Childhood in the Countryside

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg is a regular contributor of Imphal Times, mostly related with Education. Vijay is a resident of Street Kour Chand MHR Malout-152107 Distt Sri Muktsar sahib Punjab. Vijay Garg, Ex.PES-1 is a retired Principal from Government Girls Sen Sec school Mandi Harji Ram Malout -152106 Punjab. He is also the author of Quantitative Aptitude, NTSE , NMMS, Mathematics of XII, ICSE numerical physics and chemistry many more books.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 17:12

Why Spring is called the King of Seasons

Although the importance of all the seasons has been told in Hinduism, but the spring season is considered special, the weather makes us feel the change of nature, every changing season brings with it a new message, according to the nature of the country of India, total 6 seasons are major. It is considered as spring season, winter season, winter season, spring season, summer season, rain and autumn season. In these, spring is considered the king of all seasons. There are many reasons behind calling spring the king of seasons. All the reasons have been told like festivals of gaiety and happiness when the crop is ready, auspicious work, marriage, pleasant weather, the seductive fragrance of mangoes, the cuckoo’s cuckoo all come together to create favorable relations, that is why the spring season is called Rituraj.
The same spring has also been called the king of seasons because in this season the fertility of the earth, that is, the production capacity of the earth increases more than other seasons, that is why Lord Krishna has called himself the spring of seasons in the Gita. And is the topmost of the supreme powers. anyway spring She is also considered the best of all seasons. Story of Origin: The killing of a demon named Andhakasur was possible only by the son of Lord Shiva. So, as per the plan of Brahmaji, Vasant was created at the behest of Kamadeva for how the son of Shiv should be born. Spring season Brahma ji praised Shakti, after that Goddess Saraswati appeared, Brahma and Goddess Saraswati created the universe. That’s why Kamdev was given a place in the flowers that grow in new trees and plants in spring.
Characteristic of spring: At the time of spring The season looks very pleasant, that means from the time of spring this season looks very beautiful. This season is at the end of winter and the beginning of summer, that is, this spring season is neither too hot nor too cold, this season starts in normal weather. At this time every person or man is willing to hang out or wants to enjoy the fun of roaming outside the house. This kind of fun comes in this season and all the animals and plants remain green and this season brings happiness in everyone’s life. In this time, in the cultivation of farmer brothers, mustard The flowers appear yellow.
There is greenery in the wheat and fruits from small to big are also planted in the mango tree. New leaves come from the trees. The greenery of flowers and makes the mind happy. Dwarfs start coming on the mango tree.
The sweet voice of the cuckoo starts cooing. By taking a walk in this time, many diseases go away and cool air keeps on blowing, due to which the strength of human age starts increasing. Spring comes after autumn. To be said or seen, the spring season starts from the month of Phalgun. Is. The weather of spring is very pleasant. The effect of spring is visible all around or all around in nature. 

