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Arab News Education

Saudi seeks teachers

The applications will be received from July 31 through Aug. 7 via Masar platform of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD)….reports Asian Lite News

The Saudi Ministry of Education announced on Thursday 11,547 teaching jobs, under the official contract system, during the academic year 2022-2023.

The ministry said this will further contribute to achieving its strategic objectives by actively investing in the human cadres of the education sector, as well as keeping pace with the continuous improvement of learning skill outcomes.

In addition, the move will provide the necessary manpower to implement the advanced academic plans.

The ministry said applications will be received from July 31 through Aug. 7 via Masar platform of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD). The required specializations include Mathematics, English, Business Administration, Digital Skills, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. 

ALSO READ: Saudi’s Dar Al Arkan ,Trump team up for real estate project in Muscat

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Arab News Education UAE News

Sheikh scholarship for knowledge empowerment among Arab talents

The Scholarship, which aims to encourage Arab learners to pursue higher education in a reputed university, supports Arab talents to empower their knowledge and skills…reports Asian Lite News

To pursue higher education at Oxford University is a dream for many aspiring students across the globe. Ranked as the world’s best university for the sixth consecutive year by the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022, Oxford University offers students unique learning experiences by leveraging the expertise of the world’s eminent researchers, which makes it the most sought-after university for acquiring postgraduate education.

The Oxford-Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Graduate Scholarship, launched in 2016 as part of a partnership between the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) and Oxford University, is a collaborative effort between the two institutions to support aspiring students in the UAE and the Arab region to pursue higher education from the world’s most prestigious and top-ranked university. The long-term collaboration between the two parties leverages the expertise of the University, which is well known as a hub for science and a prime choice of university for learners for over 900 years.

The Scholarship, which aims to encourage Arab learners to pursue higher education in a reputed university, supports Arab talents to empower their knowledge and skills. The pioneering initiative highlights the efforts of MBRF to strengthen the scientific, academic and research ecosystems in the Arab world and become a strong pillar of knowledge-based communities. The scholarship also highlights the foundation’s aim to empower learners and support their research projects, further boosting the UAE’s leading position in the global knowledge landscape.

The Oxford-Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Graduate Scholarship seeks to enhance the potential of promising Arab students by providing scholarships to attain higher education at a prestigious university. By sponsoring their academic journey at a globally-renowned academic institute, the initiative also gives students the opportunity to enhance their intellectual potential, by learning from top academics in the world and connecting with other exceptional students from around the globe.

By connecting knowledge pioneers from the Arab world through MBRF, this move helps to create communities that will continue to thrive and develop in the future. These communities reflect the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for a bright future that will last for eons to come.

Applying for the Scholarship

In line with its efforts to enhance scientific research, empower Arab learners and encourage advanced research to steer the growth of the region, Oxford University accepts scholarship applications from UAE, as well as all other Arab nations. Through the scholarship, Oxford University aims to attract students, who aspire to pursue higher education in various academic disciplines. 

Arab learners who are qualified for higher education programmes, with a strong commitment towards scientific contribution to the region, are eligible for the scholarship. The students can avail grants for tuition fees, university services, books, accommodation, and monthly expenses along with annual flight tickets throughout the scholarship period.

Acquiring the Scholarship

In order to acquire the scholarship, the applicants first have to secure admission to Oxford University for master’s (not MBA) or doctoral degrees, upon completion of the admission, the scholarship application will be sent automatically, and eligible applicants will be contacted. The eligibility criteria are based on the academic competence and capabilities of the learners.

Oxford University

Deemed one of the most prestigious universities in the world across various disciplines, Oxford University provides a one-of-a-kind learning experience for the students, giving them the opportunity to gain knowledge under the guidance of pioneers in various fields and utilize the world’s best libraries, laboratories, museums, and groups. The university includes 38 colleges operating collectively to impart quality education. The university is renowned for its abundant facilities, along with nearly 8,000 faculties and research staff and has 7000 post graduate students enrolled. Along with programmes in humanities, the university has further added research capabilities in natural and applied science, to ensure its long-standing position as a global hub for education and intellectual interaction that supports learners and academic experts equally.

ALSO READ-Oxford launches online diploma in Global Health Research

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-Top News Education UAE News

MBZ: Education UAE’s key strategic priority

The UAE Government Annual Meetings 2022 discussed major topics related to the country’s comprehensive development process, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Future of education remains one of our key strategic priorities, said President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the closing session of the UAE Government Annual Meetings 2022.

President Sheikh Mohamed and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday attended the closing session of the meetings, which saw Ministries, Executive Councils, and various federal and local entities gathering to discuss current challenges and develop a vision for the future of the UAE.

“By harnessing innovation and investing in our people, the UAE’s journey of progress will continue,” Sheikh Mohamed said after the meeting.

On its second day, the meetings discussed major topics related to the UAE’s comprehensive development process, in accordance with the vision and directives of President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Priority fields included education, Emiratisation, national economy, digital technology and cybersecurity, among other issues that have a direct impact on the future of development in the UAE; promoting well-being, enhancing the UAE’s competitiveness in all fields, and raising its readiness for the future.

Pic credits Twitter

Future directions in education

During the session, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan examined future orientations in the education sector. 

Sheikh Abdullah, who is also Chairman of the Education and Human Resources Council (EHRC), said that the education sector’s strategic directions aim to improve the UAE’s future and competitiveness in different fields by developing a generation that is conscious and empowered with advanced knowledge and skills to support the national economy and meet the State’s objectives.

He added that the current stage is characterised by cooperation and integration in the education sector, with the goal of fulfilling the country’s future vision for this essential sector, which serves as the foundation for the human development drive. “At this stage, our objective is to align the educational system to our needs,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

“We’ve requested the Ministry of Education to focus on the sector’s legislative and regulatory responsibilities and to strengthen the educational curriculum and the outputs of higher education,” Sheikh Abdullah continued. “Additionally, we’ve instructed the Emirates Foundation for School Education to enhance government schools and the learning environment for both students and teachers.”

“By harnessing innovation and investing in our people, the UAE’s journey of progress will continue.” – Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed

Sheikh Abdullah urged all segments of society to work together to shape the future of education in the United Arab Emirates, including teachers, school administrators, parents, kids, young people, and employees of both public and private institutions.  He continued: “I’ve started a practical experience by enrolling my children in a government school… and I will monitor their progress. What I won’t permit in my children’s education won’t likewise be permitted for the citizens of the UAE.”

The session on education witnessed the participation of members of the EHRC, including Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Sarah Awad Issa Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education. The session participants discussed key future directions for the education sector and the potential challenges it faces.

Pic credits Twitter

Comprehensive economic partnerships

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, discussed the importance of the UAE’s comprehensive economic partnerships, and their pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency, agility and strength of the national economy. They also addressed the key pillars of the state’s future directions and economic plans over the next stage, the main objectives of economic and trade agreements with several countries worldwide, and their impact on the UAE’s comprehensive development march.

Emiratisation – New policies and mechanisms

Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Manan Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and Ghannam Butti Al Mazrouei, Secretary General of the Emirati Talents Competitiveness Council, discussed the latest government policies, mechanisms and strategies in Emiratisation. They highlighted national goals that were achieved, and emphasised the importance of this vital area that is given high priority by the leadership and is fundamental to the UAE’s development march.

Digital economy and future technologies

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, highlighted the efforts of the UAE and its vision in building a pioneering digital economy that combines exceptional skills with the latest advanced technologies. The session addressed the importance of the country’s vision in enhancing economic diversification and consolidating a prosperous economy based on future technologies.

ALSO READ: ‘WE THE UAE 2031’, VP Unveils 10-Year Vision

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Education Lite Blogs

Dr. Tokeer Ahmad shaping futures at Jamia

He has supervised seven Ph.D, 42 post-graduate students and is currently supervising and guiding five Ph.D students…writes Zeeshan Ashrafi (Scholar at Jamia Millia Islamia)

From the bylanes of Roorkee to reaching the prestigious campus of the Indian Institute of Technology of the city, Dr. Tokeer Ahmad was destined to be a scholar and teacher of a high degree. His academic journey did not stop at IIT- Roorkee but reached new heights at IIT-Delhi.

The residue of genius in studies took an organic shape as an academician in the field of science where he now shapes the brightest of minds. After his initial schooling and graduation in Roorkee, he pursued Masters in Chemistry from IIT-Roorkee, and then went on to complete Ph.D on Thrust Areas of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from IIT, Delhi in 2006.

Soon after PhD, Dr. Ahmad joined Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry. In addition to his extensive research interest in the chemistry of nanomaterials, Dr. Ahmed is inclined toward the development of functional nanomaterials for photocatalytic and energy applications.

He has supervised seven Ph.D, 42 post-graduate students and is currently supervising and guiding five Ph.D students.

Dr. Ahmed has received seven research projects from DST, CSIR, UGC, JMI Innovative Program and one international project from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Ahmed’s current research citation dates back to 1928. Dr. Ahmed has been an active life member of various national and international academic societies including the American Nano-Society.

He has given 54 invited lectures and presented 96 research papers on national and international platforms. He has also been appointed as the coordinator of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) e-learning program of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Currently Professor at JMI, Dr. Ahmed has also received the DST-DFG award from Govt. Recognition of Distinguished Inspired Teacher from India (2009), ISCAS Medal (2011) for significant contribution in Solid State Chemistry and allied fields especially Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the President of India in 2015. Dr. Ahmed is honored with the ‘Distinguished Scientist Award’ for the year 2019 by the Indian Association of Solid State Chemists and Allied Scientists.

Dr. Ahmad has also co-authored, with MA Shah, book titled ‘Nano Science & Technology’. The book explains the scientific basis governing the functionality of nanostructures and introduces the reader to several basic phenomena. It is written keeping in mind the latest trends and provides a solid understanding of the subject; with important features as the historical background of the material in a concise and concise manner, basic concepts of nanomaterials explained in a simple way, and detailed discussion on preparation methods. The book also throws light on characterization techniques with schematic diagrams and definitions of important terms of nanotechnology. It comprises 300 questions and 100 MCQs for practice.
With all these unique features, this book is found to be a useful resource for beginners. The book is designed as a nanoscience course that can be offered by chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering, medicine, and agriculture streams in various departments and nanotechnology centers across the world.

His research interest includes the development of advanced functional nanostructures for photo/electro-catalysis, nanocatalysis, gas sensing, and energy applications. Dr. Ahmad has published 116 research papers in peer-reviewed journals with a research citation of over 3,400 and an h-index of 34. Professor Ahmad has received the “Distinguished Scientist Award” for the year 2019 for outstanding contribution to the field of Chemistry and was also elected as a member of the very prestigious National Academy of Sciences India (NASI). Dr. Ahmad has also been included in the top 2% of scientists in the world by Stanford University, USA in 2021.

ALSO READ-Jamia’s Rubina is a story of grit and glory

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-Top News Education USA

US court pauses Biden’s student debt relief plan

US’ federal appeals court on Friday issued an administrative stay, temporarily blocking President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.

The order came from the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in reference to the case brought by six Republican-led states after a lower court ruled that their September lawsuit to stop the debt forgiveness program lacked standing, reported CNN.

According to CNN, the appeals court gave the administration until Monday to respond to that request, and the states will have until Tuesday to reply to that response. The states had asked the appeals court to act before Sunday, the earliest date the Biden administration had said it would grant student loan discharges.

After the court’s verdict, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the “temporary order” would not prevent borrowers from applying for student debt relief at the website.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. (File Photo: White House).

“We encourage eligible borrowers to join the nearly 22 million Americans whose information the Department of Education already has. It also does not prevent us from reviewing these applications and preparing them for transmission to loan servicers,” Pierre said as quoted by a press statement released by the White House.

She also noted that the order does not reverse the trial court’s dismissal of the case, or suggest that the case has merit. It merely prevents debt from being discharged until the court makes a decision.

“We will continue to move full speed ahead in our preparations in compliance with this order. And, the Administration will continue to fight Republican officials suing to block our efforts to provide relief to working families,” the statement added.

The lawsuit, which was filed last month, was dismissed on October 20 by a district court judge who ruled that the plaintiffs did not have the legal standing to bring the challenge.

Biden’s student loan forgiveness program was first announced in August with an intention to deliver debt relief to millions of borrowers before federal student loan payments resume in January after a nearly three-year, pandemic-related pause.

Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples). No high-income individual or high-income household – in the top 5 per cent of incomes – will benefit from this action, according to the statement released by White House on August 24. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Biden to release 15M barrels from oil reserve

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Education Lite Blogs

Anees Salim: A star on Indian literary firmament

Salim was born in Varkala, a small town in Kerala, in 1970. He says that he inherited his love for words from his father who used to work in West Asia…reports Dr Shujaat Ali Quadri (Chairman of Muslim Students Organisation and Community Leader)

Writers with Muslim names are rare. English writers with Muslim names are rarer. In this predicament, the emergence of Anees Salim as a star in Indian literary firmament is relieving. A novelist, Salim has told stories of small towns, mohallas and obscure characters that are largely Muslims and otherwise are ignored, little understood or misunderstood.

With his inimitable sense of humour, craft and wry reflections on human frailties, his works are something sui generis. And within ten years into his literary career, and seven books to credit, Salim has become an indispensable part of English fiction in India.

Salim’s craft and stories have won him a plethora of accolades. He won the coveted Sahitya Akademi in 2018 and before that, The Hindu Literary Prize, Crossword Book Award, and Bangalore Atta Galatta Literature Book Festival’s Best Fiction (English).

Anees Salim’s works include Vanity Bagh (winner of The Hindu Literary Prize for Best Fiction 2013), The Blind Lady’s Descendants (winner of the Raymond Crossword Book Award for Best Fiction 2014 and the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award 2018) and The Small-town Sea (winner of the Atta Galatta-Banaglore Literature Festival Book Prize for Best Fiction 2017). His seventh novel The Bell Boy hit the stores in August. A famous UK publisher will publish it for the European market.

Salim was born in Varkala, a small town in Kerala, in 1970. He says that he inherited his love for words from his father who used to work in West Asia.

“My father wanted to be a writer, even though he never said so. He was an avid reader of literary fiction and we had a big library at home, and that was how I developed a deep love for reading. The library had no room for popular fiction, and I remember buying a book by Harold Robbins and putting it on the top rack because I liked the look and size of the book. The next morning it disappeared and I knew such books would never have a place in our library,” he says.

As a teenager, says Salim, he loved reading VS Naipaul, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Gabriel Garica Marquez, John Updike, Saul Bellow, William Faulkner and Christopher Isherwood. Voracious reading helped hone his writing.

Yet the road to acclaim has been far from easy. Salim had his first breakthrough after years of rejections. The book was Tales from a Vending Machine, a novel about the daily travails of Hasina Mansoor, a young Muslim hijabi girl who works as a vending machine assistant at an airport.

Written in the first person, it draws her character through a mundane day, punctuated by her sense of humour, her resilient nature, and her daydreams of stumbling on the extraordinary in a dreary, ordinary existence. Salim still manages a Facebook profile by the name of Hasina Mansoor, whose posts are characteristic of his protagonist’s wit and humour.

All of Salim’s novels trace his own journey through different social settings and his encounter with various real-life characters. In Vanity Bagh, he depicted the social side of Hindu-Muslim conflict North-Indian milieu. “I grew up in Kerala but travelled extensively across the country to see places and meet people. I stitched together the mohalla called Vanity Bagh from many Indian cities I fell in love with. And the idea of Vanity Bagh happened many years ago when someone, on the brink of losing an argument, asked me to ‘Go and live in Pakistan’. That statement stayed with me and slowly developed into a novel,” he said in an interview to The Wire.

He says researching and working on the novel was a sort of rediscovery of India where Muslims are subjected to a grim test. “Many years ago, before Pakistan was regularly chosen as the place ‘the unwanted ones’ should be banished to. It hurt me beyond words. But it also made me relook at the cities where certain mohallas are overtly or secretly referred to as Little Pakistan. And that was how Vanity Bagh was born,” he said.

Besides, introducing Muslim characters and mohalls, Salim has explored life in small towns. “I find it easier to place my characters in streets I have roamed as a child, in the house I grew up in, by the sea and on the cliff my hometown is famous for. All this reflects in my stories,” he says.

All his books are loaded with social and political concerns, but Salim insists that more than politics, he prefers to focus more on human cries than political noises.

Despite writing successful novels, writing is not his fulltime profession. He works as an advertising professional. He is the Creative Director for FCB Ulka, the multi-national advertising firm, and lives in Kochi. “My day job as an advertising professional has neither shaped nor adversely affected my writing career. To me, they are different streams of life and I don’t want one to influence other,” he says. Despite his background in PR and advertising, Salim makes a point of avoiding promotional tours and speaking at literary festivals.

ALSO READ-Malika Shah, woman achiever from Kashmir

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Education Lite Blogs

Oxford launches online diploma in Global Health Research

The course will teach students how to design, operate and report a high-quality health research study anywhere in the world and how to put findings into practice…reports Asian Lite News

Oxford university is accepting its first students in October 2023 for the Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health Research which is specifically targeted at researchers and clinicians in low income countries, and will offer accessibility never previously available. It is the University’s first academic qualification designed to be taken wholly online and will transform Oxford’s ability to reach and train researchers in the most challenging of settings. By removing this significant barrier to access, the postgraduate diploma aims to strengthen health workforce’ research capacity, regardless of location and context, to meet ongoing and emerging global health challenges and crises.

In eliminating the requirement to travel to Oxford for researchers and clinicians across the world, the postgraduate diploma will drive equity in where health research happens, who benefits from the evidence, and who leads the studies. And in a further step to advance equitable access for students in lower-income settings, 30% of course participants will be supported with fully funded scholarships.

International experts in the subject area with experience of conducting research in the most challenging settings at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, will deliver the course remotely from their own locations across the world over four terms.Pre-recorded interactive lectures, discussion forum tasks, live virtual classes, and asynchronous one-to-one tutorials form the basis of weekly lessons and have been designed to retain the learning experience and immersive teaching methods that Oxford is renowned for.

The course will teach students how to design, operate and report a high-quality health research study anywhere in the world and how to put findings into practice. It has been designed to support the careers of dedicated and ambitious health professionals and researchers across the globe, from every setting. In particular enabling individuals facing the challenges of diseases of poverty and in the most resource-poor settings to develop scientific, management and leadership skills to tackle these diseases.The course is based on the Essential Curriculum for Health Research which was developed in partnership with the World Health Organisation and based on a study that involved over 7,000 participants. This makes it the first course of its kind where all the component steps identified to undertake quality, practical and appropriate health research studies are covered; making it relevant for research into any disease, in all types of studies and in any setting.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health Research aims to:Teach the steps and processes required to conduct effective research within the contextual realities of resource constrained settingsEnhance knowledge and raise the standards of scientists and healthcare professionals working in health research in a global contextPrepare students to resolve difficult health research challenges by providing them with the tools, skills and knowledge to conduct high quality, safe and ethical health research Inculcate in our graduates the competence and ambition to become leaders in global health research.In doing so, the postgraduate diploma will support progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) notably SDG 3.B to ‘support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries’; SDG 3.C to ‘substantially increase…development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries’ and SDG 3.D to ‘strengthen the capacity of all countries, particularly developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks’.

Professor Trudie Lang, Head of The Global Health Network, University of Oxford said: ‘I’m delighted at the launch of the Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health Research. We have created this course to help address the global disparities in health research by teaching the skills needed to run studies in every healthcare setting. An ideal student could be a highly experienced nurse working in a large public hospital in Bangladesh or Ethiopia, a laboratory scientist in Peru, or members of national and international funding and ethics committees, or those working in regulatory bodies. I’m also very proud that this will be Oxford’s first qualification where travelling to Oxford is not required and that 30% of our intake will have funded places – this is truly transformational and brings true global and diverse access to a qualification from the University of Oxford.”Professor Gavin Screaton, Head of Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford said: ‘This is a truly exciting moment for the Medical Sciences community at Oxford and across the globe.

It is impossible to predict where and when the next global health crisis will emerge so it’s critical that we continue to build the pool of exceptional researchers in every healthcare setting who can become valued contributors to the global research community, while also delivering impact within their local setting. The Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health Research will do just that for thousands of talented individuals who otherwise would not have that opportunity.’ Professor Martin Williams, Pro Vice Chancellor of Education, University of Oxford said: ‘The launch of the Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health Research shows that Oxford continues to be at the forefront of meeting the challenges of widening access head-on. Alongside the many outreach programmes we run in the UK and overseas, it is another excellent example of our commitment to ensuring talented students around the world can access Oxford’s world-leading teaching and expertise, without financial concerns acting as a barrier.’The application deadline for the 2023-2024 academic year is Friday 9 December, 2022.

ALSO READ-Oxford vax chief criticises UK’s booster jab plan

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Education India News

Education is the ticket out of toxic environment

The youth are grabbing all educational opportunities with vigor and enthusiasm…reports Asian Lite News

As gun culture is laid to rest in Jammu and Kashmir, dawn is rising on the book culture. Youth in the Union Territory has realised that only disillusionment and agony lie in the path of the former. They can no longer be convinced to fight a war that ends in the misery of a lifetime.

Since the government has started various educational initiatives in the Valley such as free coaching centers for competitive examinations and make-shift schools for tribal and Gujjar populace, given their frequent migration, the youth has now developed a taste for a finer life.

