels were supposed to be next and the residential area, university health centre and student activity centre were proposed to be included in phase III.

However, after much delay due to security concerns, the Wi-Fi project for the academic centre was rolled out in 2010 and any further progress could not been made since then.

“Now we have got some funds from the University Grants Commission (UGC) we had been waiting for quite a while. It is not the entire funding, but some grants have been received,” JNU Vice Chancellor S K Sopory said.

“The academic centre is already a Wi-Fi zone but the plan is to provide a network throughout the campus. The project is likely to be executed by year end,” he added.

A senior varsity official handling the project said, “The testing process is on under phase I and is expected to get over in four months. We are testing the authentication for network access to make the network secure and be available to only authorized users.”

Point to multi-point wireless connectivity has been proposed between the hostels and cluster of residences (Uttarakhand, Dakshinapuram and Poorvanchal among others) and the existing campus-wide network to ensure at least 108 Mbps backbone bandwidth.

At present the university has a network connecting 26 buildings of the academic complex. These are connected through a strong network running on a fibre optic backbone with an intranet bandwidth of 1 Gbps and Internet bandwidth of 16 Mbps.

In an endeavour to provide an exclusive, affordable and dedicated telecommunication network to the students, the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) had in 2010 signed an MoU with JNU.

To ensure seamless connectivity with good coverage and quality of service, MTNL had also set-up four additional 3G towers (BTS) to cover the sprawling JNU Campus.

Kolhapur civic body faces uphill task to improve school infrastructure

KOLHAPUR: With the civic body deciding to develop seven of its 61 ailing schools through private entities, it now faces a tough task to improve the quality of education provided to the students belonging to economically weaker sections.

The proposal to develop these schools was approved two months ago even as there were delays in the acceptance of the policy since the last three years.

The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) took the decision after it failed to restart these schools through its own funds.

Besides funds worth Rs 28 crore sanctioned through the budgets for the salaries and maintenance, the school board gets additional grant of just Rs 25 lakh every year to undertake miscellaneous works such as colouring the buildings and construction of compound walls.

As per the new policy, the private parties need to repair these defunct schools and operate them for 20 years. To ensure that poor students get admissions, the private entities will have to reserve 25% seats for those residing in the periphery of the schools.

Mahesh Jadhav, NCP corporator and chairman of the school board, said, “The finalisation of the proposal to rent out schools to private organisations is a historical decision. The initiative will help us provide quality education to poor students as well as help us rake in revenue from the premium charged for using the building structure and the open spaces near it. The funds generated will be utilised to strengthen the schools governed directly by the KMC.”

There was tremendous disappointment among the teachers, parents and students during the first three years of the Congress-NCP regime, as senior civic authorities or corporators hardly paid attention to their demands.

However, genuine efforts by the officials and teachers in the last two years have helped increase the student count from 8,000 to 10,400 in the KMC-run schools. Moreover, 150 more students will also join these schools soon.

The leaders claimed that they spent around Rs 84 lakh for strengthening the school infrastructure. However, the initiatives such as e-learning are yet to be operational in each of these 54 schools.

The district planning and development council (DPDC) had sanctioned Rs 34 lakhs to install projectors with a computer and internet facility in these schools.

However, the contractor assigned for the work failed to supply the equipment on time and the council had to withdraw the funds.

There were allegations that the corporators forced the officials to accept the tender of an incompetent contractor for the work, which deprived the students of modern learning methods.

Meanwhile, experts believe that the KMC and the government should infuse funds in these schools to make them as good as the private ones. Since the last few decades, these schools have remained an avenue for poor students, who cannot afford the fees of private schools.

Education expert Sudhakar Sawant said, “The teachers have to plead several times to the civic authorities and corporators for particular facilities needed for schools. No full-time administrative officer has been appointed despite being mandatory for the civic bodies. This has led to trust deficit between the teachers and the civic administration. The KMC needs to take special efforts to address sanitation concerns in these schools to make them student and teacher-friendly.”

While welcoming the decision to develop seven schools, Sawant gave a word of caution considering the lethargy of the officials in implementing policies. “There’s no doubt that the private parties developing these schools will help deliver modern techniques of schooling. However, the initiative will fail to provide affordable education to poor students. Moreover, after these schools are transferred back to the KMC, the doubts over effective management may come to the fore considering the financial position of the civic body,” he added.

* Schools till 4th grade: 6

* Schools till 7th grade: 47

* Urdu medium school: 1

* Senior college: 1

* No. of students: 10,400

* No. of teachers: 320

PPP mode of developing schools:

* Private institutions can develop schools, provide education through skilled teachers and adopt modern methods

* Institutions have to pay yearly premium for using school building and open spaces

* 25% admissions reserved for students residing near schools

* Operate school for 20 years and transfer back to the KMC

Schools to be developed through PPP mode:

*Annabhau Sathe Vidyalay (Rajarampuri)

*Rangrao Salunkhe Vidyalay (Susar Baug)

*Maharani Tarabai Vidyalay (Mangalwar Peth)

*Girl’s School No. 5 (Shahupuri),

*Padmaraje Vidyalay Girls’ High school

*Padmaraje Vidyalay Boys’ High school

*Nehru Girls High school

Current regime and its impact:

* Increase in students count

* Dropout rate brought to zero

* Workshop for teachers to improve teaching skills

* Eight-day residential camp for 200 students every year for personality development

* Regular health check-up of girls and boys