Chandigarh, December 10. Government school teachers across Punjab threatened to burn the effigy of state education minister Vijay Inder Singla if he refused to apologise for allegedly using objectionable language against unemployed youth protesting government inaction.
Singla reportedly used abusive language against unemployed B.Ed and TET-qualified teachers, who were protesting the failure of the state government to induct them into the public school system.
“We want the education minister’s apology for insulting these duly qualified teachers,” says Bikramjit Singh Kaddon, secretary of Sanjha Adhyapak Manch teachers union. A video clip showing the minister uttering objectionable words against protesting teachers is viral on social media, claims Kaddon. The minister, however, denies the charge against him.
Meanwhile, the opposition Aam Aadmi Party has demanded the dismissal of Singla from the cabinet.
Humiliating punishment protest
Hisar (Haryana), December 10. The faces of six class IV children including two girls of a private school were reportedly blackened with boot polish and all of them were paraded within school premises for faring poorly in a class test, according to a police statement. One of the girls, a nine-year-old child of the Dalit community informed her parents about this humiliating punishment. According to parents of the children, the school’s management refused to take any action against the teachers prompting them to file a police complaint.
A case under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been registered against four individuals, including the school principal, said Ashok Kumar, deputy police superintendent.
A government official who visited the school after the incident was reported, found it locked. The school principal and his family are absconding, say the police.
Digital theses reform
Indore, December 15. In a first-of-its-kind innovation introduced by the Jabalpur-based Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University, research scholars and postgraduate students can now submit their thesis in the digital format instead of traditional written dissertations.
“We are implementing the digital theses innovation to protect the environment. This will also save the money of Ph D researchers and postgraduate students. Students can now submit their thesis in pdf format instead of on paper,” said vice chancellor Dr. R.S. Sharma, acknowledging the nationwide campaign of Dr. Manohar Bhandari, associate professor, department of physiology in Indore’s Government Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College to introduce digital theses in higher education institutions.
According to a university official, this reform will benefit over 1,200 students including postgraduate students of allopathy, surgery, dentistry, ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, nursing and Ph D scholars
Women graduates acclaimed
Puducherry, December 23. President Ram Nath Kovind lauded the academic achievements of women students while addressing the 27th convocation of Pondicherry University.
The president, Visitor of the university, awarded gold medals to a token number of graduates. “I had the privilege of awarding gold medals to only ten students, but I noticed that nine of them were women,” he said. Of the total 189 students who bagged gold medals in several disciplines, 137 are women, compared to 52 awarded to male students.
“This achievement strongly reflects the future of our country and advancement of our daughters. I extend my best wishes to them,” he said.
Transgender protection guidelines
Panaji, December 24. In a widely acclaimed initiative to protect transgender students from harassment, the Goa government has issued ‘inclusivity guidelines’ to all primary-secondary schools in the state to ensure safe and secure environments for students of this minority.
In a circular issued on December 15, Santosh Amonkar, deputy director of education, directed all institutions to constitute anti-discrimination committees to counter popular prejudices against the transgender community.
In the guidelines, school managements are directed to grant admission to all transgender students, and ensure teachers are sensitised about issues relating to transgenders, their life, culture, psycho-social and emotional conditions.
“The spirit of the Constitution of India is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain her potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender. Therefore, transgender children also have an equal right to education and they should be nurtured from the humanistic point of view,” says Amonkar in the circular.
Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs