EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Adolescent education
Seema Bhatia sees the need and asks if we are doing enough to meet it
An 8th grade girl got very excited when she found that her parents were leaving her alone for a night to attend to some urgent social obligation. She invited her boyfriend to spend the night together. They spent an intimate night, experimenting, exploring and repenting. She eventually died and the boy was mentally traumatized by the experience.

Less junk food seen in US schools
French fries and other fatty and sugary foods and drinks are becoming harder to find in U.S. schools, a government report showed on recently, but many schools are falling short on providing physical education for pupils. More schools prohibit smoking and other tobacco use, but more than a third do not have such a ban, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Credit transfer policy unveiled
Basant Kumar Mohanty

Students pursuing graduation and post-graduation from one university can now continue their education in another university without a break. This will be possible because of a new policy of the Human Resources Development Ministry which entails grant of degrees jointly by various universities.

Campus notes

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Adolescent education
Seema Bhatia sees the need and asks if we are doing enough to meet it

An 8th grade girl got very excited when she found that her parents were leaving her alone for a night to attend to some urgent social obligation. She invited her boyfriend to spend the night together. They spent an intimate night, experimenting, exploring and repenting. She eventually died and the boy was mentally traumatized by the experience.

The incident was brushed under the carpet to avoid shame and humiliation. It has been long forgotten since as life moves on, as young children look for more excitement and stimulation each passing day. If one really had the time and inclination it would be an eye opener to sit with some ten or eleven year olds and hear about their social interactions in the classrooms.

Interestingly, all the games played in the classes have a sexual undertone, for instance in the game Truth or Dare the child who gets the dare is asked to perform daring feats like propose to a classmate, kiss or maybe even pull someone’s pants down. The creativity in sexual innuendos is boundless. To have a boyfriend is a status quotient, the girl who receives maximum proposals is a winner and the boy whose proposal is accepted is envied bitterly.

A heart-to-heart conversation revealed an interesting happening in one of the 7th grade classes. Bhairavi, a pretty looking girl had been pestered with countless boys in her class and outside proposing to her every day. Finally one day she gave in and accepted Vaibhav as her boyfriend. As the news became public the class had at least a dozen boys literally weeping and being booed by the rest for being such losers in life.

It may sound funny but most of these children aren’t even aware what they are getting into. If one observed these children closely it becomes quite evident, all that they are trying to do is to act grown up. They are imitating adult ways and seem too much in a hurry to be ‘in control’.

Are we prepared to have 10 and 11 year old adults around us dictating their terms and conditions to the parents and teachers all the time? If yes, we can continue living our lives as we have been, but if the answer is an emphatic “NO” then something needs to be done. The focus here is ‘done’ and not said or written. We already have enough policies and programmes for adolescents to massage our inflated egos. What we desperately need is to implement them properly. Application can happen only if there is a comprehensive research to form statistical analysis of the problem. The solutions have to be then customised according to different populations for acceptance and integration into a complex system such as ours.

The Adolescent Education Programme, inspired by the Sex Education and the Abstinence Till Marriage programme in the United States of America, had United Nations Population Funds as a major partner in its implementation. The underlying reasons for the urgency were the increasing HIV- AIDS cases in India. The figure quoted at the time in 2004 by UNAIDS was 5 million which amounts to one percent of the total Indian population. Three years hence, we receive new HIV-AIDS affected figures from the UNAIDS and, surprisingly, they have been reduced to 2.5 million, which means not a single new case of HIV-AIDS has been reported in all these years.

We Indians essentially lack the initiative to collect comprehensive data to form statistics on which we can form policies that suit our needs. It serves our purpose to borrow ideas and models from developed countries and apply them blindly to our system and feel good about them. It sounds fine as long as its highways and malls we are copying, they can be restructured if we go wrong but can we say the same for our kids?

It may be disheartening for some to accept that even Americans have gone wrong in a lot of their policies, even when they were based on scientifically collected data. Their ‘Sex Education programme’ is one such example, yet we chose to copy ‘the model’ page by page, stamped it with Department of Education, Delhi and shoved it down the aided and unaided CBSE schools.

In such case, should we carry on with Adolescent Education Programme (AEP) that essentially addresses American youth? Or should we start fresh, with collecting separate data for every Indian state’s unique adolescent issues (Assam is fighting drugs whereas it’s early marriage in Bihar) and have a comprehensive solution pool by the respective states. These can then go through expert analysis and be integrated into classrooms without much ado.

