Read aloud, speak better
Tuitions fees need more regulation
WANT to make sure that your kid’s learning process is best in the class? Well, then just read the chapters aloud to him or her, says a new study. The research, conducted by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) scientists, shows that whether a child has been read aloud to on a regular basis is the single biggest predictor of a child’s success in learning to read.
“Reading aloud to children helps them develop oral language. It teaches them how to listen and how narrative is structured. They also learn vocabulary and how print works and that it is read from left to right,” says UAB Associate Professor of education Kathleen Martin, Ph.D.
Martin and UAB Assistant Professor Kay Emfinger, Ph.D., are authors of the new book Sharing Books Together: Promoting Emergent Literacy Through Reading Aloud and Home-School Partnerships. Children who are not read aloud to often enter kindergarten and first grade lacking these skills, which Martin says are important for learning how to read, Martin said.
“A lot of parents know that reading aloud to their children is important,” says Martin, “but often they don’t realize that it continues to be of value as the child ages. Also, many parents probably have less time to read aloud to their children these days.
“It is never too early to begin reading aloud to children,” Martin said. Even infants can enjoy looking at illustrations in a book as their parents read to them. When children are past kindergarten, they still need to be read aloud to in order to learn about more complicated subjects and how to listen to and comprehend more sophisticated text,” Martin said.
It’s important for parents to be animated when they are reading to children, says Martin.
Using different voices for the various characters in a story makes the experience more fun for young children.
Tuitions fees need more regulation
THE traditional system of strict control of the state as well as the university on fees and other aspects of educational administration is on its way out although people still look towards the authorities for keeping things under control.
To cite an example, a voluntary organisation named Bengal Technical Education Council evolved to become the prestigious research institute known as Jadavpur University. A movement started by a celebrated saint led to the establishment of a women’s university in Bombay which has it campuses in Gujarat as well. These institutes in the initial stages depended on voluntary donations. The prestigious Khalsa College Amritsar and DAV College Lahore also owe their origin to voluntary efforts of philanthropists.
However, there has been a sea change after the entry of private players in education where the main motive is making money. Now bigger names in education are Amity, Chitkara and RIMT etc. They are all business ventures and the major source of income is tuition fee and other heavy charges paid by the students. In the process, higher education has become a preserve of only a few.
So far there are not many organisations which offer scholarships, fellowships, travel grants and off campus training grants to the brilliant students. The role of educationists and the government is very important since the government has to regulate the system of education at every level with active participation of the educationists in order to stop the commercialisation of education.
In the case of higher education, universities as affiliating bodies have the onerous duty of guiding the emerging institutes and also regulating their activities. The on going admissions in the colleges viewed closely can be studies as a sample survey for the state of cost of education and the scenario of fixation of fees at all levels. While fixing the tuition fee and other charges, the universities are under heavy pressure from those commercial sectors who are in the business of education.
The government is dragging its feet regarding the financial support to the universities and the colleges under the grant in aid on the pretext of there being a financial crunch. Recently the Punjab Government has asked the universities to raise their own resources and not to depend on grants. The universities have to create new resources by charging fees from the students and also enhancing the rates of services provided on the campuses. In the process, the rates of hostel rooms and such other things have been raised. As affiliating bodies, the universities are also trying to garner resources from the affiliated colleges.
The Supreme Court had a few years ago directed the state governments to setup committees for fixing tuition fee and admissions in the professional colleges. Some of the states did move in the matter but some others did not. These committees are appointed under influence of the private players who are running their family education trusts to amass wealth. The recent controversy over the fee in the private medical colleges in Punjab is the latest example.
Panjab University, from the current academic session, announced fees for the private colleges affiliated with it. Despite directions of the university some of the educational institutions in Punjab have been charging higher free thus violating the directions of the university. These institutes are charging extra fee on various counts.
In its letter to all the affiliated private colleges dated July 4, 2008, Panjab University, has stated “The hike in fee recommended would be subject to the condition that all the colleges would pay salary, retiral benefits including gratuity, PF, Leave encashment, ADA, HRA, MA etc as amended from time to time by the state government/UT administration and university. The university has also warned that defaulters would be proceeded against as provide the Panjab University rule and regulations. But this seldom happens. As a matter of fact, the managements are not bothering about the norms fixed by the university.
Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor former pro-vice chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University emphasises that the state government must setup a regulatory authority to regulate the norms and to oversee the spread of education and give it a right direction. This is something which is ethical moral and social obligation in the education sector that can be brought into focus by the regulatory authority, he said.
Dr (Mrs) Manju Chawla, who recently retired as a principal of a women college points out that the university must ensure proper payment to the athoc staff and also ensure the selection of competent teachers to check the fall in the standards of education. The private managements also have a moral duty to pay the teachers well, more so when they are charging such high tuition fee, she asserts.
THE North South Foundation provides scholarships to needy children who display academic excellence in India. The Foundation has distributed more than 2,000 scholarships to students who need financial support to pursue their quest for knowledge in engineering, medicine, polytechnic, science and other fields.
The scholarship is an annual award and not a one-time payment. The student is eligible for the scholarship until graduation as long as the high academic standards are maintained. The Foundation funds these scholarships by raising donations in the US. Currently there are nine chapters in the following cities: Bangalore, Bhavnagar, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Kolkata and Pune.
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