Noida, February 21. Sampark Foundation’s Sampark Smart Shala programme — a disruptive, inclusive programme to transform the learning outcomes for millions of children — has been selected one of the Top 100 entries of the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 100 & Change Competition. The winner to be selected from among the Top 100 will win a single $100-million (Rs.71 crore) grant.
“We are proud to be included among the Top 100 in the 100 & Change competition. Poor learning outcomes of children is one of the biggest problems confronting the education system in India, and we are committed to solving this problem through our frugal, tech-driven interventions. We have already transformed learning outcomes for 7 million children in six states across the country, and are well on our way to reaching 20 million children in the coming years,” says Vineet Nayar, founder chairman, Sampark Foundation.
Pramerica Awards winners
Gurgaon, February 24. The 10th Annual Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, hosted by Pramerica Life Insurance Ltd — a joint venture of the US-based Prudential Financial and DHFL Investments (India) — felicitated 30 school students for extraordinary achievement in community service. These finalists were selected from 3,200 applications received from a nationwide search for the country’s top student volunteers.
Top honours in the individual category were awarded to Aranyo Ray, a class XI student of Kalyani Public School, Kolkata, for inventing safe pesticides to help jute and soyabean farmers defend their crops from pests and fungal diseases, and to Vaishnavi Pandey, a class X student of the Tagore International School, Delhi, for her project to support acid attack survivors and ensure equal opportunities for them in society. Both winners were presented with a gold medallion, certificates of excellence, a cash prize of Rs.50,000 each and a return trip to Washington D.C.
Addressing the finalists, Anoop Pabby, MD & CEO, Pramerica Life Insurance said: “You have taken the initiative to find causes to support and have not let age come in the way of your contribution. Each of you has done an outstanding job that has impacted the lives of many.”
Atria U’s hydroponics monitor
Bangalore, february 25. Students of Atria University, Bangalore have designed a Hydroponics Monitor, an IoT-based device to support plant life and nutrient supplements. Hydroponics is a farming technique for growing plant life in water and nutrients without soil. This method of farming promises greater yields than soil-based agriculture and also reduces pesticides usage. The Hydroponics Monitor can be set up in workplaces or at home.
“One can grow farm produce closest to point of consumption, eliminating storage and transport costs while harvesting nutrient-rich horticulture produce without harmful pesticides. In Atria University, we plan to set up a hydroponics farm to prove that the agri-produce required for our hostels and students can be grown right here by utilising our unutilised spaces,” said Kaushik Raju, director, Atria University.
Mindler introduces SaaS
New Delhi, February 20. The Delhi-based Mindler Education Pvt. Ltd, a comprehensive career guidance and mentorship company for school-going children, unveiled its unique Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for schools and career coaches. This AI (artificial intelligence)-powered platform is designed to enable career counselors to set up or scale their career guidance practice using state-of-the-art guidance tools, research databases, machine learning algorithms and customised proprietary websites. Membership subscriptions begin at Rs.3,000 per month after a seven-day free trial period.
“Our vision is to reshape the career guidance landscape of India. This initiative is another step forward in making scientific career guidance and counseling accessible to millions. Currently, there is an estimated shortage of 1.5 million career coaches in India, and over 95 percent schools lack any formal career guidance solution. This platform will seek to address this gap,” says Prateek Bhargava, founder-director of Mindler Education.
Stonehill’s IB workshop
Bangalore, february 24. Stonehill International School, Bangalore recently hosted an International Baccalaureate (IB) Professional Development Workshop for 300 international school educators. In all, 21 workshops were conducted by a host of global IB educators from the US, UK, Australia, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bolivia and Saudi Arabia from February 20-23 to train PYP (primary years programme), MYP (middle years programme) and IBDP (diploma programme) teachers. Teachers from top-ranked international schools in Bangalore including the Canadian International School, Indus International School, Trio World Academy and The International School Bangalore participated in the workshops.
“It was an honour for Stonehill to host the IB Professional Development Workshops. It provided an opportunity for our teachers to interact with global educators and acquire valuable knowledge. The workshop provided opportunities for participating IB school teachers to elevate their understanding of evolving pedagogies and best practices in teaching-learning,” says Brian Brumsickle, head of Stonehill International School.