New higher education reforms

EducationWorld June 2021 | Education Notes
Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs

PUNJAB

Chandigarh, May 3. Chief minister Amarinder Singh constituted a committee to recommend examination reforms and review curriculums for improving the quality of higher education in the state.

Chaired by Dr. Jaspal Singh Sandhu, vice chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, the committee will also explore the feasibility of introducing new study programmes and courses. The committee has been directed to submit its report within 60 days. Also reviewing progress of the higher education and languages department, the chief minister directed the education ministry to speed up the process of recruiting 931 assistant professors in
government colleges.

MAHARASHTRA
Covid management course
Aurangabad May 13. Dr. Kananbala Yelikar, dean of Aurangabad Government Medical College, has proposed the introduction of a certificate course in Covid-19 prevention and management in all government medical colleges.
The syllabus of the six month certificate course proposed for MBBS, homeopathy, Ayurveda and dentistry students
currently engaged in treating Covid-19 patients, has been submitted for approval to the secretary and director of medical education and research, and registrar of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.

According to Yelikar, the syllabus will cover virology, safety measures, quality control, pathogenesis of infectious diseases, diagnosis of Covid-19 and management, ventilator support awareness and vaccination. “We are currently
working with a manpower deficit. This course will augment the pool of skilled manpower, which will prove useful during a possible third wave of the pandemic,” she told a media conference.

TRIPURA
Remedial education channel
Agartala, May 17. Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched Vande Tripura, a 24×7 dedicated education television channel, to broadcast content mapped to the NCERT syllabus which will benefit students enrolled in 4,500
government schools and “make up for lost learning time” during the prolonged closure of schools statewide because of the pandemic. “We attach maximum importance to education and have taken several steps to improve quality.
Last year, we successfully reached 90 percent of all students with lessons delivered over television channels and mobile phones. Vande Tripura will further enable students in the process of learning during the pandemic,” said Deb speaking on the occasion.

RAJASTHAN
Frontline workers status
Jaipur, May 20. Teachers and personnel of the department of secondary education will be classified as frontline workers and vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus on priority basis, according to an order issued by the National Health Mission director Sudhir Kumar Sharma. “Education ministry personnel are working round-the-clock without caring about their lives. Therefore, in discharge of our responsibility to protect them, orders have been issued to vaccinate them on priority basis,” said the state’s school education minister Govind Singh Dotasara in a tweet message to the public.

JHARKHAND
Final rites deployment protest
Dhanbad, May 21. Primary school teachers staged a protest against their deputation to cemeteries and crematoriums for disposal of the remains of Covid-19 victims. The protest followed a notification by Vikash Kumar Rai, Nirsa block development officer, deploying 30 government primary school teachers as nodal officers to burial grounds. According to Brijendra Choubey, president of the Jharkhand State Primary Teachers Association, this deployment notification pan will “directly hit online classes” being conducted in government schools. “In this pandemic situation, teachers don’t want to shirk their responsibilities, but our demand for frontline worker status and security cover has fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

UTTAR PRADESH
Election duty controversy
Lucknow, May 31. The cabinet approved an ex gratia payment of Rs.30 lakh to the next of kin of deceased government officials, including teacher struck down by Covid-19 while on duty in the recent panchayat elections.

This approval comes days after a statement issued by Dr. Dinesh Chandra Sharma, president of the Uttar Pradesh Praathmik Shikshak Sangh, claimed that 90 percent of 1,600 teachers and employees of the state’s Basic Education Department who succumbed to the deadly virus since the first week of April, were on election duty. “Not a single official” of the department or government representative had expressed condolences, even though the teachers’ community had contributed several lakhs to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund following the first wave of Covid-19, says the statement. The teachers association had demanded that a sum of Rs.1 crore be paid to the next of kin of these pandemic victims.

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