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Study: Preschool Teachers at Higher Risk of Hearing Problem

The findings suggested that hearing loss and tinnitus -- sensation of hearing sounds in ears -- were the second most common symptoms affecting preschool teachers

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Study: Preschool Teachers at Higher Risk of Hearing Problem
Study: Preschool Teachers at Higher Risk of Hearing Problem. Pixabay

Seven out of 10 female preschool teachers suffer from hearing problems, finds a study that linked the profession with a higher risk than others’ exposed to noise.

It is because the preschool teachers are regularly exposed to voices and screams that often convey important information and is difficult to avoid, unlike in an industrial environment, as they have to listen to the children.

“Preschool teachers have a much higher risk than those who work in environments with a similar noise rating. The symptoms can be triggered by the boisterous environment, and it’s also difficult to use hearing protection,” Sofie Fredriksson from Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden said in a statement.

“We have an occupational group with much higher risk for these symptoms, and if nothing is done about it, it’s really alarming. We have to lower sound levels, have a calmer preschool,” Fredriksson explained.

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Representational image. Pixabay

The findings suggested that hearing loss and tinnitus — sensation of hearing sounds in ears — were the second most common symptoms affecting preschool teachers.

Among the group of 4,718 women who participated in the study, while 71 per cent experienced sound-induced auditory fatigue making them unable to listen to the radio, 46 per cent had trouble understanding speech.

Similarly, 39 per cent said that they experienced discomfort or physical pain in their ears from everyday sounds that are not necessarily loud at all, at least once a week.

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“Hearing protection devices are normally the main intervention if the sound level cannot be reduced in another way, and it may be necessary if you have a child who subjects your ears to crying for a whole day during their introductory period at preschool,” Fredriksson suggested.

“But the design of the premises and room acoustics also have to be considered. In a large room with solid walls, it becomes noisy no matter how educational and strategic you are in your work,” she added. (IANS)

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80% Maharashtra School Students Don’t Report Cybercrimes: Survey

It is also reportes that 33% students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes

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cybercrimes
37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sorts of cybercrimes. Pixabay

At least 80 per cent of school students in Maharashtra aged between 10-17 do not report cybercrimes they face online to their parents, teachers and the police, a new survey revealed on Thursday.

The study done with 1,148 children studying in the 6th-9th standard across 18 schools in Maharashtra, found that 33 per cent students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes, while 31 per cent informed their friends about it.

The survey by a non-profit startup Responsible Netism and Cyber Peace Foundation, Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) was conducted between October 2019 to February 2020 to understand internet usage trends of children across Maharashtra.

The research found that 37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sort of cybercrime including their accounts being hacked, cyberbullying, being threatened online, harassment by strangers and even receiving pornographic content.

“Millions of kids in Maharastra today are being exposed to cybercrimes owing to the ease of access and anonymity that internet offers,” Sonali Patankar, Founder President, Responsible Netism, said in a statement.

Cybercrimes
60 per cent of students faced other Cybercrimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, etc. Pixabay

“Our research points to the fact that technology companies are not stringently safeguarding the interests of children towards ensuring their cyber wellbeing,” Patankar added.

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The findings showed that at least 60 per cent of students faced other crimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, body shaming, added to inappropriate groups online, threatened online, etc.

According to the study, 46 per cent of the students revealed that they were dependent addicted to their devices (phones, tablets, computers) and it affected their studies. The report also revealed that Whatsapp and Tiktok are the two most-used apps by children in the state while PUBG and GTA are the most popular online games amongst children. (IANS)

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Launch of Internshala Trainings Faculty Development Program

Opportunity for the college professors and lecturers across India to learn latest in-demand skills free of cost with Internshala Trainings

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Internshala
Eligible teachers could apply for the initiative by 15th May 2020. Pixabay

Internshala Trainings has launched its Faculty Development Programme to assist the college teachers in India to learn new skills and upgrade their skill-set. Under this initiative, Internshala would be providing the college faculty members across India with free of cost trainings in the latest industry skills. The eligible teachers could apply for the initiative by 15th May 2020 using the official email ID provided to them by their academic institution where they are currently teaching.

In the wake of COVID-19, the education industry has seen a shift towards online learning from conventional classroom learning. In a developing country like India, teachers play a critical role in nation-building by shaping young minds and guiding them towards their career paths. With the dynamically changing education scenario and career prospects in India, the responsibility to prepare the student community for the same lies on the shoulders of our educators. Under these circumstances, the teachers have to constantly acquaint themselves with new skills, tools and technologies, and concepts in order to teach the same to the students and prepare them for jobs of the future.

Teachers
The faculty members can learn many skills  including programming with Python, web development, ethical hacking, Android app development, creative writing, French language, advanced Excel, etc. Pixabay

All the faculty members teaching in a government recognised college including public, private, and institutes offering distance education can benefit from this initiative. The initiative is first being rolled out for the first 1000 teachers enrolling for the trainings and will gradually be rolled out for all the college faculty members across the nation.

