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Edutainment Platform ‘Kalipetty’ for 1.5 Million students of Primary Schools in Kerala

The new textbook, named ‘Kalipetty' (which means Playbox), has been developed in a scientific manner and is expected to simplify mathematics and other subjects

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Animation Training Programme for Students (ANTS). Wikimedia
Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 9, 2016: Close to 1.5 million students studying in Classes 1 to 4 in Kerala can now enhance their learning ability with the introduction of a new textbook which integrates even games through meaningful learning situations.
The new textbook, named ‘Kalipetty’ (which means Playbox), has been developed in a scientific manner and is expected to simplify mathematics and other subjects.

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The Kerala education department has introduced New Information Communication Technology (ICT) textbooks for primary classes from 1 to 4 through its IT@school project.

For differently abled students, who require special attention, ‘Kalipetty’ also has specific content which would help them overcome many of their limitations and learn ICT education.

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This new learning solution has been developed by a committee headed by K. Anvar Sadath, Executive Director of IT@School.

“The textbooks for schools will be given from November onwards and will have versions in English, Tamil and Kannada,” said Sadath. (IANS)

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Syria Turns the School Playgrounds into Vegetable Gardens to Feed Hungry Children

The ongoing crisis in Syria is having a devastating effect on the health and nutrition of an entire generation of children

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A boy sells vegetables and fruits along a street in the Damascus suburb of Qudsaya, Syria
A boy sells vegetables and fruits along a street in the Damascus suburb of Qudsaya, Syria. VOA
  • Young children are often the most vulnerable to malnutrition in a crisis
  • Good nutrition is a child’s first defense against common diseases

School playgrounds across Syria are being transformed into vegetable gardens where children whose diets have been devastated by six years of war can learn to grow and then eat — aubergines, lettuces, peppers, cabbages, and cucumbers.

Traditional Syrian cuisine is typical of the region and rich in vegetables. Its mainstays include hummus, minced lamb cooked with pine nuts and spices, varied salads, stews made with green beans, okra or courgettes and tomatoes, stuffed cabbage leaves and artichoke hearts.

But the six-year war has changed that for much of the population, and many now live mainly on bread or food aid.

According to U.N. figures, unemployment now stands at more than 50 percent, and nearly 70 percent of the population is living in extreme poverty, in what was once a relatively wealthy country.

“The ongoing crisis in Syria is having a devastating effect on the health and nutrition of an entire generation of children,” Adam Yao, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) acting representative in Syria, said on Tuesday, ahead of the start of the school year.FAO is helping some 17 primary schools in both government and opposition-controlled areas to plant up to 500 meter-square fruit and vegetable plots in war-torn areas including Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus.

FAO is helping some 17 primary schools in both government and opposition-controlled areas to plant up to 500 meter-square fruit and vegetable plots in war-torn areas including Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus.Young children are often the most vulnerable to malnutrition in a crisis, which can have serious and long-lasting effects on their growth and future development.

Young children are often the most vulnerable to malnutrition in a crisis, which can have serious and long-lasting effects on their growth and future development.

“Good nutrition is a child’s first defense against common diseases and important for children to be able to lead an active and healthy life,” Yao added.

The primary schools, which began planting in May, have produced 12 tons of fruit and vegetables. Another 35 schools are expected to start transforming their playgrounds soon in Aleppo and in rural areas around Damascus.

Also Read: Ground Report: How ISIS is ruining lives of people in Syria and Iraq

Rising prices, falling production

The price of food has risen since the start of the war — agriculture production has plummeted, and the country now relies on food imports to make up the shortfall. Transporting food around the country has also become difficult and costly.

About 13.5 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance. Of those, 7 million are unable to meet their basic food needs.

Some 5 million people receive international food aid, but not everyone in need can be reached, and the World Food Program says it has had to cut a number of calories in its family food baskets because of funding shortages.

“The donors are generous, but we don’t know how long they can continue to be generous and rely on taxpayers’ money,” the FAO’s Yao told Reuters.

Vulnerable families are receiving help from FAO to grow food at home, so they can become less reliant on food aid.

“Food aid is very important, but … we should combine both, in a way that people grow their own food and move away from food aid gradually,” he said.

In a country where more than half the population has been forced to flee their homes, many moving several times, investing in agriculture helps people to stay put for as long as it is safe, Yao added.

“Agriculture has become a hope for [many] because they can grow their own food and survive — even in the besieged areas.” (VOA)

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National Digital Library (NDL): Mobile App by IIT Kharagpur Students Lets You to Read 65 Lakh Books for Free!

