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HP Govt Schools Lag Behind in Imparting IT Education, Put Future of Children at Stake

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IT Education in HP government schools

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Government schools are lagging behind in imparting IT Education to children in the 21st Century in which this knowledge has become a basic requirement. The Centre government boasts of Digital India initiative and the state government never misses an opportunity to mention that Vidhan Sabha has gone fully digital. At the same time, government schools are awaiting critical reforms to keep up with the modern world.

As per information provided by MLA, Sarkaghat Constituency, Colonel Inder Singh, in Vidhan Sabha, in state’s government schools, IT is taught as an optional subject only from class IX to Class XII, that too only in Senior Secondary Schools. The subject is not available in middle and high schools. The students who opt for IT as a subject are charged Rs. 110. Students falling under SC and BPL category are given exemption of 50 per cent, he informed.

In Centre schools, on the other hand, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from Class III to Class X and as an optional subject from Class XI to Class XII, Inder Singh said in the Vidhan Sabha. The fee in Centre schools in Rs. 100 per student.

He said, in Navodaya Vidayalas, IT is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to class X and as an elective subject from class XI to XII.

The private schools running in the state do not follow any set pattern in terms of the class from which the students are introduced to IT and fee charged for it, he added. However, there is no doubt that every student enrolled in private schools do receive IT education irrespective of the level at which the subject is introduced.

As far as the neighbouring states are concerned, Inder Singh said, in the state of Haryana, IT education is taught as a compulsory subject from class VI to Class VIII and as an optional subject from Class IX to Class XII. No fee is charged from students upto class VIII. Thereafter, Rs 30 is charged during Class IX and X and Rs 35 during Class XI and XII, he informed.

In Chandigarh, IT education is a compulsory subject from Class VI to VIII and no fee is charged from the students for it.

The MLA pointed out that our education system has serious loopholes when it comes to imparting IT education to children in a government schools. The students are introduced to this subject in class IX, which is very late considering the need of the time. Also, this subject is not compulsory. Moreover, as the fee charged for opting IT as a subject is higher, students who find it unaffordable to pay this fee remain deprived of this necessary knowledge.

The future of such students who could not afford to study IT could be imagined in the current scenario. They would find it quite difficult to adjust in professional courses at the graduate or postgraduate level. Later, in terms of career opportunities, they would lag behind, the MLA said.

Inder Singh requested the government to consider making IT Education a compulsory subject from Class VI to Class VIII and provide at least two to three computers at middle and high schools along with computer teachers.

Further, he informed that the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology is facilitating IT Education in 1,131 schools of the state, and 1,367 teachers have been recruited for this purpose. In remaining Senior Secondary schools, PGT (IT) teachers have been recruited by the Education Department.

The leader of the opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, also supported this argument and questioned the government over non-delivery of laptops promised to school students.

In response to this request, the Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the total number of government schools in the state is over 18,000. Considering a lack of sufficient resources, it is not feasible to provide computer labs in all schools, he said.

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

St.Bede’s Shimla’s Tanika Tops M.Sc Geography IV Sem Exams

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St bede's girls top in hpu exam 2019

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh University recently declared the results of M.Sc Geography IV semester examination held in June 2019.

Students of St. Bede’s College, Shimla, has bagged first two positions.

Tanika Thakur topped the exams followed by Nirjala Chauhan on 2nd position.  Another student, Kritika Mokta secured the 6th position.

Along with their parents, all the three students gave credit for their achievement to the Principal of the College, Professor Nandini Pathania and former Head of Department Professor KD Chandel.

The students also expressed their gratitude towards other teachers of the Department. 

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Online Registration Dates for Centre/State Sponsored Scholarship Schemes Extended

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Date for NSP Scholar schemes online registration

Shimla– The dates for online students registration and submission of applications form on National Scholarship Portal (NSP) under the Centre and State-Sponsored Scholarship Schemes for the year 2019-20 has been extended. The scheme will be open till December 31, 2019, whereas the Defective Verification and Institute Verification will be open till January 15, 2020. It was informed by a spokesperson of the Higher Education Department recently.

