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The coronavirus pandemic has deepened the inequities in accessing and benefiting from education, especially for the underprivileged students in India, who are more likely than others to be engaged in remote schooling.
According to the World Economic Forum, nearly 320 million learners in India were adversely affected by the pandemic, and have transitioned to the e-learning industry.
The virtual learning system has its own vulnerabilities, as it increases the risk that instructions would not be close to the classroom contact atmosphere, which could widen the achievement gap.
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Another challenge for the e-learning platforms, given that more than 20 languages are used across the education system in the country, was how to align with various dialects, varied contexts, and different social experiences. Also, the continued closure of schools could potentially have a negative impact on the most vulnerable students.
However, the Central Square Foundation (CSF), a Delhi-based non-profit, believes that leveraging Education Technology (EdTech) solutions is the need of the hour, as it can help ensure continued learning at home.
In partnership with Google, the CSF had created TicTacLearn in April last year, which is a repository of 12,000 learning videos for mathematics and science subjects in six languages e Hindi, English, Telugu, Odia, Gujarati, and Marathi.
Speaking to IANS, Bikkrama Daulet Singh, co-managing director, CSF, said: “Never before did we witness disruption in teaching-learning at this scale. To rise to the challenge, we accelerated the production of videos under TicTacLearn. We wanted to deliver high-quality content in vernacular languages to ensure that children, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, benefit from it during school closures.”
This repository of learning videos solves three critical aspects of online learning: Quality content, engagement, and access. The TicTacLearn channel on YouTube is open-source, which has garnered in excess of 52 million views and 110k plus subscribers so far.
According to Atul Bhargava, senior project lead (government projects) at CSF, with more than 20 languages used across the education system, equitable access to quality distance learning resources is more vital than ever.
The content is story-based (especially for grades I-V), pedagogically sound, and byte-sized (4-5 min), which generates interest in the students, keeps them engaged and helps them learn at the same time.
“The landscape of Indian educational content availability in 2018 depicted lack of content in vernacular language. The majority of available content was owned by for-profit players – not affordable by 85-90 percent of Indian students enrolled in government and government-aided schools,” said Bhargava.
The maths topics are broken into hook & knowledge, illustrative examples, and misconceptions. The environmental science (EVS) and science videos follow the storytelling approach. There are 12,000 plus videos and 1,050 plus hours of content for maths (grade I-X); and EVS and science (grade III-X), which has 2,000 videos and 175 hours of content for each language.
These videos are also available on the DIKSHA app, the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) primary initiative to make e-content available to school children. The videos can also be accessed on the app using the QR codes in the textbooks.
Last year, nearly 500 million textbooks were distributed with QR codes on each chapter, which allow students to scan the code and get a video explaining the concept. For example, if a student is willing to learn about photosynthesis, he/she can scan the code and get a video. As many as 9,000 TicTacLearn content pieces have been linked to 50k plus QR codes and 20 states are using TicTacLearn content via DIKSHA and there are already in excess of 5 million views on it.
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana have started linking the TicTacLearn content to the QR codes in the textbooks.
Would this e-learning methodology succeed in a post-pandemic scenario?
“Going forward, schools are likely to adopt a blended learning approach since it will be a while before they resume operations at full strength. These videos will continue to complement classroom learning,” Singh said. (IANS/KB)
Afghans lodged more than 17,000 asylum applications in the EU in September, up from 10,000 in August and nearly twice as many as Syrians. This made Afghanistan by far the main country of origin, which Syria had been for seven years until July, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) said.
Total applications in the EU exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19.
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EASO said about 71,200 applications for international protection were lodged in the EU in September 2021, up by a quarter from August and the most since November 2016.
For the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, applications exceeded the last pre-pandemic levels in early 2020.
The rising trend in Afghan applications not only continued, but accelerated.
Applications by Afghans increased by a considerable 72 per cent, from about 10,000 in August to 17,300 in September. This increase partly reflected the evacuations that followed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August.
Afghans were by far the largest group of applicants in the EU in September, with almost twice as many applications as by Syrians (9,100), who had been the largest group every month for seven years up to July 2021. While Afghans lodged the most applications since September 2016, their number was still less than half of the all-time high in November 2015.
the third largest group of applicants in SeptemberUnsplash
Also read: Afghan leaders meet in Geneva to start peace
Turkish nationals (3,000) were the third largest group of applicants in September, continuing to apply at the highest level on record.
