EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, October 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India
Interactive libraries can allure kids to books
Geetu Vaid
HAT a library is a storehouse of information and a key to knowledge is an undisputed fact. But the era of information technology revolution has relegated the libraries to the background. The Audio-visual media like the pied piper has lured budding readers away from the printed word. Yet for the avid reader nothing matches the feel of a book and time spent in the company of books.

Selecting tutors a nerve-wracking experience
Kanwal Singh

VERY parent of a teenager dreams of his child making it to the medical or an engineering college. After Class X results, the students usually opt for medical or non-medical streams. Commerce comes as a third option and they rarely go in for arts.



Interactive libraries can allure kids to books
Geetu Vaid

THAT a library is a storehouse of information and a key to knowledge is an undisputed fact. But the era of information technology revolution has relegated the libraries to the background. The Audio-visual media like the pied piper has lured budding readers away from the printed word. Yet for the avid reader nothing matches the feel of a book and time spent in the company of books.

Talking about the waning reading habit among school-goers, the Principal of YPS, SAS Nagar, Dr Harsh Dhillon, fondly recalls his childhood days when reading a book under a tree was the ultimate source of relaxation. This is an experience of which no child should be deprived of, he says.

Educationists are unanimous in the view that the reading habit is the basis of other learning skills, including language proficiency and confidence-building. Apart from enhancing the child’s knowledge, the reading habit makes the child more confident, increases his vocabulary and enriches his/her expression as well as imagination.

The failure to develop the reading habit leads to several problems that affect the performance of children at school. Research has proved that those who read more perform well in school than those who concentrate only on course books.

However, the picture conjured up by most of the youngsters when you mention the word library is of a dull, Unexciting with rows after rows of bookshelves. The atmosphere of strict order and discipline in the libraries scares many a young enthusiast reader.

little wonder then that the reading habit is fast becoming extinct.

With a host of other media at the disposal of students, Libraries are no longer the only choice when it comes to getting information about any subject. there is a need to make the libraries more interactive and equip these with the latest in multi-media and audio-visual aids to allure young readers.

School is the gateway to knowledge and ,thus , can play an important role in building up a love for reading. ‘‘Library is an important part of the school curriculum’’, says Monika Madan, Co-ordinator, Hansraj Public School. School libraries can play cupid as far as an affair with books is concerned, she emphasises.

encouraged at the right age ,the children are sure to develop a love for books. Catch ’em young is the mantra here. school libraries should be equipped with CDs, cassettes and should be interactive to motivate more youngsters to get into the habit of reading.

Class libraries for kindergarten students where the teacher helps them read are very helpful, says Preeti Kathpalia, Librarian, St John’s School, Chandigarh. The junior section library in the school has, apart from books, several activity items to encourage children to give vent to their creativity.

Libraries supplemented with these aids serve a useful purpose, especially for the kindergarten kids. story-telling sessions are made more interesting with the help of puppets, tape-recordings and play-acting methods , making the children participate in the reading sessions.

Most of the schools have at least one period every week for library, where the children from class II onwards come to the library and read books of their choice or the ones suggested by the teacher or librarian.

‘‘Early readers require greater teacher assistance and support .thus the concept of class libraries is more practical for younger children", says Kavita Soni, Principal, The Gurukul, Panchkula. Teachers should provide students with a lot of instructional support in the early stages of reading and slowly reduce the same as students acquire sufficient reading skills.

A book-rich environment in the classroom enhances children’s access to books. ‘‘Classroom libraries should be rich in pictures and interesting books. Children should be often asked by their teacher to share with the class interesting stories that they have read or heard of, or poems they wrote or read’’.

She points out that children find pleasure in sharing stories and poems with the class. this motivates them to read more and discover that books are a source of pleasure.

Colourful, pictorial and interactive books that make the child not only a passive listener but an active participant in the activity of reading should be part and parcel of school libraries. Talking books in different shapes, lift and see, mix and match pages and scratch and sniff books have been found to be helpful in initiating the children to the world of books.

Arvinder Kaur Anand, library in charge at the YPS, SAS Nagar, says junior school library should not be a complete silence zone. Small kids need more interaction and more freedom to ask questions and clarify doubts. For this the atmosphere in the library has to be more relaxed and not of somber seriousness which may act as a deterrent

The aim is to let the children blossom in the company of books and not to smother their inquisitiveness, she adds.

Meenu, Librarian, Bhavan Vidyalaya, says apart from activity books, CDs, cassettes and other audio-visual aids are useful for juniors’ library.

Various library related contests, projects and appreciation for voracious readers can reinforce children’s interest in reading .

If school libraries are to motivate more children to read , due consideration has to be given to the choice of children. Libraries should have books that children want to read. Monica says it is the responsibility of the school to encourage readers. Though it is important to ensure what a child is reading, it is equally important to allow the child to pick books or comics of his choice which he is bound to read with interest.

The child should do the reading assignment not as a chore but as fun activity .only then will the purpose of the exercise be met.

parents, too ,have to make their contribution. Research has shown that enjoying books with a child for even a few minutes a day can make a significant difference in the acquisition of basic reading skills and love for reading. Dr Dhillon says: ‘‘Parents’ attitudes towards reading influence their children’s attitude toward reading. If parents do not like reading, it is hard to imagine that they will buy books for their children. so children will have nothing to read at home.’’.

With regular book exhibitions and a library budget of over Rs 1 lakh annually, public and private schools ,no doubt, lay more emphasis on developing the reading habit among students. But government schools lag behind in this regard, especially in promoting the habit among junior classes. Here is where these schools can take the help of public libraries and liaise with these to enable the students get maximum advantage of books.



Selecting tutors a nerve-wracking experience
Kanwal Singh

EVERY parent of a teenager dreams of his child making it to the medical or an engineering college. After Class X results, the students usually opt for medical or non-medical streams. Commerce comes as a third option and they rarely go in for arts.

"One always take up arts in graduation from any stream, even if one is unable to make it elsewhere," philosophises Ruhi Chawla, a medical aspirant pursuing BA. She says: "Of course, one feels let-down and a personality setback after being respected and stamped as an intelligent person while one prepares for the medical exam. Now people look at me with sympathy on their faces. They think BA is peanuts. Actually it is a mere myth. BA in subjects like Economics and Psychology and if one opts for honours in these subjects, it can be pretty tough."

Looking for tuitions and finding the right tutors that suit one’s pocket and requirements can be mind-boggling. In spite of supposedly making your choice, one often feels unsettled and the grass is always greener in the neighbour’s garden. In other words, the other tutor’s tuition is always better than your own," Sophiya, a medical aspirant, muses.

Sophiya has tried every tutor in town for chemistry and is yet to make up her mind who is best for her. By now, Class XI is almost over and she has wasted precious time over deciding whom to go to for Chemistry.

Rohan Sachdev, another medical aspirant, talks about confusion in deciding for his Physics classes. He started with one but was unhappy there. "Sir was strict and one goes for guidance to tutors and not to be insulted on not knowing a particular numerical. I wanted a friendly atmosphere. So I withdrew from those tuitions."

Deciding on schools and colleges for plus one and two is another unnerving experience. Sir Trehan says: "If one wants to take it easy with attendance, Khalsa School is the best option. DAV with its ‘A’ section funda is good but the strain of tuitions and DAV’s own exams and strict attendance takes a toll on you. Bhavan Vidyalaya could be a good option if one has the required percentage."

Adding to the woes of the already confused students is the recent revised format of the AIPMT exam, which has been made similar to the IIT screening and selection process. As if, the earlier selection process was not enough nerve-wrecking.

Non-medical aspirants, too, face a dilemma of a similar kind. Sahil says: "To be in Chitkara Sir’s ‘A’ plus batch means a sure shot clearance for your IIT selections." But then one can falter here too and there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Sahil Sahni says: "Institutional tuition is better than private tuition because one does not waste time and expert guidance is available under the same roof." Medha says: "Individual is better as one gets the best from the best of tutors."

Once the decision to join a particular tuition is made, the time is ripe to shell out money, which is given in advance to all the tutors. From Rs 12,000 for Biology, Rs 9,000 for Physics and Rs 4,000 for Chemistry to Rs 25,000 for institutional package or so. Help books charges are separate and may run up to Rs 1,500 for a book.

"Schools prepare their students for board exams and admit that they do not prepare separately for the entrance exams. But the course is almost the same," says Mrs Rakesh Sachdev, Principal, DAV, Sector 15, Chandigarh. Mrs P.K. Singh, Principal, Vivek High School, says: "Institutional tuition distracts the students and since they are taking tuitions, they do not pay attention in the class. The board syllabi and the entrance course are correlated except for the IIT. When we are giving professional guidance to the students in school, why do we need help from outside? They will do well if they study sincerely."

Thus, go the controversies for and against tuitions. The most important factor that arises out of this controversy is that there is nothing better than self-study. Schoolteachers are there to help students who want to be helped and, of course, those who do not want to study will falter with or without tuitions. As the saying goes, one can take a horse to the water but cannot make it drink it.




Armed Forces

Oct 13 Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi 110069.

Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2004

For admission to:

1) Indian Military Academy, D’Dun

2) Naval Academy, Goa

3) Air Force Academy, Hyd

4) Officer’s Training Academy, Chennai

Elig: For 1-3: Unmarried Indian males

For 1: Bachelor’s deg. Dob: Jan 2 ‘81- Jan 1 ‘86.

For 2: BSc (Phy & Maths) / BE. Dob: Jan 2 ‘83-Jan 1 ‘86.

For 3: Bachelor’s deg (with Phys & Maths in 10+2)/ BE. Dob: Jan 2 ‘82-Jan 1 ‘86.

For 4: Indian Male; Bachelor’s deg. Dob: Jan 2 ‘80-Jan 1 ‘86.

Exam: Feb 15 ‘04 (at 42 centres incld Del & Ch’grh).

Appln F: At designated HPOs/ POs: Rs 20/- (cash).

Details: Employment News (Sep 13-19)/ Website.

Oct 16 Indian Air Force

Airman in Group ‘X’ (Technical)/ Group ‘Y’ Trades

Elig: For Gp ‘X’: Unmarried Indian males, Cl. 10/ 10+2 (Phy, Maths & Eng; 50%) OR 3-yr Dip (Mech/ Electl/ Electron/ Auto/ Comp Sc/ Instru Tech). Dob: Mar 1 ‘83-Jun 30 ‘88; For Gp ‘Y’: matric (50%) with pass marks in Eng.

Selectn: Recruitment rally at Govt Inter College, Pithoragarh, (Utt) (Oct 11-16)

Details: Employment News (Sep 20-26).

Oct 30 ADG Recruiting, 10+2 (TES) Entry, West Block-III, RK Puram, New Delhi 110066

10+2 Technical Entry Scheme

Elig: Indian unmarried males, Cl 12 (PCM, 70%). Age: 161/2-191/2 yrs

(DoB: Jan 1 ‘85-Jan 1 ‘88).

Appln F: Send in prescribed format to above add, superscribe env "Application for 10+2 (TES) Course Ser. No. 11".

Details: Employment News (Sep 13-19).


Oct 31 IIT - Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400076

Common Entrance Exam for Design (CEED-2004).

Master of Design Prog (2-yr)

(at IIT-B ‘bay/ Del/ Kanpur & IISc-B’lore).

Elig: Bachelor’s deg in Engg/ Arch/ Des CEPT Dip in Interior Des (5-yr); BFA (Appld Art; Fine Art); GD Art (5-yr); Prof Dip of NID.

Selectn: Written exam (Feb 1 04).

Appln F: Send Rs 990/- by DD favouring "Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay" payable at M ‘bai with 2 self-add env (6x8 cms), to Chairman, GATE at above add by Oct 24.

Nov 11 (GATE) Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering - 2004

(For admission to PG courses in colleges & instts with MHRD Scholarship/ Assistanship for Engg/ Tech/ Arch/ Pharm)

Elig: BE/ BTech/ BArch/ BPharm or PG Deg in Sc/ Maths/ Stats/ Comp Appln with, post BSc Tech courses (2nd yr) or AMIE & other profnl courses.

Selectn: Exam Feb 8 ‘04

Appln F: Send Rs. 1,000/- by DD favouring the Instt. to which you seek admission, with 2 self-add slips and request to the Chairman, GATE at that instt. by Oct 25. At specified SBI/ Canara Banks or download from concerned IIT’s or IISc website by Oct 30.

Other websites:;;;;;

Details: Websites.

Library & Information Science

Oct 15 IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068

PG Dip (Lib Automation & Ntwkg; 1-yr)

Elig: Bachelor’s deg (Lib & Info Sc)

Appln F: Send Rs 80/- by DD favouring "IGNOU", payable at Regional Centre/ New Delhi

Details: Website.


Oct 15 Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (through Direcway Global Educn)

PG Dip in Gen Mgt (14-mnth)

Elig: Working execs (1 yr wk ex)

Selectn: NMAT (Oct 6 ), Interview.

Details: Website.

Nov 8 Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hapur Road, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad 201001 (U.P.)

Jt. Global MBA Prog (With FDU, USA)

Elig: 4- yr coll/ univ, GMAT/ GRE & TOEFL

Selectn: Through IMT/ FDU committee.

Appln F: Send Rs 1000/- by DD favouring "Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad" to the Coordinator (Admissions) at above add.

Details: Website.

Nov 15 Symbiosis Centre for Management & Human Resource Development (SCMHRD), Plot No. P-15, Pune Infotech Park, Hinjawadi, MIDC, Pune 411027


(at Pune Campus: Mktg / Fin/ HRM/ IT & Mgt Sys; at Nashik Campus: Mfg & Op Mgt/ Mktg/ Fin/ HRM & Fmly Bus Mgt-PGDM- Gen Mgt)

Elig: Bachelor’s deg (50%) in (For IT & Mgt Sys: Comp Sc / Engg; For Mfg & Op Mgt: BE/ BTech/ BPharm; For Fmly Bus Mgt: Sponsd by bus Fmly).

Selectn: Written Test (Dec 7 at 23 centres incl’g Ch’garh & Delhi)

Appln F: Download from Website by Nov 10.

Details: Website.

Dec 5 Birla Institute of Management Technology, Birla Vidya Niketan, Sec-IV, Pushpa Vihar, New Delhi 110017

PGDBM (2-yr)

(Dual Spln in Strategy, Mktg, Fin, IT Mgt, HRD, Intl Bus & Oper Mgt).

PG Dip (Insurance & Risk Mgt, Retail & Merchdg Mgt, Entrpren’shp & Fmly Bus)

Elig: Bachelor’s deg.

Selectn: Written test (Dec 21) at 25 centres (incldg Delhi, Ch ‘garh, Jammu), GD & Interview.

Appln F: Send Rs 800/- by DD favouring "Birla Institute of Management Technology" payable at New Delhi to above add by Nov 30/ Download from website.