The Scholarship Schemes include

  1. Centrally Sponsored Post Matric scholarship scheme for SC students
  2. Post Matric scholarship scheme for ST students
  3. Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for OBC students
  4. Centrally Sponsored Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC students
  5. Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme for ST students
  6. Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme for OBC students
  7.  Dr Ambedkar Post Matric Scholarship for economically backward class (EBC) students.
  8. State-Sponsored Mukhya Mantri Protsahan Yojana
  9. State-Sponsored Maharishi Balmiki Chatravriti Yojana
  10. Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP)
  11. Dr Ambedkar Medhavi Chatravriti Yojana for SC and OBC students
  12. Thakur Sen Negi Utkrisht Chatravriti Yojana, Swami Vivekanand Utkrisht Chatravriti Yojana
  13. Kalpana Chawla Chatravriti Yojana
  14. State-Sponsored Indira Gandhi Utkrisht Chatravriti Yojana

NSP would not provide any extension in dates for online application submission. The Head of Institutions would have to ensure that all eligible students apply within a stipulated time period.

For queries or redressal of problems, students can contact on 0177-2653120-226 and 0120-6619540 between 10 AM and 5 PM.

 

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Teacher in Shimla Booked, Suspended over Alleged Sexual Harassment of Eight Students, Remains Absconding

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Teacher in Shimla's rohru sexual harrasment case of students

Shimla-A teacher of Geography at Government Senior Secondary School, Tikkar, in Rohru, Shimla district, was booked by the local police for alleged sexual harassment of girl students. On Wednesday, the alleged lecturer was also suspended. The Director of Higher Education, Dr Amarjeet Kumar Sharma, confirmed the report.

The lecturer was identified as Sanjay Deshta- a national award winner. He was awarded in 2017 while he was posted at the Government Senior Secondary Boys School, Shimla, (Lalpani).

A case has been filed under Section 351 A of IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on the complaint of the Principal and the Sexual Harassment Committee of the school.

Reportedly, on October 23, 2019, some girl students of the school had approached female teachers with a complaint that the said lecturer used to call them in the laboratory, take selfies with them forcefully, touch them inappropriately, and ask them to watch explicit multimedia content on his cellphone. The matter reached the principal, who referred the case to the sexual harassment committee of the school. The committee probed the case and received written complaints from eight students of different classes. Following it, the principal had informed the local police on October 25, 2019.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rohru, Sunil Negi, confirmed that a case has been filed against the teacher and efforts were being made to arrest him. However, the teacher was yet to be arrested as he remains absconding. In this case, the local police has been alleged of delay in filing an FIR despite the fact that the case was highly sensitive as it pertained to harassment of minor students. 

Along with the suspension, the Director has also ordered a probe by a high-level committee under the supervision of Deputy Director, Education. The committee would file its findings to the Director and the State government within three days.

The Director also said that a committee will also be formed to take a decision over striping the alleged lecturer of the awards he was conferred at the state and national level.

The safety of children, especially girls inside educational institutes still remain a critical problem that requires more attention from the state government. 

In May 2019, the principal of a government school in Badsar of Hamirpur district was booked over sexual harassment of a 16-year-old minor girl.

In May 2018, a teacher posted at the government middle school, Mayfield, Shimla, was dismissed from government services by the Department of Elementary Education after he was found guilty of sexual harassment of class-VI girl student. He was found to be a repeated offender. 

In April 2018, a chemistry teacher employed at a private college in Hamirpur district was booked under POCSO Act for alleged sexual assault on one of his minor students. A video of students thrashing the teacher was widely circulated on social media.

In September 2017, Himachal was shocked after three staff members -cook, clerk/accountant, and sweeper-  of a Balika Ashram (child protection home for girls) situation in Chilli of Tissa region in Chamba district were arrested for alleged sexual harassment of six girls 

Other than ensuring the safety of children, there is a dire need to recruit professional child counsellors. Traumatized minor victims of such cases always require counselling, which could involve several sessions. Also, counsellors offer a safer environment where children would be more comfortable to come ahead and speak of such sensitive problems. 

Recently, Centre’s Novodya Vidyalaya recruited professional counsellors for the majority of its schools in India, which is an appreciable step. The state governmnet in Himachal Pradesh should also consider doing the same in its government schools.

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