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Child safety at schools: Teachers should refrain from shaming & making children subject of staffroom gossip

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children mental health In indian schools

Shimla: Yesterday, Himachal Watcher had cautioned media persons about ‘imitative suicidal behavior’ due to sensational coverage of news related to suicides or highly sensitive issues like the current Blue Whale concept.

However, some Hindi Dailies continued to print ‘Blue Whale’ and ‘Suicide’ in extra-large fonts with sensational graphics to make it more dramatic and scary.

Apparently, the majority of media has failed to understand that the root cause here is the suicide, suicidal tendencies, and poor mental health. Suicides among teenagers are not something new. India has the maximum number of suicide cases in the world. Most of them are related to poor mental health. India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29.

Approximately, 10 million teens, aged 13-17, are suffering from one or another mental health problem.

As per a 2012 report, nearly 5300 children aged 0-14 years kill themselves each year in India – approximately 100 children a week. This number is about 85,000 for men and women aged 15-29 years. It implies that 1600 youth including teenagers commit suicide every week.

But sadly, this alarming rate of suicide failed to appeal to policy makers in education and health.

Nevertheless, another aspect that requires attention here is that the teachers must keep in mind is to never target children in class or make them a topic of staffroom gossip. A teacher gossiping about a child means forcing his/her personal perception about the behavior of the child onto other teachers.

It is like spoiling the image of a child. Humiliating and shaming children in front of a class, their teachers, and parents with sarcastic and nasty comments can have varied negative effects on them depending on individual personality traits.

Teachers should stop arguing that they have no other mean left to discipline students as laws against corporal punishment have become stringent now.

Other than the domestic environment, a large part of their emotional life depends upon their relationship with their peers and treatment by teachers at school.

Besides mental health issues, relationship issues between teens are real in the urbanized and global society. The world of teens is complex one nowadays.  However, the typical approach of parents and teachers to these issues force adolescence to keep their world secret. Further, the artificiality of the urban society has burdened the children with gigantic academic expectations of parents and schools.

Another noticeable aspect is that the prevailing panic due to Blue Whale concept has caught the government, schools, and parents off guard. The situation has come as a tight slap on their face for lagging behind in creating awareness about mental health, do’s and don’ts for teachers and the need of trained child counselors in schools.

All advisories issued by the government, schools and subject experts are requesting parents to pay more attention to their children, observe changes in their behavior, moods, habits, routine etc. The parents of children, especially teens who are introvert or facing any sort of mental health problems like depression and stress due to academic or domestic circumstances. Children with low self-esteem and sense of being an under-achiever are more vulnerable and easier to be abetted for self-mutilation and suicide.

The parents of children, especially teens who are introvert or facing any sort of mental health problems like depression and stress due to academic or domestic circumstances, need to be more cautious. Children with low self-esteem or sense of being under-achiever are more vulnerable and easier to be abetted for self-mutilation and suicide.

Rest, as the scientific studies suggest,  is the curiosity among children regarding the game about which everyone is cautioning them. This is something that has brought more attention towards children. As per inputs provided by a few counselors and teachers, in some cases, the children are boasting to impress their friend-circle when they are not even involved in playing any such game. Mention of paying Blue Whale brings a lot of attention to a subject.

Therefore, it is not just about the Blue Whale issue. Prevention of suicides among teenagers is going to take a lot of efforts including kind support of media. Parents and teachers need to change their approach toward children and their problems. 

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.

Campus Watch

HP Cabinet Decisions: Nod to Hamirpur medical college admissions to 100 seats and Motor Vehicle Act amendment

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Hamirpur medical collage building

Shimla: The Cabinet of Himachal Pradesh Government, in a meeting, held on June 13, 2018. In this meeting, the Cabinet gave its nod to admitting 100 students to Dr Radha Krishanan Medical College, Hamirpur from academic session 2018-19.

With this, six medical colleges have become functional in the State with each college having admission capacity of 100 students, said the Cabinet.

The Cabinet also decided to restrict the quota of NRI seats in order to provide more merit-based admissions.

It accorded nod to engage 100 posts of Accountant-cum-Support Staff and 30 posts of Data Entry Operators at block level under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.