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The faculty members could choose to learn any skill from 19 short-duration training programmes including programming with Python, web development, ethical hacking, Android app development, creative writing, French language, advanced Excel, data science, machine learning, Angular, business communication skills, photography, and Solidworks.

On the launch of the Internshala Trainings Faculty Development Program, Sarvesh Agrawal, the founder and CEO of Internshala said, “Teachers are the guiding lights of our society who handhold students through their learning journey and lead them towards their career paths. An essential part of effective teaching is to keep on learning. Catering to the teachers’ learning needs and thanking them for their contribution to the country, we have launched this faculty development initiative and we hope that it aids them in their mission to educate the youth.”

For more information or to apply for the  Faculty Development Program, visit: https://bit.ly/faculty-initiative

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Cameroon Starts a Program to Save Its Native Languages

Here's How Cameroon Plans to Save Disappearing Languages

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Native languages
A teacher writes in Ewondo, one of Cameroon's native languages, at a school in Yaounde. VOA

Cameroon is commemorating International Mother Language Day, February 21, by launching what it calls an ambitious program to save its endangered national languages.

The central African state has over 260 national languages, but only 40 are taught in schools.  Cameroonians speak mostly French and English, which are foreign but official languages and part of an entrenched separatist conflict that has cost about 3,000 lives since 2017.

At the multilingual and inclusive government primary school Yaounde, 150 children between the ages of five and 11 years old learn how to count in Ewondo, a Cameroon national language spoken in the country’s central and southern regions. The students are also taught the national anthem and patriotic songs in Cameroon national languages.

Businessman Emmanuel Mbom, 31 years old, says he is satisfied at the progress made by his six-year old son at the school.

Native languages
Fabienne Freeland, director general of the nongovernmental organization Summer Institute of Linguistics, helps Cameroon in promoting the teaching of its native languages. VOA

“In my situation, my wife and I speak two different languages, native languages so my children try to pick what they can pick,” Mbom said.

Mbom says he is confused about which language to teach his children because his language is Sawa, spoken in the Littoral and Southwest regions of Cameroon, and his wife is from the Northwestern town of Nkambe, where the Limbum language is spoken.

Cameroon’s secretary of state in the ministry of basic education, Asheri Kilo, says she is satisfied with the level of interest the children display at speaking their national language.

“It is very impressive the way the children are taken into learning their languages, and I decided to check how many children are from other regions rather than Yaounde and I figured that there were children from all the 10 regions in Cameroon,” she said.

Cameroon has 260 national languages spoken by an estimated 25 million people in the 10 regions of the country. It is one of the countries the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) classifies as a distinctive cultural density on the linguistic map of the world.

However, the central African state inherited two foreign languages from its French and English colonial masters as official languages, with 80 percent of the population speaking French and 20 percent English.

Fabienne Freeland, director general of the nongovernmental organization Summer Institute of Linguistics that helps Cameroon in promoting the teaching and learning of its national languages, says the official languages have not been effective tools of communication.

“French and English has its limits on development in this country,” Freeland said. “When there was a cholera outbreak in the far north, it is only when the information started coming in Fufulde that people started changing behavior and the cholera was stopped.”

Native languages
Asheri Kilo, secretary of state in Cameroon’s ministry of basic education, is encouraged by students’ interests in learning their native languages. VOA

Cameroon’s national institute of statistics reports that four percent of the central African states’ local languages — including the Mbiame language spoken in the country’s English-speaking Northwest Region and the Ekung language in the South — have disappeared since 1950. Ten percent of the 260 languages are neglected and seven percent are threatened.

Seraphine Ben Boli, who heads the program to promote the use of Cameroon national languages, says a pilot program that is being implemented in the 10 regions of the country to save the remaining mother tongues from disappearing.

She says the ministry of basic or elementary education is experimenting with the teaching of five national languages in 43 schools throughout Cameroon. The languages chosen, for now, are Ewondo, Bassa, Douala, Womala and Fufulde, because of their national popularity. She says apart from the experimental schools, teachers in all educational establishments have received instructions and training to teach Cameroon national languages spoken in the areas where their schools are found.

Boli said Cameroon will decide by 2030 on which of the languages can be used as an official language, added to English and French. She said by so doing, they intend to solve the separatist crisis that has within the past four years claimed at least 3,000 lives just because people are divided as a result of two inherited colonial languages.

Separatists have been fighting to create an English-speaking state out of the French-speaking majority. The separatists say the education, legal system and cultural practices they inherited from their British colonial masters are different from those left by the French, who colonized the French-speaking regions of the country. Cameroon believes by having its own national language as an official language, many of its citizens will feel like Cameroonians, unlike in the past when they considered themselves either French or English.

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UNESCO says it celebrates mother tongue day because it believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies and it is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others. (VOA)