EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Dropout rate dogs HP
Ambika Sharma
T
HE high dropout rate at the secondary and high school levels has become a cause of concern for the state government in Himachal Pradesh. The increase is almost three times for all students from the elementary to the high school level. What is further alarming is the fact that the dropout rate is also high among Scheduled Castes and among girls.

Offer of help to school board finds no takers
Jupinderjit Singh
A
N associate professor and members of his family are exasperated at the way their offers to help needy students have been handled by the Punjab School Education Board. He has been offering to teach students who have failed free of cost, but nobody seems interested. All that he has got in return is a taste of red tape and bureaucratic wrangling. This has left P.K. Kashyap, professor in business administration and communication, completely dejected.

Sex education in Tripura schools
T
ripura government has accepted the proposal of inclusion of sex education in the school syllabus from the next academic session.

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Campus Notes

Dr Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

 

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Dropout rate dogs HP
Ambika Sharma

THE high dropout rate at the secondary and high school levels has become a cause of concern for the state government in Himachal Pradesh. The increase is almost three times for all students from the elementary to the high school level. What is further alarming is the fact that the dropout rate is also high among Scheduled Castes and among girls.

According to the latest National Human Development Report, released by the Planning Commission, the dropout rate among girls increases at higher levels of education. The reluctance of parents to send their daughters to high school owing to distance is seen as a major reason for this decline. Girls are often not able to do homework because of domestic chores. This leads them to abandon higher education.

Himachal Pradesh has, however, managed to reduce its dropout rate up to the elementary level. It has attained a retention rate of nearly 99 per cent at the primary level, which is an achievement. The high dropout rates in classes IX and X has, however, offset its achievement. A number of reasons, including poverty, child labour, distance from schools and the quantum of homework, are the contributing factors for this dropout rate at the secondary level. Uninteresting and often irrelevant school curriculum and unattractive methods of teaching are also found to have affected the dropout rate.

According to the report, the dropout rate among Scheduled Castes is as high as 21.54 per cent for classes I to V. It stands at 25.23 per cent for classes VI to VIII and at 23.53 per cent for classes IX and X.

In case of students belonging to Scheduled Tribes, the dropout rate has been recorded at 11.69 per cent, 13.34 per cent and 12.93 per cent for classes I to V, VI to VIII and IX and X, respectively. The situation was equally worrisome regarding girls, where an average of 13.45 per cent, 18.03 per cent and 15.50 per cent girls dropped out in classes I to V, VI to VIII and IX and X, respectively.

The report lauds the role of the state government in making quantitative increase in the number of schools. The state has been progressing well in this respect. The state has almost achieved the prescribed norm of having a primary school at the distance of one km in almost all districts, barring areas with scattered habitation like Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba and Kinnaur. The average distance from middle school is 2.36 km, which is less than the government norm of three km.

However, it is felt that the distance norm prescribed by the Government of India does not reflect the actual picture in hilly terrain, as the real distance covered in hilly areas is much more, with habitation being scattered. Unlike in the plains, between one and three km in hilly terrain often means climbing down one ridge and climbing up another, besides crossing a rivulet. All this twice a day is not easy for elementary school students. Hence, it has an adverse bearing on the quality of teaching.

Another significant criterion reflecting the quality of education is the teacher-pupil ratio. The state has a lower ratio than neighbouring states at the primary level. This stands at 30 for the primary level while Haryana and Punjab have taken it up to 47 and 40, respectively. The situation is worse for classes VI to VIII, where this ratio is as low as 18, as against 34 for Haryana, while Punjab has a ratio similar to that of Himachal Pradesh. The situation is better at the secondary level, where this ratio stands at 30. Haryana has 23 teachers for each student at the secondary level and it stands at 28 in Punjab.

The report, however, rates this ratio as satisfactory at all levels, though it notes that regional variations exist. The ratio is worst in Kullu (1:39), followed by Una (1:38) at the primary level and worst in Bilaspur and Una at the secondary level. Lahaul and Spiti has the highest number of teachers. The state has a better pupil-teacher ratio than the all-India level and Punjab and Haryana at the primary and secondary levels.

The number of teachers in Himachal Pradesh is adequate, but redistribution and rationalisation of teachers is a must to make them available in remote areas. Accepting geographic reality, multi-grade and multi-level teaching continues to pose a challenge to the quality of learning. These measures are slated to further improve the educational standards in Himachal Pradesh.

It needs to make more efforts to improve the performance of schools and provide community owned quality education. Its specific aims are to enrol and retain children and bridge gender disparities at the elementary level of education.
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Offer of help to school board finds no takers
Jupinderjit Singh

P.K. Kashyap and his family members, explaining how their efforts to help the Punjab School Education Board have been in vain.
P.K. Kashyap and his family members, explaining how their efforts to help the Punjab School Education Board have been in vain. — Tribune photo by Inderjeet Verma

AN associate professor and members of his family are exasperated at the way their offers to help needy students have been handled by the Punjab School Education Board. He has been offering to teach students who have failed free of cost, but nobody seems interested. All that he has got in return is a taste of red tape and bureaucratic wrangling. This has left P.K. Kashyap, professor in business administration and communication, completely dejected.

Moved by the results of the middle examination last year, Kashyap wanted to take upon himself the task of educating at least a handful of students. He shot off letters to the board, offering to teach students free of cost on holidays unconditionally. It has been a year since and all that he has got in return is the reply that the government is thankful to him for the offer.

He has not given up yet. After the recent class VIII results, he has got back in touch with the board, asking for a chance. He is keeping his fingers crossed this time.

"I do not know what to do with their attitude. Members of my family and I are willing to help these poor children. We do not know why nobody wants our help", he says. Kashyap thought that he would help at least 100 students, but his hopes were dashed to the ground with every passing day.

Kashyap runs an institute of imparting communication, presentation skills and personality development. He wrote to school headmasters, the board, the then Education Minister and then Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

This inspired his children Rimjhim and Akash to teach the children in their free time. All that was in store for them was despair. "Had the government taken us seriously, students would have listed themselves on merit. That was not to be!"

Kashyap has only been left to argue that there were scores of people like him who wanted to help the country after years of learning, training and experience. "It is a pity that the government is no mood to accept such offers. They can tap the potential of many retired teachers also, who would be too happy to help students."

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Sex education in Tripura schools

Tripura government has accepted the proposal of inclusion of sex education in the school syllabus from the next academic session.

Talking to mediapersons here today state Education Minister Keshab Majumder informed that the Union Human Resource Ministry had convened a meeting in New Delhi last month to introduce sex education from class six standards.

“Though a few BJP-run states opposed the move, we accepted the proposal with a view to introduce it into the curriculum from class eight onwards,” Mr Majumder said.

After the introduction of Environment Education in school syllabus in 2004, Tripura government had taken initiative to introduce health and sex education in the curriculum as per the recommendation of the education commission but it was not done due to opposition from different corners in the state.

The state government made environmental studies compulsory up to class XII standard this year under Tripura Board of Secondary Education, following the verdict of Supreme Court.

As per the government decision, State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) had made arrangements to introduce sex education in 200 schools in the state in 2005 and the attempt foiled due to administrative inconvenience, minister said.

SCERT finalised its curriculum and was planning a dry-run to implement it as per guidelines of the National Population Education Project from class VIII upwards but the Supreme Court's judgment regarding environmental education virtually set aside the plan, says SCERT officials.

However, considering the importance, Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) has initiated move to include health and sex education in environmental studies from next year that comprises interactive sessions, counselling and audio-visual demonstrations besides print material.

It believes “adolescence education” becomes an urgent necessity because psychological and physical behaviour at pre-adult stage is intimately connected to incidence and spread of deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS especially in northeastern states, TBSE President Prof Subrata Sengupta said.

