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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 9 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 the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Campus Watch

Nauni University Extends Last Date for Admissions, Read New Schedule  

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Himachal Pradesh UHF Nauni Admission Dates Extended

Solan-Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has extended the last date of submission of online admission forms for its undergraduate, M Sc and MBA Agribusiness programmes for the academic year 2020-21. The university has taken this decision in view of the hardships faced by students and parents due to COVID-19.

In undergraduate programmes, the University is offering B Sc (Hons) Horticulture and B Sc (Hons) Forestry at its four constituent colleges i.e. College of Horticulture and College of Forestry at the main campus, College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri and College of Horticulture and Centre of Excellence in Horticulture Research (CEHRE), Thunag. The university also offers B Tech Biotechnology programme at COH&F Neri. The last date for receipt of application for undergraduate programmes has now been extended till 15th July for normal seats and 31st July for self-financing seats.

The last date for receipt of online applications for M Sc and MBA (Agribusiness) programmes has also been extended till 15th July. The university offers M Sc at its main campus and COH&F Neri. The specializations offered in Horticulture are Entomology, Floriculture and Landscape Architecture, Food Technology, Fruit Science, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Plant Pathology, Seed Science and Technology, Spices, Plantation and Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, and Vegetable Science. In Forestry, students can apply for M Sc in Agricultural Economics, Agroforestry, Environmental Science, Environmental Management, Forest Genetic Resources, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Microbiology, Silviculture, Soil Science, Statistics, and Wood Science and Technology.  The entrance examination for undergraduate and MSc/ MBA Agribusiness programmes will be notified at a later date.

The admission schedule for MBA and doctoral admissions shall remain unchanged. The last date for applying for MBA and PhD is 17th July and 15th July respectively. The application process is online and interested students can apply by logging on the university website. The detailed admission notice with total seats for each programme can be viewed on the website.

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Govt Prepares Alternative Academic Calendar to Compensate Loss in Education Sector, No Decision on Opening Schools Till May 3

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HP Govt Decision on Opening schools after may 3

Shimla-Education of students, especially in schools, is also hit by COVID-19 pandemic. Like several other sectors, the education sector is faced with a problem it never before came face to face.

In this regard, Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank presided over a video conference meeting with Education Ministers and Secretaries of School Education Department of all states and Union Territories to discuss various issues pertaining to the education sector in the country in the wake of coronavirus.

Education Ministers of 22 States and secretaries from 14 States and Union Territories attended the conference. Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy Smt Anita Karwal and senior officials of the Ministry participated in the meeting.

Pokhriyal said that whole efforts should be that our 33 crore students do not face any difficulty and can continue their education. For this, various efforts are being made to strengthen the online education platforms like DIKSHA, Swayam, SwayamPrabha, Vidyadaan 2.0, E-Pathshala, Educational TV Channel of Doordarshan, DishTV, Tata Sky, Jio, Airtel DTH etc. The Minister also said that apart from this, an alternative academic calendar has also been released by NCERT which states can adopt according to their local situation. Also, we have to prepare safety guidelines in case of opening of schools.

Mid-day meal scheme has also been continued during the summer vacation for students. Doordarshan is providing education curriculum content through various programmes with DTH services on 33 channels.

The Minister appealed to all the States to start the process of evaluation of answer sheets of Board exams and facilitate CBSE to evaluate answer sheets of the students in their respective States.       

Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj while interacting with Union Minister apprised that distance learning initiatives are being taken up by the department through the Internet and Doordarshan Himachal. Now, DD Himachal is also available on Airtel DTH at channel number 406. He said 66 percent students from elementary classes and 72 percent students from higher classes are on board in distance learning initiatives.

The Minister said that efforts are being made for reaching out to students through All India Radio. 

The HP Board of school examination has conducted exams for all papers of class 10th. A plan is being prepared for a few papers left of plus two standards.  The textbooks have been distributed to all and mid-day meal is also being distributed. The State government is also preparing post-lockdown strategies for the education sector.

He urged the Union Minister to approve four Kendriya Vidyalayas in the state. He also demanded the mid-day meal facility for pre-primary classes.

Rest, the decision over the opening of schools and other educational institute is likely to be taken during the next Cabinet meeting scheduled for May 2. Also, the Prime Minister would take decision on the lockdown and state government would wait for his address on May 3 before taking any big steps.

The lockdown is likely to continue with relaxations and implementation of exist-plans in the green zones.

Moreover, the opening of schools would require facilitating public transport. Therefore, the Transport Department would also have a say in this matter.

Secretary Akshay Sood, Director, Elementary Education Rohit Jamwal,  Director, Higher Education Dr. Amarjeet Sharma and other senior officers of the Education Department were also present in the meeting.

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HP Govt to Teach School Students via Doordarshan, Whatsapp, Website, Radio 

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HP Govt school to teach online and via doordarshan

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government today announced to launch the e-learning and teaching for 10th and 12th standard students of the state through Doordarshan. The online learning facility from home will be provided to students under Himachal Doordarshan Gyanshala programme from 17 April, 2020 onwards, it was informed.

 The education department has prepared programme according to the syllabus of HP School Education Board for 10th and 12th classes. The programme would be telecast from 17 April for three hours from 10 AM to 1 PM for different subjects as per the time table.

 The Government further informed that the ‘Learning from Home- Har Ghar Pathshala’, a home based teaching programme for the students from grades 9 to 12 is functional during the lockdown period of COVID-19.

 This programme would help the students to get access to online videos and worksheets from their homes on the Govt Website and Har Ghar Pathshala Website. This programme would start from 16 April, 2020 between 10 am to 1 pm daily till the regular opening of schools, informed the Government.

 Under this programme, the Government claimed, all the students would regularly receive daily videos and home work through WhatsApp groups with teachers on important topics.  Their homework would be regularly checked by the teachers and also provide feedback.

 Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the education department is also planning to broadcast the study material on TV/Radio/FM to cater every student of the State.

 Secretary Information and Public Relations Rajneesh, Secretary Finance Akshay Sood, Special Secretary Education Hemraj Bairwa, Director Higher Education Dr Amarjeet Sharma, Director Information and Public Relations Harbans Singh Brascon and representatives of Doordarshan Shimla were present of the occasion.

 

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