This would save not only a large chunk of tax payers money that goes into running such government programmes, but also a national programme becoming sheer entertainment for the children, picnicking for the teachers and a headache for the administration.

The writer is a Clinical Psychologist.

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Less junk food seen in US schools

French fries and other fatty and sugary foods and drinks are becoming harder to find in U.S. schools, a government report showed on recently, but many schools are falling short on providing physical education for pupils. More schools prohibit smoking and other tobacco use, but more than a third do not have such a ban, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report tracked school health policy changes from 2000 to 2006. Janet Collins, who heads the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, said it showed encouraging progress but more work needs to be done. Many experts have pointed to the abundance of junk food in elementary, middle and high school cafeterias and vending machines as a factor in the rise in U.S. childhood obesity. The CDC report showed that some, but certainly not all, of this stuff may be disappearing from schools. For example, Howell Wechsler, director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, said 19 percent of schools sold french fries in 2006, compared to 40 percent in 2000. “That means that approximately 25,000 more schools have stopped serving deep-fried potatoes. That’s about equivalent to all of the schools in California, New York, Texas and Florida combined,” Wechsler said.

The report also found that more schools are offering salads, low-fat or non-fat yogurt, and low-fat salty snacks like pretzels and baked chips. Fewer were selling cookies, cake or other high-fat baked goods in vending machines, it found. Among high schools only, 61 percent in 2006 sold chips and other high-fat salty snacks in vending machines or stories. And 77 percent of high schools, 45 percent of middle schools and 16 percent of elementary schools sold sodas and other sugary beverages that were not 100 percent juice.

“I still see too many school lunch periods in which the longest lines are for pizza, chicken wings and french fries,” said Chandler Converse, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Georgia who appeared with CDC officials at a news briefing.

Experts blame youth obesity also on physical inactivity and a sedentary life spent in front of a TV or computer screen. The percentage of school districts that required elementary schools to provide students with regularly scheduled recess time rose from 46 percent in 2000 to 57 percent in 2006. But the report also found that just 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools and 2 percent of high schools provided daily physical education for students in all grades the whole school year. And 22 percent of schools did not require students to take any physical education at all. Wechsler said the CDC recommends schools ban tobacco use in all locations including off-campus, school-sponsored events. The report found the percentage of schools with such bans rose from 46 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2006. “I think that one thing that really galls young people is seeing hypocrisy. And being taught all the time about how bad tobacco use is, and then to see it allowed on campus or at a school event really contradicts that message,” Wechsler said. The report’s data came from state education agencies and surveys of about 500 local school districts, 1,100 public and private schools and 2,000 teachers, CDC said. — Reuters

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Credit transfer policy unveiled
Basant Kumar Mohanty

Students pursuing graduation and post-graduation from one university can now continue their education in another university without a break. This will be possible because of a new policy of the Human Resources Development Ministry which entails grant of degrees jointly by various universities.

Under the Credit Transfer scheme, the marks got by a student while studying from one university will be transferred to another university if he or she shifts, Pro-Vice Chancellor of IGNOU Latha Pillai, who is associated with the programme, told PTI here.

“The scheme talks about transfer of credits obtained by a student in the first one or two semesters of a particular course from a university to some other university where the student wants to pursue the rest of the course,” she said.

“This is an innovative move which can help students take the best education from various institutions for any specific course. A student can complete the first year of a course in the conventional face-to-face mode of education, while the second year can be pursued in distant mode,” Pillai noted.

The programme is aimed at bringing about convergence between conventional and distance modes of education and help attract more students get higher education, she said.

Some of the universities can offer dual degrees to students for any specific course, she said.

“But for dual degrees, the concerned universities have to enter into an memorandum of understanding,” she said.

The credit transfer system is part of the government’s initiative to converge the conventional and distant mode of education, she said.

The convergence scheme, which has already been approved by the government, intends to bridge the gap between the two modes which will help bring more students under the ambit of higher education.

IGNOU has started involving several universities for this purpose. It had recently convened a meeting of 20 leading universities with whom it would enter into collaboration for conducting joint degree courses, its Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Omprakash Mishra said.

“In distant mode, we are also having face-to-face classes. Many traditional universities are having distance education which will further strengthen the system,” Mishra said.