Several other main nationalities recorded substantially more applications in September: Bangladeshis (2,800, a new high), Pakistanis (2,700), Albanians (2,100), Venezuelans (1,800), and Georgians and Tunisians (1,700 each). (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: Afghan, Syria, Bangladesh, Pakistan)
“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo DaVinci
International Civil Aviation Day is observed on December 7th to recognize the flying industry’s impact on modern society. In 1994, as part of ICAO’s (International Civil Aviation Organization) 50th-anniversary celebrations, the first International Civil Aviation Day was observed, and in 1996, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 7th as International Civil Aviation Day.
Aviation has revolutionized tourism and business forever, not to mention the cultural linkages that have been made possible. The purpose of this day is to emphasize the significance of civil aviation in social and economic development, as well as to highlight the unique role played by the International Civil Aviation Organization in assisting nations in cooperating and bringing a truly global transit network to reality. With the adoption of Agenda 2030 by the United Nations, a vow to reduce pollution with the eventual aim of a new era in global sustainable development, the role of aviation remains just as essential.
International Civil Aviation Day is observed on December 7th to recognise the flying industry’s impact on modern society. | Photo by Cédric Dhaenens on Unsplash
The theme of International Civil Aviation Day is changed every five years. For the whole four-year gap, one theme is continued. From 2020 until 2023, “Advancing Innovation For Global Aviation Development” is the theme. This theme will place a greater emphasis on innovation in all aspects of air transportation, with the organization supporting ideas through a more proactive and dynamic assistance strategy.
HOW IS IT CELEBRATED?
The International Civil Aviation Organization conducts a variety of activities and events throughout the day, including seminars, training sessions, and news announcements on international civil aviation topics. Governments, organizations, businesses, and even individuals support the ICAO.
Telling an aviation worker how much you appreciate them is one of the most obvious and heartfelt ways to express your gratitude. | Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash
HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION DAY?
- Thank a civil aviation worker: Telling an aviation worker how much you appreciate them is one of the most obvious and heartfelt ways to express your gratitude. Give an aviation worker a thank you and a pat on the back this December 7th, or you can show your appreciation for them by uploading posters on various social media handles.
- Get involved: There are various ways to become engaged with the ICAO if you’re enthusiastic about helping countries flourish socially and economically with the help of aviation. Organize meetings, events, and gatherings to discuss how we can work together to ensure no country is left behind.
(Keywords: civil aviation worker, United Nations, International Civil Aviation Organization, flying, International Civil Aviation Day)
By- Harris Scott
Business owners hardly have time to look into all aspects of a business operation, and accounting is one aspect. While small business owners might invest some time handling accounting services, it is indeed a big waste for owners of major enterprises. Regardless of the size of the business, your organization needs someone to look after the ledger.
Hiring an Accountant for your Firm - Things to Consider
When seeking out an accounting service, you have to opt for a professional with the level of experience you need. Here are things to consider when choosing an accountant.
- Neat and organized
Incomplete data entries and loopholes in the ledger are significant factors in slowing down the accounting process. If your accountant is not focusing on the job, chances are he will overlook important details. Such a discrepancy in the ledger book can mislead everything to a messy dead end. You never know that today’s entry would play a significant role in saving your company when people from taxation show up at your doorway. That is why only reputed accounting services can have an excellent eye for detail. Such a company focuses on the financial and success of your business.
- Handy in computer software
As per Aron Govil, the reliability of accounting has nothing to do with a high profile in computer science, but modern businesses hugely rely on technology to keep up with the latest trends. For example, if your competitor uses technology to manage the financial subject, you cannot stick to the traditional paper register. When the accountant on a computer gets efficient and accurate results quickly, the one with paper may lag due to continuous error. Even if he is not making any errors, the automatic calculation will consistently be faster than manual counting. You must look for such accounting services that can easily integrate various software on your accounting operations and utilize them seamlessly.
- Temporary or permanent accountant
An organization with a couple of accountants cannot take care of every financial detail. They might work with their trustworthy accountant for a long time, but a new business strategy could force them to reshuffle their positions. In this situation, they might need more accounts instead of an accountant. Looking into the type of business trait, you should decide on a service that suits your requirements. Well, it depends upon the business you are running and your budget; you need to figure out whether you need to hire a part-time accounting service or a full-time accounting agency. Along with the budget, your accounting operations also contribute to making these decisions; if you have a good amount of substantial accounting actions to take care of, then you must have a permanent accounting service.
Most businesses usually have accountants, but not all invest in accounting because they work with experts. As per Aron Govil, find an accounting service provider if you still cannot afford that facility. Hiring the right accounting agency is the most crucial aspect, as you will be putting financial responsibilities over the shoulder of professionals. So, try to find the best and most trustworthy accounting experts for your business. You can consider looking for them online by going through the reviews and their websites.
(Disclaimer: This is article is sponsored and includes some commercial links.)