Tale of a Bihar school: Gunny bags for benches, open sky as roof for 250 kids

Source: indiatoday.in

The Rajkiya Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya in Bihar’s Basanta village, 40 kilometre from Patna, teaches students from classes 1 to 8. Almost 250 children study here, however, due to lack of resources, the school runs from just two classrooms, forcing many to study in the open space outside.

“There is a lack of resources because of which children are studying outside the classroom. We have taken up the matter several times with the district officials but to no avail,” said Sanjeev Kumar Sah, a class teacher at the school.

India Today TV travelled to this government school in Vaishali district and found that there were no tables and chairs available for students from classes 1 to 4. Lack of resources compelled the children of these classes to get their own sitting arrangement to school.

“We don’t have a chair and table to sit and that is why we bring empty gunny bags to school to study”, said student of Class 2.

There is a separate room just outside the school premises which is being used by students of class 3 and 4 to study. Urvashi Kumari, teacher of these students, complained that the roof of the room is broken from many places because of which water fills up the classroom during the monsoons.

When India Today TV went into this classroom, it was found that the children were sitting on the floor with water and studying.

“The roof of this class is broken and we have raised this matter many times but nothing has been done. We have no option but to teach students in this situation,” said Urvashi Kumari.

Such is the condition of the school that students of classes 7 and 8 share a single classroom and two teachers use the same blackboard. While Ramanuj Prasad teaches History to students of class 7, Richa Kumari teachers Maths to students of class 8.

One killed in clash between Patna University hostel students, locals

Source: indianexpress.com

A 45-year-old man, a bystander during a clash between Patna University hostel students and local residents, was killed after a stone thrown by one of the parties hit him on the head.

The police have arrested 20 students in this regard.

The clash took place after eight students were earlier arrested for passing objectionable remarks against a local girl.
According to the police, around 12.30 am on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, over a hundred students living in Cervantes and Minto hostels of Patna University and local Lalbagh residents began pelting stones at each other. Mohammed Shoukat, who had been standing at a tea stall, was hit by a stone on his head, and died on the spot.

His death sparked fresh protests from locals, forcing police to raid the hostels. Twetny students were arrested around 2 am. To avoid further clashes, police have been deployed at Lalbagh and near the hostels.
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Garima Malik said: “We are taking stern action. The police deployment will continue and more arrests can be made”.

The chain of events started on Saturday, when inmates of the two PU hostels took out a protest march against the “poor quality” of food served in hostel canteens. During the protest, some students allegedly passed objectionable remarks against a local Labagh girl. After some locals protested this, one resident was beaten up. Police later arrested eight hostel students for passing the remarks and for assaulting the local resident.

The Monday night protest was triggered after students learnt that three Lalbagh residents had recorded their statements with the police against the arrested students.

Meanwhile, Patna University administration has taken stock of the situation and might take action against the students after an internal inquiry.

Students In A Fix As Bihar Presses ‘Refresh’ On Medical Counselling, Admission

Source: .ndtv.com


After completing the seat allocation process for the first round of counselling, Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (BCECEB) cancelled the allocation status and admissions done on the basis of first list. Following which, the board invited all registered students to fill fresh choices for allotment. Now, the board has opened counselling registration window for those students who were not able to register the first time, thus pushing the counselling dates further back.

The delay in the counselling process is being attributed to faulty seat-matrix that was released earlier and based on which the first allotment list was published, but the board is yet to confirm the reason.

Students who had completed the admission process after the first round are the most affected as the change in the seat matrix could lead to them being allotted a lesser ranked college after fresh allotment. Meanwhile, fresh registrations can also mean more competition for a seat during the allotment process.

While, BCECEB is busy sorting out the medical admission process, several other states are either in the process of completing second round of counselling on state quota seats or have begun the second round of counselling.

For students who did not register for medical counselling in Bihar the first time around can register for the counselling from July 27 to July 29. The updated seat-matrix, the alleged reason for cancelling previous allotment, will be released on August 2 and seat allotment result will be released on August 5, 2019.

Where are the jobs? Angry students ask Jharkhand minister

Source: telegraphindia.com

Angry students at Birsa Agricultural University on Wednesday confronted state agriculture minister Randheer Kumar Singh with a question: Where are the jobs?

The minister had gone to attend the 39th foundation day event of the varsity in Kanke. When he was leaving after delivering his speech, around 50 students were waiting outside the auditorium to pepper him with questions such as why no student from Jharkhand’s only agriculture university has got a state government job for the last 20 years, and what future could they look forward to with such a bleak placement record.

The minister tried to duck the barrage by saying that he wishes for the students’ good academic performance. Agriculture, he said, is the priority sector of the government and steps are being taken to provide employment opportunities for students. He said that vice-chancellor Parvinder Kaushal would address the students’ concerns.

The students were not in the mood to be swayed by perfunctory assurances. They raised slogans against the minister and the vice-chancellor, and followed the minister till he reached his car.

“The last recruitment was done in 1989,” said Varunesh Kumar, a former student of the university, who secured a gold medal in 2016 for academic excellence. “In 2015, the government had started the recruitment process for 450 block agriculture officers through the Jharkhand Public Service Commission. The preliminary test was successfully conducted. But two days before the mains examination, the recruitment was cancelled without citing any reason. Students of B.Sc (agriculture) are the worst victims.”

Ruplal Prasad, a current student, said the university’s alumni can be the backbone of an agriculture revolution in the state.

“But then we are neglected,” Prasad said. “Where we will display our skills if employment opportunities are not given to us? Jharkhand’s achievement in agriculture is only on paper. The government may be opening new research centres and colleges for agriculture studies in the state but there is employment opportunity for students. We are under pressure of our parents to get jobs. Now we feel that we made a mistake by opting to study agriculture. Every year the minister visits BAU during the foundation day programme and assures to look into our matter, so today we decided to protest.”