Infrastructure in rural schools is far below the satisfactory level, with 82 per cent of the schools requiring renovation; books are often unavailable and teacher absenteeism tends to be high. A large number of teachers are unwilling to teach in rural areas and those who do are usually under-qualified. Improvement is only possible if more schools are established and the basic infrastructure of the existing ones is 
THE 2022 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) sheds light on learning outcomes in schools in rural districts of India. Conducted every year since 2005, this survey is a key source of information about children’s learning skills across the country. The current report, released after a gap of four years, records the impact of school closure on the studies of children during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
A household-based, rather than school-based, survey, it includes children who have never been to school or have dropped out, as well as those who are in government schools or private ones. Around 7,00,000 children in the age group of 3 to 16 years, who are residents of these households, were surveyed across the country. In each rural district, 30 villages were sampled and in each village, 20 randomly selected households were surveyed. This process generated a total of 600 households per district, or about 3,00,000 households. Information on the schooling status was collected for all children living in sampled households who were in the required age group. Children in the age group of 5-16 years were tested to assess their basic reading and arithmetic skills.
Major findings of the report are not entirely negative, but they do underline the need to improve the standard of education in rural India. The national-level study shows that despite school closure during the pandemic, the overall enrolment figures, which have been above 95 per cent for the past 15 years for the age group of 6 to 14 years, increased from 97.2 per cent in 2018 to 98.4 per cent in 2022. Government schools have seen a sharp increase in children enrolled, from 65.6 per cent in 2018 to 72.9 per cent in 2022, reversing the trend of a steady decrease in student enrolment seen since 2006, when it was 73.4 per cent. The report also suggests that despite wide variations in how children accessed technology during the pandemic years, most schools, even those in rural areas, ‘attempted to keep learning going with digital resources.’Some of the parents followed suit. This needs to be encouraged hugely.
The report also lays to rest apprehensions about the pandemic forcing families to withdraw girls from schools and push them into early marriage. It finds that the percentage of girls in the age group of 11 to 14 years, who were out of school, declined to 2 per cent from 4.1 per cent. The decrease in the proportion of girls not enrolled in school is even sharper among older girls in the age group of 15 to 16 years, which stood at 7.9 per cent in 2022 as compared with 13.5 per cent in 2018.
However, the report shows a severe decline in reading ability and comprehension of the students. The percentage of Class III students in government or private schools who could read a Class II book fell by nearly 7 per cent from 27.3 per cent in 2018 to 20.5 per cent in 2022. This decline is visible in every state, and for children in both government and private schools.
States showing a decline of more than 10 percentage points from the 2018 level include those that had higher reading levels in 2018, such as Kerala (from 52.1 per cent in 2018 to 38.7 per cent in 2022), Himachal Pradesh (from 47.7 per cent to 28.4 per cent), and Haryana (from 46.4 per cent to 31.5 per cent). Large drops are also visible in Andhra Pradesh (from 22.6 per cent to 10.3 per cent) and Telangana (from 18.1 per cent to 5.2 per cent). Nationally, the proportion of children enrolled in Class V in government or private schools who could at least read a Class II-level text fell from 50.5 per cent in 2018 to 42.8 per cent in 2022 i.e. dropping to pre-2012 levels and reversing several years of improvement.
While families withdrew students from private schools to save money spent on tuition fees, they also invested in private tuition classes, which increased as the proportion of such students rose from 26.4 per cent in 2018 to 30.5 per cent in 2022 in both private and government schools. This may also be the reason why learning gaps are sharper in reading because students typically choose to study mathematics and science in tuition classes.
What is it that the ASER survey forces us to think without spelling it out in as many words? Directly, it deals with a lot of figures and facts, but indirectly, it compels us to critically analyse what exactly is wrong with our education system, particularly in rural India. With nearly 64.61 per cent of the population being rural, issues of quality and access remain areas of concern in the sphere of rural education. Children in rural areas remain deprived of quality education owing to factors such as lack of competent and committed teachers, shortage of textbooks or teaching-learning material, among other things.
Infrastructure in rural schools is far below the satisfactory level, with 82 per cent of the schools requiring renovation; books are often unavailable and teacher absenteeism tends to be high. A large number of teachers are unwilling to teach in rural areas and those that do are usually under-qualified. Improvement is only possible if more schools are established and the basic infrastructure of the existing ones is upgraded. Also, by bringing innovative teaching methods like in private urban-based schools and promoting computer literacy, things can definitely be bettered.
However, due to the shortage of resources and lack of political will, this system suffers from massive gaps, including high pupil-to-teacher ratio, shortage of infrastructure and poor level of teacher training. Since 80 per cent of all recognised schools at the elementary stage are run or supported by the government, making it the largest provider of education in rural India, it is for the government to enforce these remedies as soon as possible and make the required changes.
As schools have reopened, the situation requires urgent thought, attention and immediate action. Things can definitely be improved if the required steps are initiated immediately. The ASER survey has clearly set the alarm bells ringing. The solution lies in accepting it and rectifying the shortcomings in education.

Monday, 23 January 2023 16:43

How to Improve Exam Results

Competition among students is rising day by day and everyone wants to score best grades today, no matter how hard they have to work for it, but the present generation is ready to go beyond their capacities and score in some excellent grades. These days competition has reached such a height that the concept of the first division has taken a back seat and these days no one is looking for anything beyond 90%. These days’ students are even not satisfied with 90%, and there are many who just aim for the perfect score. Well, there is no harm in aiming high, everyone wants a good lifestyle and a better career and the young generation is also no hesitant to put in some excessive hard-work to achieve their goals. Well, the need here is not only to put in some extra effort but also with some normal effort, an effective work-plan. Effective planning to score best grades is must these days, in order to score well.
 
Raising test scores is a goal at the top of every student’s principal lists. It's a task that requires focus and a multi-pronged approach along with a sincere effort. Sitting for any sort of an exam can be a pressure-filled situation for both student as well as parents and need is to deal with this pressure effectively in advance so that it may not hamper the performance of the student during the examination. And talking to teachers even the brightest and most confident of students sometimes under-perform because of the issues related to the pressure. Stress or pressure to perform is not the only reason, but one of the many reasons that affect the grades scored in by a student. It is not just the amount of time spent in by student that matters these days, but need today is an effective studying technique to empower the student to perform well in any condition. Mindfulness training may help to boost standardized test scores and improve the working memory of a student.
 
In order to achieve the best results, there are a lot of tips that involves the things that students need to do before, during and after an exam. These things may seem to be very small but can have a very impact on the performance of a student in his exam. A lot of students put in some great effort towards their studies with a lot of hard work and studying hours but still are not able to manage excellent results and feel really sad when their hard-word doesn’t pay. As stated earlier, need today is not only to put in hard work but along with hard-work some effective technique also. To improve your results some useful techniques can be divided into three categories:
 
Knowing your goal
Things to do before the exam
One day prior to the exam
Things to do on the exam day
Behaviour during the exam
These are a few things that a student has to keep in mind to study effectively. Small changes in your study plan can have some extraordinary results on your report card. Need today is for smart learning that comes in with panning. So plan well your goals and plan to achieve your goals.
 
Knowing your Goal
 
It is really important to know your goal well. Proper knowledge about what you want to achieve and your action plan towards your goal is a must. You cannot plan your career path without deciding which field you want to be in and what are your future goals. So it is well advised that be clear in your mind about your goals and accordingly formulate a plan to achieve your goals. Once you know what you have to achieve sit down with a pen and paper and formulate an effective study plan that includes time for studying as well as leisure activities. Remember ‘all work no play makes Jack a dull boy’. It is very important to have time for recreational activities also as you need an overall personality to achieve big and also your health is equally important. There is no point in studying whole year if you cannot appear for your exam owing to health issues that you created yourself by ignoring your health. The human body has its own needs out of which socialization and fun plays an important part. Make sure that you include in time for fun and recreation too.
Before you plan your study schedule, make sure you have your syllabus with you and you have consulted your teacher, senior or anyone that could help you out with the importance and relevance of the topics from examination point of view. Do not hesitate in seeking help, most of the people in our country feel really proud of helping others. Once you have your syllabus and you have knowledge of areas that are consistently there in exams, time well your study hours for all the topics and also give time for self-testing.
Look out for different resources that may help you out to access the importance of topics as well as their weight in your exam. Among the most valuable resources, you have available to you when studying are previous tests. Looking over past tests can help you improve your exam results by helping you know what to study, how to best prepare for a test, and how to focus your in-class note taking to facilitate studying that material.
Things to do Before the Exam
 
An examination is not about studying a few days prior to attaining some decent grades if you really want to achieve something big in your life, you need to have clarity of each and every topic and for this, you need to study all-round the year. It is better advised to study for your exam well in advance to avoid stress during the examination time and also to have a better understanding of topics. The mindfulness class emphasizing physical and mental strategies can help a lot to maintain focus on the present moment, in the face of interrupting thoughts and perceptions.
The students can integrate mindfulness into their daily activities and with a little focus during class can retain a lot. Small self-study session during evening or night after you are finished with your class can help you a lot in better retaining of the topics. It is also a fact that reduced mind-wandering in every way can lead to improved performance in your exam as well as enhancing your memory capacity. Hence it is also very important for the students to stay focussed and concentrated during their class.
Once you got your study material and whole studying plan formulated, do the best you can to study the material effectively to give out best results. There are a lot of students who find studying with friends very helpful. Others do the best studying on their own. Some people learn best by reading, some by writing, and some by speaking the material out loud. Discover which style works best for you. Make your notes properly and highlight the important points by either using coloured pens of highlighters so that during the revision time you have an idea that this is something worth noting. Make sure that you have studied well whole year and also practised various mock-tests so that you are not new to the examination pattern. Do your preparation well.
One Day Prior to Exam
 