The Cabinet approved the guidelines to start ‘Akhand Shiksha Jyoti, Mere School Se Nikle Moti, as per the ‘Swarnima Himachal Drishti Patra’ to honour pass out students from the government schools who had made a mark in their life. Under this scheme, names of such personalities would be inscribed on the display board of concerned schools.

The Cabinet also approved an amendment in Rule-69A of Motor Vehicle Act, 1999 for rationalization of fee structure for contract carriages from other States. The government is expected to hike the tax paid by the carriage vehicles entering into Himachal from other states.

The Cabinet also decided to enhance the honorarium of part-time Water Carriers working on contract basis in Education Department from Rs. 1900 to Rs. 2200 from April 1, 2018.

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Nauni Varsity all set for entrance exam with 50% reservation for rural Govt school students

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UHF Nauni Entrance Test details

Solan: This year, over 5600 students from all over Himachal Pradesh will appear in the entrance test for three undergraduate programmes of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni.

The entrance test for admission to B Sc (Hons) Horticulture, B Sc (Hons) Forestry and B Tech Biotechnology programmes will be held on June 16 at 11:00 am at four cities in Himachal.

The test is being held to fill up 150 seats including 58 reserved seats for various categories in the three constituent colleges of the university. The admission in these courses under the self-financed mode is open till June 30 (without late fee).

Test Centers

At Solan, the test centres have been established at College of Forestry and College of Horticulture at the University campus and at Government Degree College, Solan.

 In Palampur, the test will be held at KLB DAV College for Girls. In Sundernagar, the test venues will be Polytechnic College, Jawaharlal Nehru Government Engineering College and Government Senior Secondary School (Boys).

The Government Degree College, Hamirpur and UHF’s College of Horticulture and Forestry, Neri, will be the test venues at Hamirpur.

The university has followed an online system for applying to various courses run by the university at Nauni and Neri. The admit cards were auto-generated once an applicant finished his online application process. The students who have not yet downloaded the admit card can do so from their email addresses also, as a copy of it has been mailed on it,

said Rajesh Kumar, Registrar of the University.

The university has also set up a helpline number 01792 252009 on which the student can contact regarding their queries. The helpline service will be operational from 10 am to 5 pm. O On the day of the test day, it will be active from 8:00 am onwards. The students have also been advised to reach the examination venue before 10:15 am.

Increased seats for wards of Defence personnel

From this academic session, the university has also doubled the reserved seats for wards of serving and retired Defence and Central Armed Police personnel wanting to pursue higher studies in Horticulture and Forestry from the university.

 The total number of reserved seats for such students in all disciplines has now gone up to 14.

In addition, the university from the last academic session has reserved 50 percent seats in its undergraduate programme for the students of Government Schools located in rural areas of Himachal

 Any student who has completed any two of the three examinations (8th, 10th or 12th) from any government school located in the rural areas of Himachal is eligible for seats under this category.  

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76 Nauni Varsity students qualify ICAR NET this year

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Nauni Vasity ICAR NET

Solan: As many as 76 postgraduate students of Nauni based Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry have qualified the Indian Council for Agricultural Research National Eligibility Test (ICAR NET), thereby establishing the university’s position among the top agricultural universities in the country.

Out of the total, 58 students are from the College of Horticulture while 19 students are from the College of Forestry of the university. This number has seen a jump over the last year’s figure when 68 students from the university had cleared the exam.

This is a great achievement for us. The increase in the number of students clearing the national examination strengthens our resolve to excel in the field of education and confirms our position among the top agricultural universities of the country,

said UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr HC Sharma, Deans and faculty of the University.

The students who have qualified the NET examination will be eligible for the selection to the post of Assistant Professors in various agricultural universities in the country.

The selected students belong to varied streams like Forest Products, Soil Science, Silviculture and Agroforestry, Basic Sciences, Environmental Science, Fruit Science, Floriculture and Landscape Architecture, Entomology, Vegetable Science, Biotechnology, Seed Science, Social Sciences, Plant Pathology and Management Sciences.

Over the years, the students of the university have performed well at the state and national level examinations. In addition, many of the students have gone on to occupy top positions in national and international organizations and companies.

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