Education is their ticket out of the toxic environment they were subjected to growing up. It will give them a purpose in life, elevate their financial status, and ultimately lead the Union Territory towards prosperity. The youth are grabbing all educational opportunities with vigor and enthusiasm.

Last month a native of Tenz village of Shopian district and the son of a fruit merchant, Haziq Parveez Lone topped the NEET-UG 2022 exam in the Union Territory and ranked 10th in the country. He scored 710 marks out of 720. He credits his feat to his secondary and higher secondary government school teachers in Turkwamgam village (Shopian) who instilled a passion for studying hard and living a better life in him. It is pertinent to mention that Haziq belongs to a district that was notorious for its youth joining militant ranks not so long ago. Today South Kashmir is emerging as a competitive district in the fields of education and entrepreneurship.

In an effort to expose young minds to the world outside of J&K and inspire them to dream bigger, a five-day Bharat Darshan Tour was flagged off in Srinagar. The boarding and lodging facilities, including food and air tickets were provided to the students by the J&K administration. Famous multinational companies, tourist spots, major industries, and historical places were covered in the tour. The travellers described the trip as an eye-opener and life-changing. It has encouraged them to study harder keeping the wider worldview in perspective.

At the beginning of this year a Gujjar girl, Jabeena Bashir, from Shopian qualified for the NEET exam in the first attempt scoring 423 marks. She gives the credit to her government school teachers who motivated her and directed her through all steps to this achievement. The Indian Army posted at remote locations have also acted as substitute teachers to such Gujjar children who migrate with their families with changing seasons owing to their occupation.

The Tribal Affairs Department recently operationalised a 100-bed hostel for female students in Jammu and one is upcoming in Srinagar. Many such hostels will be raised to bring students closer to education centers. The hostels will have all the modern facilities and subsidized meals. Tribal students will get scholarships and computer tablets with preloaded educational content.

The Department has also sanctioned a modernisation plan for 120 schools in the tribal regions of the UT. In Phase 1 of the plan, 100 schools have already been modernised at the cost of Rs 20 crore. Under a special budget earmarked under Tribal Education Plan (TEP), the department will provide students with coaching for competitive exams such as UPSC, medical and engineering entrance exams, and IT equipment. Today the Tribal Research Institute celebrates one year of achievements in curating capacity-building programs for teachers of tribal schools in coordination with the district-level education department.

To provide quality education to youth in remote areas of J&K, 25,000 additional seats are being provided by setting up 50-degree colleges. For the first time, the higher education sector of the UT will afford quality education to the disadvantaged section of society.

Under the Aao School Chalein Campaign, there has been a 14.5 per cent increase in school enrolment in 2021-2022.

1,65,000 students across the UT have joined various schools, 80 per cent of whom had never been to school before. Such children have been put in age-appropriate classrooms according to their caliber. For capacity building of teachers, a student mentorship programme — Student & Teacher Engagement for Educational Reinforcement (STEER) — has been launched in the UT. The programme focuses on strengthening student performance in real-time through hands-on learning.

Besides, formal school education, 70,000 school children from 714 government schools are being imparted vocational training in 14 different types of trades. To carry out this initiative 803 vocational labs are in place, and 1122 new labs and 1352 smart classrooms are underway in the current fiscal year. To translate promises to action, 127 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and 1420 Computer Aided Learning (CAL) Centres are coming up in Jammu and Kashmir.

An MoU has also been signed with HCL TechBee for providing skill training to school graduating students. The idea is to instill creativity, scientific temper, and entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students as per the counsel of the National Education Policy (NEP), stated Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

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Education

Teachers’ Day highlights need to ‘transform education’

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that teachers are the engines at the heart of global education systems, the statement said…reports Asian Lite News

Teachers are at the heart of education, and their valuable work must also lead to better salaries and working conditions, the heads of three UN agencies and a partner organization said on Wednesday.

The statement comes in their joint message to mark World Teachers’ Day, celebrated annually on 5 October.

The international community has committed to transform education – a process that must be led by teachers.

A critical partner

That’s the firm belief expressed by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UN educational and cultural agency, UNESCO; Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO); Catherine Russell, Executive Director at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International.

“Today, on World Teachers’ Day, we celebrate the critical role of teachers in transforming learners’ potential by ensuring they have the tools they need to take responsibility for themselves, for others and for the planet,” they said.