“The curriculum has been developed with a view to provide adolescents authentic knowledge which will help them adopt rational attitudes and responsible behaviour. Moreover, it will help students cope with the biological, psychological, socio-cultural dimensions of adolescence,” he added. — UNI
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ADMISSION DEADLINE

Medicine

University of Delhi, Faculty of Ayurvedic & Unani Medicines, 6th Floor, VP Chest Institute Building, Delhi 110007
www.du.ac.in

BAMS / BUMS

Application Form: Send Rs 300/- by DD favouring "Registrar, University of Delhi", payable at Delhi on any nationalized bank to the Assistant Registrar at the above address by 28 June 2007 / download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 09 July 2007

Heritage Hospitals Ltd, Lanka, Varanasi 05 (UP)
www.heritagehospitals.com

DNB Courses in Family Medicine (3 years)

Eligibility: MBBS; completed Internship of 1 year by 30 June ‘07

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 10 July 2007

Sciences Social

National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation & Museology, National Museum Campus, Janpath, New Delhi 110011 (Deemed University) (M/o Culture, GOI)

1) MA (History of Art)
2) Museology Course
3) MA (Conservation)

Eligibility: For 1: Bachelors degree (50%); a background in Social Sciences / Liberal Arts / Fine Arts desirable.
For 2: BA / BSc (Hons) / BA / BSc / BFA (3 years) in Humanities and Social Sciences. Candidates with PG Diploma in subject related to History of Art / Museum Studies preferred.
For 3: Bachelors degree / PG / Diploma in (Chemistry / Physics / Geology / Botany / Zoology / Computer Science / Fine Arts / History / History of Arts / Architecture / Designing) Candidates with knowledge of Sanskrit / Persian / Arabic / Greek / Latin / German / French / Italian etc and training / experience in preservation of artwork preferred.

Selection: Written Exam and Interview.

Application Form: Send Rs 250/ - by DD favouring "NMIHACM" on any Nationalized Bank in Delhi to the Registrar at above address.

Details: Employment News (09 – 15 June 2007) / website

Application Deadline: 25 June 2007

University

Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 124001 (Har)
www.mdurohtak.com

1) MSc / MA / MCom / MEd
2) PG Diploma in (Translation (Hindi - English) / Certificate Course in Urdu

Selection: For 1: Entrance Test: 04-07 July 2007.

Application Form & Details: Download from website

Application Deadline: 27 June 2007

Punjabi University, Patiala (Punj)
www.universitypunjabi.org

1) PG Diploma in Agricultural Marketing Mgmt / Computer Application (1 year)

2) PG Diploma in Computer Maintenance & Networking (1 year)

3) BSc (Biotechnology) (3 years)

4) BCA (3 years)
5) BA (3 years)
Eligibility: For 1, 2: BA / BSc / BCom
For 3: 10+2 (Medical / Non Medical)
For 4, : 10+2

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: For 1: 04 July 2007

— Pervin Malhotra
www.careerguidanceindia.com

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Campus Notes

Dr Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni

Encroachments galore: Concern has been raised over encroachment on university land in the precincts of the main campus in Kot, Dungi, Ser, Shamrod and Tulaspur villages. Though university employees have given a number of representations to the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Vice-Chancellor, Senators and associations of the university, nothing substantial has been done to address the problem.

They felt that influential persons were being allowed to encroach upon the land and no worthwhile efforts were being made to recover the land. They also lamented that a crematorium was being constructed at a place below the field of the Vegetable Department.

Not only were trees being axed without permission, buildings were being constructed within the boundary. Despite complaints, no action was taken, emboldening encroachers.

The university authorities claimed that they were making efforts to check encroachment. Since the issue of construction of a crematorium by the Nauni gram panchayat had come to their notice, work was immediately stopped and the Revenue Department contacted for demarcation of land.

They claimed that a revenue consultant was engaged in March and eight letters sent to the Revenue Department for demarcation. The authorities said nothing about encroachment in other villages.

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

NRI applications invited: The Guru Nanak Dev University has invited applications on prescribed forms from NRIs and NRI-sponsored candidates, including those for which state-level or national-level entrance tests have been conducted, for admission to various courses at its campus in Amritsar and regional campuses at Jalandhar and Gurdaspur. Disclosing this, Dr T.D. Narang, Dean, Academic Affairs, said the candidates interested could apply to the head of the department concerned by July 10.

He said the prospectus-cum-application form could be obtained from the university cashier on payment of Rs 350 at the counter, by post by sending a demand draft of Rs 400 or downloaded form from the university website www.gnduonline.org, accompanied by a demand draft of Rs 350 in favour of the Registrar, GNDU, payable at Amritsar.

— Contributed by Ambika Sharma and Sanjay Bumbroo

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