The initiatives assume significance in view of the government’s target to have 40 per cent of the students in higher education in distant mode by the end of 11th plan in 2012. — PTI

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CAMPUS NOTES
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
Social scientist to deliver lecture in Germany

Dr Sukhwant Singh Bindra, senior professor of the Department of Political Science, has been invited by the Institute of Indology and the Institute of Political Science, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, to deliver lectures on 'Kashmir Problem: Some Realities' and 'Gandhian World Order Model: An Explanation' on December 3 and 4. The visit of Dr Bindra has been sponsored by the host university.

Nominated

Dr Surinder singh, a senior professor of physics, has been nominated as an executive member of the International Committee on Gas Geochemistry (ICGG) of Geochemical Society Washington, USA, for a period of two years during the 9th International Conference on Gas Geochemistry held at National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

An eminent scientist in the field of nuclear geophysics, Prof. Singh is also the Principal Investigator of a major research project on 'Earthquake Studies' sanctioned by the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi. He is also heading the research group in the field of 'Environmental Radioactivity and Material Science'.

Thukral new DSW

A noted environmentalist and Professor in the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Dr A. K. Thukral, took over as Dean, Students Welfare, of the university recently.

Dr Thukral did M.Sc. (Botany) from the University of Saugar and Ph.D from BITS, Pilani. He did post-doctoral research from the University of Moscow, Moscow. His field of specialisation is environmental sciences and plant physiology.

Dr Thukral has written two books—Environment and Development and Environment Protection. Seventy of his research papers have been published in various journals of national and international repute. He has also been honoured with 10 prestigious awards/distinctions.

— Contributed by Sanjay Bumbroo

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ADMISSION DEADLINE
Armed Forces

The Indian Navy, PO Bag No 04, RK Puram PO (Main), New Delhi 110066 www.nausena-bharti.nic.in

Officers in Logistics Cadre of Executive Branch (SSC) – August ‘08 Course

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian men / women; BCom / BA (Economics) / MBA / BBA / BBM / MCA / BCA / BSc (IT) / BTech / BE / Bachelors degree with PG diploma / degree in (Material Mgmt) / ICWA / CA Height & Weight: 157 cms (men), 152 cms (women) with correlated weight. Eyesight: Distant vision 6/36, 6/36 correctable to 6/6, 6/12 with glasses. No color/night blindness. DoB: 02 August ‘83 - 01 February ‘89.

Selection: SSB Interview; Medical Exam.

Application Form: Send by ordinary post in prescribed format to the above address. Superscribe “Logistics Cadre – Aug 08 Course. Educational Qualification ………….. Percentage …%” / download from website

Details: Employment News (03 – 09 November 2007) / Website.

Application Deadline: 30 November 2007

Art & Design

The Apparel Training & Design Centre (ATDC), Apparel House, Institutional Area, Sector 44, Gurgaon (Har) (M/o Textiles, GoI) 
www.aepcindia.com

Diploma in Apparel Manufacturing Technology (1 year)
Knit Garment Manufacturing Technology (1 year)
Textile Design (1 year)
Diploma in Fashion Sampling / Co-ordination (1 year)
Production Supervision & Quality Control Course (6-month)
Textile Appreciation Course (6 months)
Pattern / Cutting Master Course (6 months)
Machine Mechanic Course (4 months)
Garment Construction Course (4 months)
Sewing Machine Operator Course (3 months)
Measurement & Quality Control Course (3 months)
Apparel Merchandising (3 months)
Apparel CAD Course (1½ months)

(Courses offered at 14 ATDC centers in India. Special morning classes for working people)

Eligibility:
For 1-3: Class 12.
For 4-8: Class 10.
For 7: Class 8.
For 9: Bachelors degree/ Diploma in AMT.
For 10: Class 12 / Diploma in AMT / IIHT / PSQC / PCMC

Selection: Oral Aptitude Test / Interview.

Application Form: Send Rs 140/ - by DD favouring “Apparel Training & Design Centre,” payable at A-223, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-I, New Delhi 110020 / download from website.