National Digital Library contains books from Primary School to UG and PG in Various Subjects

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Source: Pixabay
  • IIT, Kharagpur has developed a mobile application for NDL so that everybody can download a book from their Smartphone
  • The project was initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development which says that NDL contains books from state boards, NCERT and Universities
  • The users can register themselves on the app and can search for the books with the help of various parameters

New Delhi, July 2, 2017: With the onset of modernization and globalization, the process of digitization has also impacted the world. The availability of everything on the internet is making lives of the people easier. One can find almost anything on the internet. All you need to do is to click and everything is served before you.

Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur has developed a mobile application for National Digital Library(NDL) so that anybody can download and read books online from his/her Smartphone and can use the knowledge available at the touch of a screen.

The NDL claims of having a collection of more than 65 Lakh books in English and various Indian Languages. The books range from Elementary school to Under graduation and Post graduation studies. Even the users can access the content from all around the globe.

ALSO READ: Ram Sethu: Why the Spiritual Importance attached to it is Debatable!

The project was initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development which now says that National Digital Library contains books from eight state boards, NCERT books, previous year question papers of various entrance exams and research paper published by many institutes. It also consists of books in audio form too.

The director of the NDL, Mr P P Chakraborty said that the app would provide access to everyone and now with the rise in mobile usage, the NDL app would open opportunities for people living in the remotest of areas for Indian as well as Foreign population. He also added that the world has not seen such a digital educational reform.

The users can register themselves on the app and read books online. They can search for the books with the help of various parameters of searches. This application would open new windows of opportunities for Bibliophiles and people who cannot afford to buy new books. It also increases career growth for various non vocational careers which aren’t taught in the universities.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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The Need to Introduce Music Education in our Schools: Why is it Underfunded?

Most of the Schools don't Include Music Programs due to Budgetary Pressure

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Music programs for schools are essential. Pixabay
  • In the US the music programs for schools are facing budget cuts and is heavily underfunded at other places
  • In India, according to a research paper, it was observed that music education is not available in every school
  • The scenario is far better in countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark that has well-developed and funded music school programs

June 23, 2017: Is ‘Music’ a universal language? Yes, it is! But, the current scenario will stir thoughts and make you think otherwise. Music is cherished worldwide but why people are not motivated enough to introduce it in schools?

Music has been with us for centuries and it is one of the activities that we associate with emotions and passion. We all have some music on our phones which we listen to while driving to work, or at the gym or at times while we are working. It is a composition of many vibrations that refreshes the mind. Music improves cultural integration and music is also used as a motivating factor to people.

Music Education is what is required to make the new generations take music up as a career but sadly, the present scenario of music education is not at its best. In the US, the music programs for schools are facing budget cuts and is heavily underfunded at other places. Countries like England and Australia also face the similar problem of funding of music in schools.

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India too is facing problems in managing music programs at school levels. According to a research, it was observed that music education is not available in every school, it is not for every student, the teaching quality is not satisfactory, no music rooms. Over the years, this has cornered music and now children who are willing to learn, go to private tutors. Unfortunately, this becomes a burden for some due to the financial crisis- it costs high because it is not subsidized by the government.

Therefore, students feel demotivated enough to choose music as a career option. Also, students who are willing enough to learn music have opted for online music schools but ICT (Information and Communications Technology) but it is not well structured as well.

However, the scenario is far better in countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark that has well-developed and funded music school programs and the students believe their schools take extra measures to develop music programs for schools.

But the scenario in the overall world is precarious because music education is considered not important in the education system though music has a vast scope in the practical world.  One can choose careers in Production, Music direction, Instrument specialists, Music in Tv and Radio, music in journalism, music education jobs and many other things.

One story that recently surfaced was the usage of music as a trauma therapy for the children in Syria. Project Lift works for the benefit of the Syrian children to counter their trauma through creative arts therapy which includes music therapy as one of the measures.

Listening to music has an effect on not just human beings, but also on their surroundings. Even dogs react to music. In 1994, there was an experiment done by a Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto, who believed that water reacts to human consciousness in which he observed the formation of ice crystals in water when different kinds of music vibrations hit them.

The results found to have a different composition of formation of crystals in each ice crystal. This means music can influence water and also humans. An average human body consists of 6o percent water and therefore needless o say that music can have a positive impact on the mind of human beings and therefore it is essential to introduce it to children from school levels itself.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi