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Himachal’s school teachers blame grading system, non-performing students, low learning level for poor board results

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Due to CCE (continuous and comprehensive evaluation) we cannot fail students. Even if students do not attend classes, their names cannot be struck off the rolls

SHIMLA- Manju Thakur hadn’t seen it coming. In the results of the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education declared this month, she scored 11 marks in science, 11 in maths and 7 in English. Only 20 of 122 students passed the Class X state board exams at Government Senior Secondary School at Pathiar, Kangra, where Manju studies. Seventeen others got compartments. Most of the students got low marks in science, maths and English, like Manju, daughter of a farm labourer.

Teachers would tell me she is good at studies,

said Manju’s mother Lajja Devi, who is perplexed.

Manju used to say the teachers are teaching well.

Manju’s sister Anjana, in Class XII at the same school, a walk of 1.5 km from their home, said her sister’s teachers had told her, too, that Manju was doing well. Anjana herself had scored 71 per cent in Class X.

This year, the highest any Class X student of this school scored was 53 per cent. It is one of 86 schools in Himachal Pradesh with a pass percentage 20 or lower in this year’s Class X and XII board exams.

Principal Mehar Singh, however, is not surprised.

The learning level of most students is not up to the mark,

Singh said.

Due to CCE (continuous and comprehensive evaluation) we cannot fail students. Even if students do not attend classes, their names cannot be struck off the rolls.

No student passed Class X in 16 government schools, and none passed Class XII in three. Overall, however, the board results were better than in the previous two years 66.88 per cent passed Class X after 57.18 per cent in 2014 and 65.25 per cent in 2015, while 78.61 passed XII after 67.09 per cent in 2014 and 68.63 per cent in 2015.

The principal said private schools don’t see high failures as they simply ask parents to take out a non-performing child. Many such children come and join government schools, he says.

After students complete primary classes, Class VI teachers find they don’t even know the basics like the alphabet or counting,

said Chitra, who teaches social studies.

It is when they appear for the boards that their level of knowledge is tested.

Once among the top-ranking states on schooling and learning, Himachal presented poor results in the Annual Survey of Education Research (ASER) in 2014. Around 1.7 per cent of Class VIII students in rural schools could not recognise the digits, 15 per cent could not tell 10 to 99, and 21.5 per cent could do subtraction but not division. In English, 0.5 per cent students could not read capital letters, and 1.2 per cent failed with small letters.

Sudipto Roy, Himachal’s education secretary from 2000 to 2003, said the state was actually well placed to implement the RTE.

I was able to provide 90 per cent boys and girls access to school. The dropout level at the time was the least in the country,

he said. But doing away with the exam system proved detrimental, he said.

The only way to judge quality is examination. Unfortunately, examinations are not so important in the country any more.

The number of students in government primary schools has been falling, from 5.89 lakh in 2003 to 3.23 lakh in 2015-16. Across levels, the state has 9.31 lakh students in 15,327 government schools, and more than 5 lakh students in 2,712 private schools.

The Pathiar school, set up in 1937, has 512 students now. Its science labs double up as classrooms. Of the sanctioned 24 faculty members, the posts of two Sanskrit teachers, one drawing teacher and two lab assistants are vacant.

Bucking the trend in this school, however, was Ranjit, son of a labourer. He scored 93 per cent in Class XII and has cleared the JEE (Main) cutoff.

I got guidance from teachers. I was determined to get good marks and I did,

Ranjit said.

Photo: Representational image

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HPU’s disabled students demand stay on M.Phil, Ph.D entrance exam results

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Disabled Students Association of Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh University has scheduled the counseling for M.Phil for October 27, 2017. However, the disabled students, who had been demanding implementation of the reservation from some time, have opposed the move.

The Disabled Students Association (DSA) has written to the Governor of Himachal Pradesh Acharya Devvrat and urged him to immediately prohibit the HPU of declaring the M.Phil and Ph.D entrance exams results.

Earlier, a delegation of the Association had met the Vice-Chancellor in September this year and submitted a memorandum demanding reservation of seats in MPhil and PhD under the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016. 

However, it did not brought any relief to them.

Today, the distressed members of the association alleged the university of not implementing the five percent reservation quota provided under the new disability law despite the directions passed by the State High Court.

After the court passed its orders this August, the university implemented the provisions of the new Act and gave admission to the disabled students in M.A. and B.Ed courses.

However, the university is following the decades-old roster system while conducting admission in M.Phil and P.hD, which is contrary to law.

The DSA convener Mukesh Kumar wrote a letter to the Governor saying that it would attract the contempt of court if the disabled students are not accommodated in M.Phil and Ph.D as per the orders of the court.

He said,

The new disability law was supposed to be implemented across the country from April 19, 2017. When the university did not follow the Act, one of the blind students, Indu Kumari of Chamba, wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court, which was treated as a PIL

Thereafter, keeping in view the strict directions of the court, the university was compelled to enroll the disabled students in the PG classes, but is still reluctant to amend the old roster system for research classes.

The matter is listed in the High Court for hearing on 31st October, said the DSA.

