Cambridge Assessment International Education

Kerala: Universal digitisation claim

EducationWorld November 2020 | Education Notes

Thiruvananthapuram, October 12. Kerala has become the first state in the country to digitize all 16,030 government schools, announced chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference. “The government took special interest in universalizing K-12 education and has presented a Left alternative, a Kerala model of education to the world,” he said adding with all government schools equipped with hi-tech IT labs and high speed broadband Internet connectivity, children will learn and grow with the help of advanced learning systems.

To modernise all government and aided schools, the state government has constituted a Public Education Rejuvenation Mission to devise strategies to upgrade schools into centres of excellence and the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education board to implement plans with funding from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board.

Civil service prep scholarships

Aizawl, October 13. To reverse the declining number of Mizo youth joining the civil services, the state government has resolved to provide full sponsorship, including test prep school expenses, to students preparing for UPSC and other Central services examinations.

A state-level entrance exam will be conducted to shortlist students eligible for scholarships, the criteria for which will be announced soon, said chief minister Zoramthanga addressing the media. The state government will sign up promising Mizo youth with reputed coaching institutes in Delhi, Kota and other test prep institutes to facilitate aspirants in test preparation. Full scholarships will be awarded to most promising students aspiring to become civil servants, he added.

NOCs withdrawn

Chandigarh, October 16. No Objection Certificates (NOCs) awarded to nine private schools to provide primary-secondary education to children were cancelled by the education ministry for breach of licence conditions, education minister Vijay Inder Singla informed a press conference.

The minister said that numerous complaints have been received against these schools for failure to pay salaries of teachers or arbitrarily reducing their remuneration since mid-March when schools were shut down following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the minister, show-cause notices were served and the accused schools were thoroughly investigated. “Their replies and explanations were unsatisfactory.

So we decided to withdraw their NOCs. The state government will not allow school managements to exploit teachers and staff,” he added.

NIT-R skyscraper

Bhubaneswar, October 19. A 14-storey golden jubilee building of the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela (NIT-R) was formally inaugurated by Union education minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal. Speaking on the occasion, the minister described NIT-R as a premier institution developing the best brains of the country.

Constructed at a cost of Rs.95 crore with a built-up area of 7,000 sq. metres, the new building is a tower block of 14 floors, entirely funded by the Central government, said Pokhriyal. “It is now the tallest building of the steel city of Rourkela,” he said.

A telescope is proposed to be installed on the terrace of the building to facilitate studies related to climate change.

Rural education drive

Dehradun, October 5. The Uttarakhand government will establish two Atal Adarsha Vidyalaya schools in all 90 administrative blocks of the state. They will provide free-of-charge quality education in English and Hindi to students from poor rural households.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat gave his in-principle agreement to this proposal following a meeting to review school education in the state, said Arvind Pandey, minister for school education and sports.

Moreover, a new sports policy will soon be implemented to provide promising sportspersons and athletes mentoring and training from professional coaches and sports stars. The state government’s new sports policy will include provision for establishing sports science centres, and a dedicated sports development fund for promoting budding athletes in the 8-14 years age group, he added.

Fake universities exposé

New Delhi, October 7. The University Grants Commission (UGC) released a list of 24 “self-styled, unrecognised institutions” across the country, and declared them “fake”.

“The UGC Act, 1956 provides for degrees to be awarded only by universities established under a Central, state, provincial Act or by institutions especially empowered by an Act of Parliament to confer degrees,” said UGC secretary Rajnish Jain, at a press conference.

Delhi has seven proscribed universities, Odisha and West Bengal two each and Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Puducherry and Maharashtra one each, he added.

Paromita Sengupta with bureau reports

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