Out with the old school? The rise of ed tech in the classroom

There was a time classrooms were a bastion of tradition, dominated by blackboards, chalk and textbooks. But the rapid evolution of technology means there’s a need to advance how education is delivered to young people. Schools now spend £900m on education technology every year, and it is estimated the global market will be worth £129bn by 2020. It’s making a difference – the 2017 consumer digital index [pdf] suggests that 97% of those aged 15–24 in the UK have basic digital skills – a 4% improvement on 2015. Among the emerging “edtech” ventures…

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Japan’s School System Is More Equitable—and Less Costly

KAWAMATA, Japan—In many countries, the United States included, students’ economic backgrounds often determine the quality of the education they receive. Richer students tend to go to schools funded by high property taxes, with top-notch facilities and staff that help them succeed. In districts where poorer students live, students often get shoddy facilities, out-of-date textbooks, and fewer guidance counselors. Not in Japan. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of 35 wealthy countries, Japan ranks highly among its peers in providing its rich and poor students with…

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‘Hopeless system’: Mumbai University’s economics school head retires voluntarily amid crisis

Even as University of Mumbai struggles to meet the July 31 deadline for announcing the delayed results of examinations, senior officials are abandoning the university. Neeraj Hatekar, head of department, Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy, has decided to opt for voluntary retirement, calling the problems at the university a “fight within a hopeless system of no use”. Known for voicing his opinion for or against the working of the university, Hatekar, on Monday morning, shared a post on Facebook announcing his decision to take voluntary retirement. “I realise…

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No textbooks, no benches, and unsafe classrooms: Faridkot reflects state of school education

Incomplete set of text books, no benches to sit and unsafe classrooms mark the state of school education in the district. This, even as chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, no less, expressed his disappointment at the 57% result in Class-10 at the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB). After his much-publicised comment, government officials had vowed to improve the education standards and take action, if warranted against teachers. Three months later, it is clear that before any action is taken against anyone, the government needs to ensure the basics that go into making…

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Does your child grind her teeth in sleep? It’s a sign she is being bullied at school

Teeth-grinding in teenagers during sleep could be a sign that they are being bullied at school, a study suggests. The study by an oral health charity in the UK found that adolescents who suffer from bullying are far more likely to grind their teeth in their sleep, a sign which could help parents identify victimised children sooner. The research, published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, found that teenagers who were subjected to verbal bullying in school were almost four times as likely to suffer from sleep bruxism (65%) compared…

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After school, Rajasthan varsity to teach Akbar’s Haldighati ‘defeat’ by Maharana Pratap

After the revision in class 10 schoolbooks, the University of Rajasthan’s (RU) history department is set to include a book that projects Rajput king Maharana Pratap as a victor in the 1576 Battle of Haldigati against Mughal emperor Akbar’s forces. Historical evidence shows that Pratap had fled the battlefield with more casualties on his side and later continued his guerrilla warfare against the Mughals. The dominant view about the battle so far has been in favour of the Mughal army. But those who dispute the dominant view, including the revised history…

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A fresh coat of paint, better plumbing and drinking water: How 5 teachers gave a Rajasthan school, and its students, a new life

When she joined the Girls’ Upper Primary School (GUPS) in Alwar’s Shivaji Park in December 2016, Hemlata Sharma, 47, had been teaching for 27 years. This was her first posting as head teacher and never before had she been so appalled by the condition of the school. Classrooms leaked in the rain, plaster peeled off the wall. The entire building was in a state of disrepair and housed just 100 students from classes 1 to 8. Sharma took up a challenge to bring the school back to life before the…

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Off the beaten track: Children from upper primary school in Varanasi get lessons from District Magistrate

The district magistrate of Varanasi dons a different role every Saturday when he reaches the upper primary school in Orderly Bazar to teach students. DM Yogeshwar Ram Mishra adopted the school on June 27 and decided to teach children from classes 1 to 8. “I adopted the school to improve the quality of education. As a part of the initiative, I teach students for about an hour every week. There is tremendous improvement in the knowledge and confidence of the students,” he said. Mishra teaches arithmetic, English and science in…

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No students in this school: Sanskrit institute with four teachers in dire straits

From a distance, this government-run Sanskrit school in Sikar district of Rajasthan appears like any other run-down school with the building in need of paint. But once you enter the premises, it becomes clear that something else is amiss. The school is erringly quiet – there are no children on the small playground or, for that matter, in the classrooms. The Government Upper Primary Sanskrit School in Pratappura village has six classrooms, four teachers — but not a single student. The teachers report for work at about 8am, water the…

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New highlights of school education in Pune: Going beyond rote learning, including those left behind & using technology

If the number of schools is any indication, then the education sector in the city has seen nearly 100 per cent growth in the last two decades. From 2,626 schools affiliated to the state board of education in 2004, to 3,405 schools in 2017, the number has seen a sharp rise. Add to that, over 95 CBSE schools and 36 ICSE and ISC schools today — there were less than 30 schools earlier — and the establishment of about 10 IB board affiliated schools after 1997. Educationists say that the…

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