Examination time can be some of the really stressful times that you have encountered. It is better to be prepared well in advance with your topics so that you are not under any fear or stress. Even if you are already a great test-taker you’re probably looking for that extra edge to create the best possible scores on your exams you do need to keep in mind few things that you need to do before taking an important exam. Your activities a day before can affect your performance in your exam to a great extent.
A day before the exam, never try to bring in some new topics and just focus on reviewing the key Points. The day before your test is less than ideal to be first learning something and can be a very bad idea and may lead to a lot of confusion. If you are studying well all around the year then you would have already mastered the material, and it is just a matter of giving that material an extra polish a day before your exam. Stay normal and avoid stressing yourself, eat a well-balanced diet. Be sure to keep your body and your brain in peak condition by feeding it the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Do not engage in anything that can lead to a stress situation. It is a better idea to motivate yourself a day before by picturing in mind your goals and how important your success is for you.
A day before an important exam, a lot of students tense up also becomes forgetful at times and take shallow breaths. To maintain your cool, be sure that you breathe deeply from the diaphragm. This will help your muscles feel better and will help to clear your head and allow you to think better. If you are in a healthy state of mind, then only you can give your best in your exam. So make sure you practice healthy eating habit, have proper exercise and do not stress out a day before the exam, to give out your best during the exam.
Things to do on the Exam Day
Examination day is a very important day, as this is the day that you have waited for the whole year. You have been studying whole year for this day and it’s your time to give out your best and your future is quite dependent on the performance you give in during your exam. This is the reason that most of the students at times get a bit stressed up and end up messing things. There is no reason for you to get stressed if you have worked hard. Remember, hard work never goes wasted.  It is better to avoid the distraction of all kinds before you go to the examination centre and remain focused and motivated.
Get up at a comfortable time in the morning, early enough that you reach your centre 30 minutes in advance and make sure that you have prepared you stationary in advance a night before and keep your stationery as well as admit card together at a safe place. Do not get up too early in the morning, and as soon you get up, behave normal and practice deep breathing to control your nervousness, also try mild exercise to stretch your muscles so that you have a good writing speed. Take your breakfast properly and have a balanced diet so that you do not feel low on energy during your exam. Avoid oily and fried food items.
Behaviour During the Exam
Once you reach examination hall, ask the teacher to explain the directions if you don’t understand them. Budget your time well in advance according to the marks and use your watch to track the time. Don’t spend too long on any single answer. Read the questions carefully and make sure you answer the question that is actually being asked and not wastes time writing anything out of the required curricula. Answering a different question then the one asked does not help you score. Start with the easy questions first and gradually when you tend to gain confidence and fluency then you are ready to attempt the difficult part.
Mark the more difficult questions so you know to come back to them later. Come back to the more difficult questions only after you have answered the ones which are easy for you.  Do not get distracted by anything during your examination and no matter what is happening around, remain focused. Once you have attempted your paper make sure you go through your answer sheet to check out that you have attempted everything that has been asked and also everything that you have done is correct. Once you are sure of everything, handover your answer-sheet to the teacher on duty.
Sunday, 22 January 2023 17:27