A group of students from veterinary and allied subjects, who were also part of the protest on Wednesday, said the state has 16 Krishi Vigyan Kendras, each with six teaching faculty and scientists, but veterinary and allied sciences students are not deemed qualified for recruitment in the Kendras.

The varsity runs a number of courses such as animal husbandry, forestry, biotechnology, fisheries, agri-business management and horticulture. There are six colleges under the varsity, of which four are agricultural colleges, one is a veterinary college and the other is a forestry college. There are over 600 students at the varsity.

The angst at BAU is not isolated. The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2 per cent in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9 per cent in February 2018, according to data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy and released in March this year.

Skilling programme for ITI students

Source: tribuneindia.com

Directorate General of Training (DGT), join hands with Cisco and Accenture to set up a future-ready employability skilling programme for ITI students across the country. Along with the implementation partner Quest Alliance, this programme will equip students enrolled in ITIs across India with skills for the digital economy over the next two years. 

The programme includes tailor-made curriculum with modules for digital literacy, career readiness, employability skills and advanced technology skills such as data analytics, and a blended learning model enabled by a combination of online self-learning via the Bharat Skills portal and in-classroom modules. 

Nearly 1,500,000 students across all the ITIs in India can access the digital learning module via the Bharat Skills portal.  Additionally, the initial phase of the in-classroom training programme is being rolled out across 227 ITIs in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Bihar and Assam, targeting more than 1,00,000 youth. 

The in-classroom programme will deliver more than 240 hours of training to impart critical 21st century skills, including digital literacy and digital fluency skills; workplace readiness skills and career management skills. The online module is optimised for mobile phones to enable onthe-go self-learning, and the toolkit also includes train the trainer resources.  Cisco will also provide access to Networking Academy courses directly to ITI students across the country. DGT and Cisco have decided to work together for the purpose of expanding digital skills into ITI educational system across India.

HCL to roll out Tech Bee programme

HCL Technologies is all set to roll out “Tech Bee”, a company initiative under which it trains and hires students who have completed Plus II, across several states, a senior official of the tech giant said last week.

HCL Technologies executive vice-president Srimathi Shivashankar said the pilot programme of “Tech Bee”, which was taken up two years ago in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu yielded good results.

As many as 700 students have now become employees of the company while some of them are pursuing higher studies as part of the initiative, she added. “We have not fixed a number for recruiting students. This is first time we are actually going into many states to assess the quality and the aspirations of the students,” she said at a press conference recently.

The company was looking at Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra PradeshandKarnataka in the south, Srimathi Shivashnark said adding in the North they were looking at Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. 

Tech Bee, HCL’s early career programme provides students an opportunity to start early, become financially independent and trendsetters.Students who wish to join this programme should have scored a minimum of 60 per cent marks in their Class XII examination with mathematics as a compulsory subject.

Students who wish to enrol in the program undergo an entrance test.  Enrolled students are paid stipend of Rs 10,000 per month. While working at HCL, students can enrol in higher education programmes offered by reputed institutions like BITS Pilani and SASTRA University. — PTI 

Prince William students take top honors at research symposium

Source: insidenova.com

Students from Benton and Graham Park middle schools and Colgan High School received awards for papers accepted to the 78th Annual Meeting of the Virginia Junior Academy of Science Research Symposium, held May 21-23 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

VJAS is sponsored by the Virginia Academy of Science and is a forum where middle and high school students compete after months of experimentation and preparing their projects for scientific presentation, according to a news release.

The research symposium also provides an opportunity for students to attend lectures by professional scientists, scientific paper sessions of the VAS and research presentations by their peers.

From Graham Park Middle, Desmen Andrew Boykin received first place in the Ecology and Earth Sciences category for his research titled “The Effect of Micro-Plastic Polymers on the Ficus Religiosa Bodhi Tree’s Shoot and Root systems.”

His paper also received the Dorothy Knowlton Award, given to the middle school student presenting the best paper in the life sciences.

Desmen also is one of only four students to earn the top award of the American Junior Academy of Science, an award given by the Virginia Academy of Science to students in grades 8-11 for presenting the most outstanding papers at the symposium.

The winners are invited to attend the annual meeting to present their research before the American Junior Academy of Science, which meets concurrently with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in February 2020 in Seattle.

Desmen also received the Ertel Thompson Memorial Endowment Award, presented to the grand prize winners of the research symposium to assist in their travel expenses.

From Benton Middle School:

• Tony Bright, Arman Lateef, and Gabriel Ralston took first place in the category of Animal and Human Sciences for their presentation of their research, titled “To breathe or not to breathe: Can face masks diminish inhaled pollution and improve health outcomes in Drosophila melanogaster?” The team was invited to present their research to the Virginia Academy of Science symposium to undergraduate and graduate students.

• Max Sigrest received second place in the Engineering and Technology category for presenting his work, titled “Invisible Fence: #NotJustForDogs: The effect of subdividing an array of an 802.11ac SOHO Router on the ability to localize a mobile device.”

• Fares Elsherbiny and Caleb Morgan took second place in the Human Behavior category with research titled “Fidget Wars: The effect of fidget toys on the concentration of school-age children.”

Shan Lateef, currently a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, won first place in the high school division in the Medicine and Health category and also won one of the four Best of Symposium awards. Lateef will travel to Seattle in February 2020 and present his research at the American Junior Academy of Science Symposium.

Colgan High’s Nicholas Morgan and Malak Elsherbiny presented their research, “The Effect of Magnets on Plant Growth Rate and Size,” in the Botany category.