School students continue to be victims in Kashmir (as we had mentioned in one of our earlier posts). Schools being open has become a rarity in the last half year. However, one school in Srinagar remains determined to make an impact and continue to impart education. Sarfi Memorial Institute has decided to remain functioning through the curfews and the terrorist / separatist called shutdowns.
The school has been advertising on local TV channels and newspapers that it would provide education through extended periods of turmoil. "We have decided to have lodging and boarding facilities in the same building where classes will be organised. In the past, we gave priority to quality teachers. This time, we recruited four teachers only on the promise that they would work during nights and stay here," Muhammad Ashraf, the administrator of the institute mentioned. Sarfi Memorial Institute has constructed a new 60-room building with classrooms with residential facilities. The school is receiving a large number of queries from parents on how the school would run during curfew and street protests.
Since March of this year, attendance at schools has dropped, particularly in separatist-dominated areas (including the capital city of Srinagar) since parents refrain from sending their children out of homes for fear of violence on days of curfew or shutdowns.
The state government is starting to respond to the educational needs of students who could not attend classes this summer by reducing the annual syllabus for board exams and plans to organise post-examination classes on lessons and chapters dropped from the syllabus.
India recently passed a Right to Education (RTE) legislation which ensures various measures for betterment of children and their rights.However Awareness remains low which CRY has tried to ameliorate by organizing a Festival in Bangalore. Children from different schools will act in various plays in different parts of Bangalore to raise awareness about the clauses of the Act amongst the citizenry
Beginning from Sunday, the theater festival will see children staging street plays in every nook and corner of the city and act out the importance of RTE Act. Busy thoroughfares and malls will be the target of the children’s campaign. The plays will also be performed on November 27 and 28 at three different places of Bangalore. About 90 children in the age group of 11-18 will be participating in the festival.
The schools participating in the festival include Bishop Cotton Girls’ School, Cathedral High School, CMR High School, Frank Anthony Public School, Genius Kids and Royale Concorde International School. “Though the RTE Act came into force on April 1, 2010, it is yet to be implemented. Many parents and teachers are not even aware of the Act and its clauses. Through the plays, we will highlight how the Act has to be implemented to change the very face of the Indian education system,” said Sahaya Teresa
India is going to triple its numbers of high school students in the next decade. With increasing per-capita consumption and a scorching 9% GDP growth rate,India's higher education is going to see a massive boom.India has relatively low numbers of high school penetration due to its poor human resources development.Both the quality and quantity of high school education is quite woeful in the country. At similar per-capita income,other countries have a much better education infrastructure than India does right now. For the millions of Indians mired in poverty,Education remains the only path to a better humane living standard. Kapil Sibal,the minister of education said that they are looking to add 1000 Universities to accommodate the surge in students.
India’s higher education enrollment will move up to 44 million from the current 14 million in a decade, the Central government said on Friday, underlining that private players, distance education and foreign education providers will play key roles in ensuring this growth.
Human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit that the Central government looks to add 30 million more students at this level by 2020. “Industry does not create (human) wealth, it translates ideas into wealth. Higher education will create this human wealth.”
J&K has been a hot bed of political activity, terrorism, separatism, 'ethnicide' and what have you. The activities in the state continue to orphan children and widow women. It continues to be a drain on the system for the rest of the country, thanks to our rogue neighboring nation.
What is more disconcerting than anything else is what this turmoil is doing to the children in the valley. Not just psychologically, but even in terms of education. It does not get talked about much, but we picked up something when we started doing research for KOOLSKOOL. We were looking through circulars issued at DPS, Srinagar and found that more often than not the school had used Friday as the weekly holiday instead of Sunday. A little more digging told us that DPS, Srinagar is not an exception.
Some schools are already trying to get their senior students transferred to schools in Delhi, including the DPS group to prevent loss of year for at least the senior secondary students.
Newspapers reported today the opening of schools after a gap of 100 days. School buses and other transport ferrying children and school staff are being allowed through. Government schools are starting to open up and the private schools will watch a bit and then open. It is appalling that a movement (of whatever nature) cares so little for its own children and future. Destroying education can't possibly help the Kashmiri people.
NCERT most likely is the largest provider of text books in the country. All CBSE government schools use their books, and all private /unaided schools use their books. Each year, at the beginning of the academic session, there is a perpetual shortage of NCERT books. Each distributor that we have met so far has been moaning about the pain they have to go through to procure NCERT books. Every school we talked to this time including Vasant Valley, and Genesis Global has shown concern mentioning that their time tested distributors and publishers are unable to get NCERT books on time. And this is in Delhi. In Bangalore, its the usual every year story too.The situation as we understand, is the same in West Bengal, Orissa or any other state in the country.
The shortage gets reported in the newspapers every year (2004 report, 2007 report)without fail and 2010 was no exception. Distributors complained that they receive the books in installments and the first installment never more than 10-15% of their total requirement. The books are cheap (thankfully), but late. For distributors who cater to Indian schools outside the country (middle east, Africa for example), they need to airfreight the books thus adding to their operation cost, on top of low margins. Even with the multiple installments, the distributors do not manage to get more than about 80-85% of their total requirement. This obviously impacts the syllabus completion in schools adversely.
There must be hundreds of distributors who pick the books from NCERT. Given that, and there is a perpetual shortfall of 20-15%, it surely can't possibly be that difficult for NCERT to print more and early. If the government is unable to provide books, how will the forcible admission of extra students through RTE work well? Just that this gives rise to a different industry. Distributors mention that fake (or photocopied) versions of the books invade the market every year to make up the shortfall.