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Court compels HPU to implement 5% reservation quota for disabled students

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rti in braille from blind

The varsity had to deliver what it owed to these students. Now, the students have also been provided with hostel facility.

Shimla: A visually impaired girl of Himachal Pradesh knocked the doors of the State High Court in June this year after the HP University denied her admission in the post-graduate course despite provision for five percent reservation.

Indu Kumari was not the only one to face the apathy of the varsity administration. There were other disabled students like Ravinder Thakur, Jitender Kumar, and Vijay Kumar, who had paved their way upto college despite their disability but were sent back by the varsity.

The disabled students had to form the Disabled Students Association (DSA) to highlight the fact that hundreds of disabled students are being denied education in the state.

Apparently, the court pulled up the state government and the varsity and asked them to clarify why they failed to implement the new guidelines of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

As a result of this struggle and the directions of the court, the varsity had to deliver what it owed to these students. Now, the students have also been provided with hostel facility. Though the varsity had to do it unwillingly, still it has become the first state university in the northern India to reserve 5 percent quota in higher education to disabled students.

The division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel had directed the University to enroll the petitioner and consider the similar cases of some other students for admission and hostel facility.

The bench also directed the state government to implement the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

It is the responsibility of the government to ensure complete and proper implementation of the provisions of the Act. It is an obligation, coupled with duty, cast upon the government to ensure compliance of the statuary provisions,

the High Court had observed while hearing the PIL.

Ajai Shrivastava, faculty member and the additional charge of nodal officer (disability affairs) at HPU, expressed satisfaction and said that now more and more disabled students would get opportunity access higher studies.

Ajai Shrivastava also runs a non-profit organization, Umang Foundation. It was due to his guidance to these students that the varsity had to implement the enhanced disability quota. He had also warned the varsity of legal action if the quota was not reserved.

The students are thankful to Shrivastava for his efforts.

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CEC to help HPU setup an ‘e-learning Media Centre’  equipped with digital library

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CEC Educational Video Competition 2017 feature

Shimla: The two-day annual Educational Video Competition organized by the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) concluded on October 6, 2017, at the Himachal Pradesh University campus in Shimla.

Total 23 films were featured in 10 different categories.  The Governor Acharya Devvrat awarded the winning entries and appreciated the varsity and the CEC for the organization of such a relevant event.      

(Scroll Down to View the List of This Year’s Winning Entries)   

With this event, the Vice-Chancellor of HPU has announced that an e-learning media centre including a digital library will be established at the campus in collaboration with the CEC.

Earlier, the varsity lacked infrastructure, but now the new under-construction multi-faculty educational complex has solved this problem, said the VC.  He further said the project might take a couple years before realization. 

The media centre will feature a digital infrastructure that will bring the entire e-learning content of about 86 subjects of undergraduate courses to the desktop of the students.

View Pictures in Gallery

The CES will allow students to access and download e-learning content prepared on selected topics from selected subjects. The students will not have to spend unnecessary time in searching material relevant to their courses.

 

The CEC is one of the Inter-University Centres set up by the University Grants Commission of India specifically to address the needs of higher education through the use of resources of mass communication like the Internet, Television, rapidly evolving information communication technologies (ICTs) etc.

The beginning of the CEC dates back to 1984.

This year, the CEC collaborated with the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), HPU, for its annual Educational Video Competition. The two-day event was kicked-off on October 5.

Winning Educational Videos of 2017

Category Title  Language  Duration
Best Education Program of the Year  Lakkannavar – The Green Engineer for Farmers English 17m  
  Not in Fine Feathers  Bengali 22m  
         
  Special Mention      
  William Roxburgh -The Father of Indian Botay English 19m  
         
 
  • The Sacred Filament
English 20m 17s  
         
         
Best e-Content of the Year
  • Story Telling Pedogogical Perspecti
English 31m 52s  
  Special Mention      
 
  • Cell Cycle
Engilish 21m 11s  
  Cutivativation of edible Mushrooms English 21m 50s  
         
Best Formative Research Hauz Khas Hindi 14m 55s  
  Special Mention      
  A Narrative Documentary depicting the Normadic Life of Gaddi Tribe of Himachal Hindi 30m  
  Weeds of Future (Development English 22m 27s  
         
Best Script Lost Cinema Hindi 8m 30s  
  Special Mention      
  Sujbuj se Sanshodhan Hindi 15m  
         
Best Camera Work Wayandan Ramayanam Engilish 27m 25s  
  Special Mention      
  Saaz: The Evolution of Music in Kashmir Hindi 17m 13s  
         
Best Editing  Risk is not a Killer Disease Tamil 12m 50s  
  Special Mention      
  Seven Day (A Cute Story) English 4m 39s  
  Juggler Joker ya Janbaz Hindi 20m 24s  
         
Best Sound  After the Storm Bengali 27m  
         
Best Graphic/Animation/Special Effects Don’t Burn Leaves English 23m 32s  
         
Best Video Production of the Year The Less Lived English 09m 34s  
  Langoor Mela- Festivals of India English 11m 58s  
  Special Mention      
  Neer Namak Hindi 9m 29s  
         

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