Details: Employment News (03 – 09 November 2007) / website

Application Deadline: 08 December 2007

Engineering

National Power Training Institute (WR), Badarpur, New Delhi 110044 www.npti.nic.in

Post Diploma in Thermal Power Plant Engineering (1 year)

Eligibility: 3 years Diploma in Mechanical / Electrical Engg (55%)

Application Form & Details: Download from website

Application Deadline: 03 December 2007

IT

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Academy of Cyber Technology Science, B 30, Institutional Area, Sector 62, Noida 201307 (UP) (M/o Communications & Information Technology, GoI,) 
www.cdacnoida.in

1) PG Diploma in Wireless Technologies & Applications 
2) PG Diploma in Embedded Systems & VLSI Design
3) PG Diploma in Software Design & Development

Eligibility: For 1: BE / BTech (Electronics / Electrical / Electronics & Comm / Electronics & Instrumentation / Computer Science & Engg / IT)
For 2: BE / BTech (Electronics / Electrical / Instrumentation / Computer)

For 3: BE / BTech (Computer Science / IT / Electronics / Electronics & Comm / Electronics & Instrumentation/) / MCA / B Level / MSc (Electronics / CS / IT) / BSc (CS / IT) / BCA

Selection: Entrance Exam: For 1 & 2: 05 January 2008 
For 3: 06 January 2008

Details & Application Form: Download from website.

Application Deadline: 28 December 2007

Management

Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM), Jnana Bharathi Campus, PO Malathalli, Bangalore 560056 (Kar) (M/o Commerce, GoI) 
www.iipmb.edu.in

PG Diploma in Agri-Business & Plantation Management (15 months)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree (50%).

Selection: Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture / Allied subjects; Optical Mark Reader Test by MANAGE, Hyderabad
For others: MAT / XAT scores, GD & Interview.

Application Form: Send Rs 700/- by DD favouring “Indian Institute of Plantation Management”, payable at Bangalore to the Admission Associate at the above address / Download from website.

Details: Employment News (03 – 09 November 2007) / website

Application Deadline: 11 January 2008

ABV-Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management, Morena Link Road, Gwalior (MP) (Deemed University) 
www.iiitm.ac.in

MBA / MBA – ITES / MBA - Infrastructure Mgmt / MBA - Public Services Mgmt & e-Governance / MBA (Non-Formal Sector Mgmt)

Eligibility: BE / BTech / MCA (60% / 6.75 CGPA on a 10 point scale)

Application Form & Details: Download from website.

Application Deadline: 17 January 2008

Medicine

National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Manovikas Nagar, Secunderabad 500009 (AP) (M/o Social Justice & Empowerment, GoI) 
www.nimhindia.org

Masters in Disability Rehabilitation Administration (MDRA) 
Eligibility: Bachelors degree in Disability Rehabilitation recognized by RCI / MCI / Paramedical Professionals / Masters degree (Psychology / Rehabilitation Psychology / Social Work / Rehabilitation Social Work / Business Mgmt), 50%

Selection: Entrance Exam / GD / Counselling: 20 December ’07

Application Form: Send Rs 450/- by DD favouring “Director, NIMH, Secunderabad” payable at Secunderabad to Assistant Programme Officer (Academics) at the above address / Download from the website.

Application Deadline: 30 November 2007

Central Institute of Psychiatry, Kanke, Ranchi 834006 (Jhar) (GoI)
www.cipranchi.nic.in

1) MD Psychiatry (3 years)
2) Diploma in Psychological Medicine (2 years)
3) PhD in Clinical Psychology (3 years after MA/MSc / 2 years after MPhil)
4) MPhil in Medical & Social Psychology (2 years)
5) MPhil in Psychiatric Social Work (2 years)
6) Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing (1 year)

Eligibility: For 1 & 2: MBBS with 1 year rotating Internship

For 3: MA / MSc (Psychology) / MPhil (Medical & Social Psychology / Clinical Psychology), 1st Division
For 4: MA / MSc (Psychology, 50%)
For 5: MA (Sociology / Social Work, 50%)
For 6: ‘A’ Grade Certificate / Diploma (General Nursing & Midwifery) + 2-year work experience as Staff Nurse.

Selection: For 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5: Entrance Test

For 6: Interview

Application Form: Apply online

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 06 December 2007

Scholarships

Department for the Welfare of SC/ ST / OBC / Minorities, IInd Floor, B Block, Vikas Bhawan, IP Estate, New Delhi 110002
www.scstwelfare.delhigov.nic.in / www.minorityaffairs.gov.in

Merit Scholarship for Minorities pursuing higher studies

Eligibility: 10+2 / Bachelors degree (50%); Family income not to exceed 2.50 lakh p.a.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 30 November 2007

S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Block JD, Sector III, Salt Lake, Kolkata 700098 (WB) 
www.bose.res.in/admission.htm

Junior Research Fellowship Programme

Eligibility: MSc in (Physics / Chemistry / Maths), 60%

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 30 November 2007

— Pervin Malhotra
www.careerguidanceindia.com 

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