Teaching is a divine profession

There was a time when a teacher was looked upon as a role model by students. Apart from imbibing knowledge, students also copied their teacher’s attitude and character in their private life. A teacher is considered at par with God; whatever they deliver is considered divine by the students and the parents. They were the sole provider of knowledge for students. Before the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009, corporal punishment by teachers was never considered a punishable act.
There are instances where parents supported the action of the teachers, for they knew that teachers punish students only for their betterment. Situations have changed recently, and parents consider even compelling a student to learn as a grave crime! If a student commits suicide, authorities make the teacher a culprit, and the media also goes against the teachers. A true teacher should act as a guiding light in the life of students, correcting them when they make mistakes and acting as a philosopher to provide tips to manage the travails in life.
But in today’s digital era, the public perception of teachers has changed a lot. They are no longer considered a provider of knowledge. For today’s generation, Google and YouTube are the knowledge sources. Even a kindergarten child knows how to use these on a laptop and smartphone. Today’s children learn to attain every skill through the internet. They learn foreign languages, learn music and other skills easily using apps available on the internet.
Suppose the purpose of a university is to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and the development of high cognitive skills in the community. In that case, Google can aptly be called a ‘Google University’.
In this era of ‘Google University’, a teacher is considered secondary, mostly to act as an intermediate between humans and machines. For teachers to survive in this new world is challenging, especially for school and college teachers.
Teachers in the earlier generations ranked based on their knowledge in their domain and their attitude. Today if a teacher has to earn respect in the knowledge domain, they need to overpower the ‘Google University’. This is a difficult task for many. The attitude of a teacher in the present generation is hard to define. Indian society gives high respect to teachers and the teaching profession. Our tradition considers teachers at par with God, and hence they expect some qualities from a teacher that a student can emulate.
Truthfully speaking, most teachers are just moving with the trends of the society and never try to keep their individuality at the forefront. They try to satisfy the needs of the present generation of students.
Many of today’s teachers try to be friends with students to be in their good books and be among them. Partying with students, dancing with them and being with them on social media are new means of impressing students. There are hardly very few students who expect their teachers to be a knowledge repository.
Everyone in our society, be it students or teachers, has become an attention seeker through social media. Seeking attention is the basic human instinct. Toddler seeks attention from their parents; a student seeks attention from their teachers; a teenager from friends of the opposite sex, a professional from their peers; in every sphere of life and every stratum of society, people have become attention seekers.
The quantum of posts available on various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Pixstory is ample proof of this. A teacher being a part of this new digital society is no exception. Teachers dancing with students, partying with students, or even dating students and posting their photos and videos on social media has become a new norm in this new world. Many teachers play appeasement politics with their students for their survival.
Of course, like any other person, a teacher has a professional as well as private life. There is no need to intrude into their private life. That doesn’t make sense to have the teacher and student consuming alcohol together or taking a smoke together. There are excellent teachers who have their temptations like any other person. The authorities should check whether the teacher is doing their profession judiciously.
Even though a good teacher should be a friend to a student, they should know where to draw the line. They should know how to keep a distance from students. Too much closeness to students may be misused by some.
Many institutions have put forth a dress code for teachers, driven mainly by the prevailing traditions in that society. The dress code also gives dignity to the profession and helps demarcate teachers from students. Otherwise, it would be tough to identify a young teacher from a student. Imagine how our army men/ women would look without proper uniforms.
The unwritten rules and codes of ethics formulated by society are based on the experience our ancestors gained through their experience. The teachers are dealing with students, who are mostly in the age group of adolescents or teenagers. Their brain is fluid and is driven by the temptations caused by body chemicals. Many times the outward behaviour a student expresses is beyond their control. It’s the duty of every teacher not to instigate their physiological status to extremes. In a recent affidavit filed by the Kerala University of Health Sciences at the Kerala High Court, it was stated that “absolute freedom on attaining the age of 18 may not be appropriate and good for the society, and maturation is fully accomplished at the age of 25”.
In this digital communication world, a teacher must be more cautious in their attitude and behaviour on social media, as their students are constantly monitoring them. In this era, it is the duty of teachers to teach students how to behave on social media and how to tackle crimes associated with it. They should teach students how to use the internet judiciously.
With the emergence of AI technologies, all creative things like writing, drawing, compositions, etc., where human brains need to be used, can be done using the internet within minutes. In this situation, evaluating a student and developing content for teaching is an arduous task for the teachers.
A teacher’s job is not only to complete the syllabus or pass examinations but to equip the students to overcome the travails they face in their later life. A good teacher should play the role of a good student, friend and parent. Only if they consider themselves a student will they be curious to learn more from their domain. Similarly, they should be a good friend to students, listening to their concerns. They should also play the role of parents showing empathy and correcting them when they make mistakes.
The problem we face in our education system is that we lack teachers who are passionate about the profession. Many have taken up the job either by accident or by peer pressure.
Teaching is a divine profession, and teachers should show divinity by inculcating the spirit gained from our rich heritage.

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