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How safe is your child in Shimla schools?

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safety of kids in shimla schools

Shimla– Recently, parents of a pre-school child, enrolled in one of the most prestigious schools of Shimla, were exposed to the lack of trained counselors despite paying hefty fees.

The socio-economic environment and lifestyle have gone through a tremendous transformation. Children are most vulnerable to mal-adapt under the influence of complexities that came with modernization. Children are now exposed to more information than previous generations did.

In this case, parents narrated a peculiar and highly sensitive problem that required trained child counselors to deal with it appropriately.

The resident family of Shimla was shocked after what the mother discovered about her son. He had hardly spent two years in the pre-school, and from the parent’s perspective, he was in safe hands considering the reputation of the school.

One day, when the child returned home from school and the mother was giving him a bath, she noticed minute scars on his private parts. On taking a careful look, it appeared as teeth marks.

On being asked about it, the child initially showed reluctance in saying anything. However, the mother was able to persuade the child to speak. The child informed that a boy from higher class takes him to the pre-nursery classroom after they are empty and touches his private parts, and even makes him drop his pants sometimes.

The child also recalled a few occasions when he was taken to the bathroom by a boy.

I wasn’t able to believe that my child was facing abuse and bullying inside the premises of such a reputed school. He is just in pre-school. When my child told me the class in which that boy was reading, I received another shock

, told the mother to Himachal Watcher.

The boy, according to the child, was in Class I. It appeared impractical that a boy at such a tender age could intentionally molest another pre-school child.

The parents talked to a classmate of their son who also admitted that an elder boy takes him somewhere during lunch break and even recalled instances where the boy slapped and bullied him.

Parents approached the Principal of the school and narrated the story. Parents demanded CCTV footage as the pre-nursery classrooms had surveillance facility. The principal did show concern.

The boy was sent for, and he admitted practicing said behavior on being inquired.

When asked from where he had learned all this, the boy bewildered everyone by mentioning the name of his elder brother, who is a Class III student in the same school. The boy said his brother does the same with him at home.

The staff and the principle blamed greater exposure to electronic devices and the internet for the situation at hand. Free mobile services like Jio 4G has made it easier for children to access inappropriate content, they said.

When asked whether the school has a specific body to deal with such sensitive matters like child abuse and bullying, the Principal said there is no such facility. He admitted that the school does not have a regular child counselor.

When inquired about activities for children regarding awareness about good touch, bad touch, the principle could refer to one such event, and that for teachers only.

Teachers agreed that these children are too small to experience any psychological impact of it.

According to Ranjana Sharma, an experienced child counselor and a Ph.D. scholar in Psychology,

All three children need the attention of a trained professional. The victim child must be observed to dig out the possible psychological impact related to abnormal behavior he was exposed to.

She also suggested that a counselor needs to make a case study of such cases to find out the root cause behind the development of such behavior. The probability that a child has learned it by being exposed to it should never be ruled out.

Children have a new set of psychological problems now. It’s far easier for children to access to variety of information, even unwanted content, today. This access is difficult to restrict, but children can be guided to channelize it.

Moreover, the academic environment in the age of cutthroat competition is extremely hectic and stressful. This psychological stress is normally neglected while considering increasing cases of drug-addiction among schoolchildren.

Child counseling is a time consuming and very subjective matter related to problems that can’t be measured with any meter. The policy makers need to keep up with the need of the hour and think about making provision of child counselor mandatory for all educational institutes,

she said.

She further insisted that its well-established fact that family background, domestic environment, and treatment of a child in that particular environment plays a pivotal role in shaping the personality and perceptions of a child.

Most schools conduct regular parent-teacher meetings, which could be used as an opportunity for interaction between parents and counselors. It will prove as a huge assistance to teachers who struggle to deal with children with problematic behavior.

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

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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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