Tuesday October 17, 2017

Yoga sessions to be a part of White House’s Easter Egg Roll

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Photo is for representation purpose only.

Washington: Thousands of Americans who are expected to take part in Eastern Egg celebrations in the White House will also get a chance to attend Yoga sessions to be conducted by professionals. This will be the final Easter for the Obama Administration.

The “Yoga Garden” is among the 10 zones that are constructed for the event which will take place on Monday. Over 35,000 tickets have been issued for people to enjoy the grand festival.The White House announced a full schedule of the programs going to be held in the White House Easter Egg Roll, the biggest annual public event and a celebration of its 138th year.

The theme of the event is “Let’s Celebrate” as an honor to Obama Administration’s final Easter Egg Roll. Sports, live music, cooking stations, storytelling and of course Easter Egg Rolling will be featuring in the much awaited event. There will also be a White House Free Run for the first time in support of the First Lady’s Lets Move initiative wherein Michelle Obama will be joining 250 children on a short run to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids.

Tony Award Winning is going to be the special guest this year. Multi-Platinum Recording artist; Idina Menzel will be singing the National Anthem and performing on the Rock ‘n’ Egg Roll stage. Kids will be taught how to play sports by President’s Council on Fitness Sports & Nutrition and other players and professional coaches belonging to sports teams in the eggitivity zone. First lady Michelle Obama has also chosen the winning artwork from the White House Easter Egg Roll Design Contest held this year.

Students of Elementary and middle school from 19 states and 2 foreign countries have participated in the artwork contest relating to “Lets Celebrate” theme. Children who win the Easter Egg Roll and Egg Hunt will be given posters as a prize.

The eggs were first known to become a tradition in 1981 when the President and Mrs Ronald Reagen held a wodden egg hunt that bore signatures of renowned actress, actresses, politicians and athletes.

Credits: www.dnaindia.com

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Donald Trump will soon end the DACA Programme-Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Programme for unregistered immigrants

The DACA programme grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children

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Donald Trump will soon end the DACA Programme for unregistered immigrants
Donald Trump will soon end the DACA Programme for unregistered immigrants. Wikimedia

USA, September 4, 2017: US President Donald Trump has decided to end DACA programme- a programme that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children with a six-month delay, the media reported.

Trump has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme introduced by his predecessor Barack Obama in June 2012 to shield hundreds of thousands of undocumented youths from deportation.

But conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress was responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the President to terminate the programme, the informed sources told Politico news on Sunday.

In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House has planned to delay the enforcement of the President’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, the sources said.

Trump is expected to formally make an announcement on the programme’s termination on Tuesday, and the White House informed House Speaker Paul Ryan of the President’s decision on Sunday

Paul Ryan thinks that ending DACA programme is not a good idea

On Friday, Paul Ryan said that he did not think the President should terminate DACA  programme and that Congress should act on the issue.

According to official documents, approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants are currently benefiting from the DACA programme.

Permits under DACA programme are granted for two years before needing to be renewed.

The latest study by groups that support DACA programme estimated that 1,400 people a day could lose their protections if renewals ended.

Bernie Sanders criticised Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA programme

Former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has condemned the move, reports CNN.

“If Trump decides to end DACA programme, it will be one of the ugliest and cruellest decisions ever made by a president in our modern history,” the Vermont Senator tweeted on Sunday night. (IANS)

 

 

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Can Use of Computers Enrich a Teacher’s Work and a Student’s Performance?

Use of technology in schools encourages personalized learning and it has been gaining popularity in recent years

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Jahiem Johnson, 13, left, helps classmate Kamya Saunders, 13, as they work on an English passage during class at the Washington Leadership Academy in Washington, Aug. 23, 2017. The school utilizes
Jahiem Johnson, 13, left, helps classmate Kamya Saunders, 13, as they work on an English passage during class at the Washington Leadership Academy in Washington, Aug. 23, 2017. The school utilizes "personalized learning." VOA
  •  The International Association for K-12 Online Learning estimates that up to 10 percent of all America’s public schools have adopted some form of personalized learning
  • The economy needs kids who are creative problem solvers
  • The digital tool tells us: We have a problem to fix with these kids right here and we can do it right then and there

Washington, USA, August 28, 2017: In middle school, Junior Alvarado often struggled with multiplication and earned poor grades in math, so when he started his freshman year at Washington Leadership Academy, a charter high school in the nation’s capital, he fretted that he would lag behind.

But his teachers used a computer to identify his weak spots, customize a learning plan just for him and coach him through it. This past week, as Alvarado started sophomore geometry, he was more confident in his skills.

“For me, personalized learning is having classes set at your level,” Alvarado, 15, said in between lessons. “They explain the problem step by step, it wouldn’t be as fast, it will be at your pace.”

As schools struggle to raise high school graduation rates and close the persistent achievement gap for minority and low-income students, many educators tout digital technology in the classroom as a way forward. But experts caution that this approach still needs more scrutiny and warn schools and parents against being overly reliant on computers.

The use of technology in schools is part of a broader concept of personalized learning that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s a pedagogical philosophy centered around the interests and needs of each individual child as opposed to universal standards. Other features include flexible learning environments, customized education paths and letting students have a say in what and how they want to learn.

Also Read: US Public Schools are Teaching Arabic Language and Receiving Aid from Qatar Foundation International, But Why?

Personalized learning

Under the Obama administration, the Education Department poured $500 million into personalized learning programs in 68 school districts serving close to a half million students in 13 states plus the District of Columbia. Large organizations such as the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation have also invested heavily in digital tools and other student-centered practices.

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning estimates that up to 10 percent of all America’s public schools have adopted some form of personalized learning. Rhode Island plans to spend $2 million to become the first state to make instruction in every one of its schools individualized. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also embraces personalized learning as part of her broader push for school choice.

Supporters say the traditional education model, in which a teacher lectures at the blackboard and then tests all students at the same time, is obsolete and doesn’t reflect the modern world.

“The economy needs kids who are creative problem solvers, who synthesize information, formulate and express a point of view,” said Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner. “That’s the model we are trying to move toward.”

At Washington Leadership Academy, educators rely on software and data to track student progress and adapt teaching to enable students to master topics at their own speed.

Digital tool finds problem

This past week, sophomores used special computer programs to take diagnostic tests in math and reading, and teachers then used that data to develop individual learning plans. In English class, for example, students reading below grade level would be assigned the same books or articles as their peers, but complicated vocabulary in the text would be annotated on their screen.

“The digital tool tells us: We have a problem to fix with these kids right here and we can do it right then and there; we don’t have to wait for the problem to come to us,” said Joseph Webb, founding principal at the school, which opened last year.

Webb, dressed in a green T-shirt reading “super school builder,” greeted students Wednesday with high-fives, hugs, and humor. “Red boxers are not part of our uniform!” he shouted to one student, who responded by pulling up his pants.

The school serves some 200 predominantly African-American students from high-poverty and high-risk neighborhoods. Flags of prestigious universities hang from the ceiling and a “You are a leader” poster is taped to a classroom door. Based on a national assessment last year, the school ranked in the 96th percentile for improvement in math and in the 99th percentile in reading compared with schools whose students scored similarly at the beginning of the year.

It was one of 10 schools to win a $10 million grant in a national competition aimed at reinventing American high schools that are funded by Lauren Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Also Read: New York City wants to be the Next American Tech Powerhouse by tripling its Investment in Programs for Computer Science Students

‘Female Bill Gates’

Naia McNatt, a lively 15-year-old who hopes to become “the African-American and female Bill Gates,” remembers feeling so bored and unchallenged in fourth grade that she stopped doing homework and her grades slipped.

At the Academy, “I don’t get bored ‘cause I guess I am pushed so much,” said McNatt, a sophomore. “It makes you need to do more, you need to know more.”

In math class, McNatt quickly worked through quadratic equations on her laptop. When she finished, the system spat out additional, more challenging problems.

Her math teacher, Britney Wray, says that in her previous school she was torn between advanced learners and those who lagged significantly. She says often she wouldn’t know if a student was failing a specific unit until she started a new one.

In comparison, the academy’s technology now gives Wray instant feedback on which students need help and where. “We like to see the problem and fix the problem immediately,” she said.

Still, most researchers say it is too early to tell if personalized learning works better than traditional teaching.

A recent study by the Rand Corporation found that personalized learning produced modest improvements: a 3 percentile increase in math and a smaller, statistically insignificant increase in reading compared with schools that used more traditional approaches. Some students also complained that collaboration with classmates suffered because everybody was working on a different task.

“I would not advise for everybody to drop what they are doing and adopt personalized learning,” said John Pane, a co-author of the report. “A more cautious approach is necessary.”

New challenges

The new opportunities also pose new challenges. Pediatricians warn that too much screen time can come at the expense of face-to-face social interaction, hands-on exploration, and physical activity. Some studies also have shown that students may learn better from books than from computer screens, while another found that keeping children away from the computer for five days in a row improved their emotional intelligence.

Some teachers are skeptical. Marla Kilfoyle, executive director of the Badass Teachers Association, an education advocacy group, agrees that technology has its merits, but insists that no computer or software should ever replace the personal touch, motivation and inspiration teachers give their students.

“That interaction and that human element are very important when children learn,” Kilfoyle said. (VOA)

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World Baloch Organisation Activist Azghar Baloch brings Human Rights Violations to the notice of International Community

Forced Kidnappings, abductions, murders, and suppression of any opposition has become common in the lives of Baloch people

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Human Rights Violations, Azghar Baloch
World Baloch Organisation Activist Azghar Baloch brings Human Rights Violations to the notice of International Community, Wikimedia
  • Azghar Baloch is an activist for the World Baloch Organization
  • The activist called for international community to stand with Balochistan due to the numerous human rights violations
  • Balochistan has been heavily impacted by insurgents and Islamist extremism, causing the residents to live under constant threat to life

Balochistan, August 16, 2017: The activist for World Baloch Organization, Azghar Baloch, urged the international community to stand with Balochistan and its people in these times of atrocities.

The World Baloch Forum was set up in collaboration with Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)

Balochistan, a province of Pakistan, has been bearing the brunt of the present of terror organizations and Islamist extremists. Forced Kidnappings, abductions, murders, and suppression of any opposition has become common in the lives of Baloch people.

Additional to the issue of insiders is the issue of orders. The multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative between the two countries neighboring India comes at the cost of the Balochistan region. CPEC is China’s interest to which the Pakistani government has remained blind.

ALSO READ: Balochistan Suicide Bombing: Provincial Government Falsely blames India for the Attack

Azghar Baloch, the activist, urged the support of the international community. He called for the investigation of human rights violations and to bring peace and stability to the region.

This year earlier, exiled Baloch leaders and activists organized an event called “China’s One Belt One Road Initiative – Its Adverse Impact on Balochistan and the Region” in Berlin, Germany.

Efforts have been made to bring the issues to the attention of the international community. As Azghar Baloch puts it rightly, it is a “humanitarian crisis so rarely heard of.”

The suppression and threat to life of Balochistan people comes from its own nation Pakistan.

The activist, speaking from outside the White House, concluded by urging that the powerful leaders step up so that fundamental human rights of the Baloch people must be respected in all walks of life.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


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