EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Laying the foundation of learning
Nursery school is the child's first introduction to institutional education, says Amarinder Sandhu
The school is the first social group that a child is exposed to outside the family. A number of children enrolled in a nursery class are children who are attending school for the first time. A child goes from the safe and loving lap of his mother to the strict regimen of the school.

Geology is under-represented in India
Peeyush Agnihotri
Any tourist coming to India should feel excited not only about the country's heritage but also geological history which encompasses 4,000 million years of the planet's existence. The Indian Peninsula has one of the oldest crustal remnants and richest mineral resources. This is precisely the reason why Prof Arun Deep Ahluwalia from Panjab University, Chandigarh, is penning not one but two books on geotourism at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, where he is currently on a one-year sabbatical.
Prof Arun Deep Ahluwalia
Prof Arun Deep Ahluwalia

Campus Notes

  • Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
    Rs 52.5 lakh grant for food science and technology

  • Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar
    Awards for don, researcher

Admission deadline

 

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Laying the foundation of learning

Nursery school is the child's first introduction to institutional education, says Amarinder Sandhu

The school is the first social group that a child is exposed to outside the family. A number of children enrolled in a nursery class are children who are attending school for the first time. A child goes from the safe and loving lap of his mother to the strict regimen of the school. The school is a child's first experience with the outside world. Nursery school is the child's first introduction to the highly valued institution of education.

The outside world has to appear friendly to the child. Parents pick and choose the nursery school for their child with care. A cheerful nursery school attract all. Many schools have a separate nursery wing which has a 'lived-in' air. The atmosphere of the nursery classes has to be informal and friendly, such that the new pupil is made to feel at ease.

The layout of the nursery classes has to be such that the children may reach them without getting lost in the maze of other classroom corridors. The nursery classrooms must also receive ample sun light and have to be well ventilated. Classroom are made attractive with colourful charts and posters. Ceilings normally are of light colours so that the light is reflected. Bulletin boards have to be made available, so that the children's work can be displayed. Washroom facilities also need to be close at hand.

Apart from the general layout of the nursery classes, what makes the classroom come alive is a smiling teacher. When the captain of the ship is smiling, the crew will also be of an amiable disposition. The frowning face of a teacher can scare the young child. It is very important that the nursery children be taught by teachers who are adequately educated and trained. An effective teacher goes from the known to the unknown, the general to the specific and uses mild forms of discipline.

Over the years an increased interest has developed in the upbringing of the child. With the disintegration of the joint family and people having small families, with only a single child or two children; parents pay a lot of attention to the child's education, especially in the formative years.

The parents and nursery teacher interact a lot with each other, in order to channelise the natural powers of the child. The needs of the child are the foremost. The education of the young pupil is based on sensory and visual perception, supplemented by observing and doing. Children learn to express themselves through music, drawing, play and writing. The subject matter is based on utility supported by visual stimulus, frequent repetition and oral drills.

Each child is unique and has special needs. The children in the nursery classes will come from different social background. In order to ensure that a child is not discriminated at the first instance and that there is equality among the pupil, most nursery school have a bright collared uniform for the tiny tots.

The teacher uses the bilingual method as she spins a web of security and self- worth around the child. Soon the teacher's word becomes law. "Ma'am says this, Ma'am says that," harps the apple of your eye. The children look forward to the story telling session. Simple arithmetic is child's play and the English alphabets have been mastered if your child is in right nursery school with a very cheerful teacher. The child is now well on his or her way to face the future with confidently.
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Geology is under-represented in India
Peeyush Agnihotri

Any tourist coming to India should feel excited not only about the country's heritage but also geological history which encompasses 4,000 million years of the planet's existence. The Indian Peninsula has one of the oldest crustal remnants and richest mineral resources. This is precisely the reason why Prof Arun Deep Ahluwalia from Panjab University, Chandigarh, is penning not one but two books on geotourism at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, where he is currently on a one-year sabbatical.

Talking to The Tribune at Ohio, where he is doing photographic documentation from the famous natural history museums, he said the Indian government "is not doing even a fraction of what it needs to do to promote sites of geological importance."

"For that matter, even Panjab University can do a lot in geosciences awakening. My obsession with this mission can at least show it can be done at individual level, if you have a bit of a passion," he says.

"The books aim to give a new definition and a fresh idiom to tourism in India. We need to focus on India's geotouristic attractions, geosites and geodiversity, market as well as conserve them. India, sadly, has just two geoparks at Saketi (Himachal Pradesh) and Hyderabad though given the kind of geoheritage we have, the nation can have lakhs of these," he rues.

One of the books is being written for the Geological Society of India while the other one is going to be Ahluwalia's personal venture in which he intends to have an input of global geotourism too. "Both books are expected to hit the stands before 2008, which, incidentally, is the International Year of Planet Earth.

Why did he exactly choose geotourism to write about? "The crux of the problem is that geology is under-represented in many Indian universities and government departments. India is geologically-rich from the tourism point of view. It is indeed a unique geological unit. Most saleable are the sites around tourist attractions to begin with. Rocks are wonderful archives of nature. Every tourist site needs a geological excitement supplement and every geological important site needs a touristic marketing -a bundled selling. Geology to tourists and tourism in geology to geologists. That's what I intend to do through my books," he says.

Prof Ahluwalia, it may be recalled, was one of the main whistleblowers during the 1987 Panjab University's fossil scam. "It's buried and forgotten. Part of my name is, no doubt, a symbol of ethics in Indian science and for now, I am concentrating on the books," he says.

Besides the books, which he is penning, he has two more lined up on Himachal. One is on the geology of Himachal for tourists and another on Himachal landscapes.
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Campus Notes

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
Rs 52.5 lakh grant for food science and technology

The Department of Sciences and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, has granted a major research project to strengthen research and post graduate studies in the department of Food Science and Technology, Guru Nanak Dev University under the Funds for Improvement of Science and Technology Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions (FIST) Programme-2006.

Dr D S Sogi, Head of the Department said that DST has granted Rs 52.5 lakh for the purchase of sophisticated equipment and five lakh has been given to establish a network laboratory in the department.

Earlier, Department has received two infrastructure development projects for Ministry of Food Processing Industries and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).

Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar
Awards for don, researcher

Dr KK Thakral, a Professor of Vegetable Science at the Haryana Agricultural University, has been awarded fellowship of the Indian Society for Spices in recognition of his significant contribution in spices research. Dr Thakral was presented with a certificate and a memento at a recent symposium on spices and aromatic crops organised in Bangalore. The scientist has contributed significantly in developing nearly 10 improved varieties of spices, apart from standardising their production technology.

Meanwhile, Dr Meenakshi Singh, a junior research fellow at the Centre of Food Science and Technology, HAU, was conferred with the Best Paper Award for a review article published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology by the Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (India). The article titled "Structural and Functional Properties of Wheat Storage Proteins" was co-authored by Dr B.S.Khatkar, Department of Food Technology, GJUST, Hisar.

The Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Mr Subodh Kant Sahai, conferred the award during the inaugural function of ICFOST-2006 at Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad, recently.

Contributed by P K Jaiswar and Sunit Dhawan
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