“We call on countries to ensure that teachers are trusted and recognized as knowledge producers, reflective practitioners, and policy partners.”

Fulfill the promise

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that teachers are the engines at the heart of global education systems, the statement said. 

Without them, it is impossible to provide inclusive, equitable and quality education to every learner.  Teachers are also essential to pandemic recovery and preparing learners for the future.

“Yet unless we transform conditions for teachers, the promise of that education will remain out of reach for those who need it most,” the partners warned.

They recalled that the Transforming Education Summit, held last month at UN Headquarters, reaffirmed that transformation requires the right number of empowered, motivated and qualified teachers and education personnel in the right place with the right skills.

Demotivated, dropping out

However, in many parts of the world, classrooms are overcrowded, they said, and teachers are too few, on top of being overworked, demotivated and unsupported. 

As a result, an unprecedented number are leaving the profession. There has also been a significant decline in people studying to become teachers.

“If these issues are not addressed, the loss of a professional teaching corps could be a fatal blow to the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 4,” they warned, referring to global efforts to ensure quality education for all, by 2030.

Furthermore, teacher loss disproportionately affects students in remote or poor areas, as well as women and girls, and vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Global shortage

The partners pointed to recent estimates which reveal an additional 24.4 million primary school teachers will be needed globally, along with some 44.4 million secondary education teachers, if the world is to achieve universal basic education by the end of the decade.

Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia alone will require 24 million more teachers, roughly half the number of new teachers needed in developing countries.

These regions have some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the world, and the most overburdened teachers and understaffed educational systems. A remarkable 90 per cent of their secondary schools face serious teaching shortages.

“Therefore, bringing qualified, supported and motivated teachers into classrooms – and keeping them there – is the single most important thing we can do to improve the learning and wellbeing of students and communities,” said the partners.

“The valuable work that teachers do must also be translated into better working conditions and pay.”

Education innovators awarded

Relatedly, three innovative programmes from Benin, Haiti and Lebanon have been recognized for their efforts to enhance the role of teachers and transform education, both in their communities and beyond.

These projects are the recipients of the 2022 UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development, which will be presented at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday.

They are run by the Graines de Paix Foundation, the organization PH4 Global and the American University of Beirut, who will share a $300,000 endowment to help further their initiatives.

Promoting peace, preventing violence

Graines de Paix organizes a programme in Benin called Apprendre en paix, Enseigner sans violence (Learning in Peace, Education without Violence) that provides educational solutions focused on how to prevent all forms of violence and prevent radicalization.

The project also promotes well-being and a culture of peace, security, equity, and inclusion. Over 4,500 teachers have been trained, and more than 250,000 children reached.

Through its Training Teachers to Transform Haiti programme, P4H Global strives to improve the quality of education in the Caribbean country by training teachers as well as school directors, parents and community members.

Strategies for success

The objective is to transform teachers’ methods into effective student-centred strategies that cultivate critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. These are reinforced through measures that include personalized feedback via social media and messaging apps. 

More than 8,000 educators and 350,000 students across Haiti have benefited from the programme.

Under the TAMAM Project for School-Based Educational Reform, university researchers and educational practitioners in Lebanon work together to generate strategies grounded in the sociocultural contexts of the Arab region.

The initiative covers 70 schools in 10 countries in the region, and has benefited 1,000 educational partners, with 100 improvement projects initiated over the past 15 years.

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KISS gets prestigious UNESCO prize for mother tongue-based learning

The educational initiative at KISS comprises a school, a college and a university founded with the objective of providing food, education and empowerment to indigenous children…reports Asian Lite News

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar has won the prestigious UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2022 for its outstanding literacy programme based on the recommendations of an international jury.

The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize is sponsored by the Government of the Republic of Korea and recognizes contributions to mother language-based literacy development. KISS has received the award in the category of ‘Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education programme’. The award carries an endowment of US USD 20,000, a medal and a diploma. KISS is a constituent of the KIIT Group of Institutions.

KISS, the largest institute for the indigenous students in the world, is credited with the adoption of innovative pedagogies as learning tools and bringing about a perceptible change in the socio-economic lives of the indigenous population through education. This recognition also brings the state of Odisha to prominence on the world map for its efforts at changing the education ecosystem. Moreover, it is also a big day of celebration for indigenous communities as it is truly an award for them.

KISS is a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. It was established in 1992-93 by well-known educationist Dr Achyuta Samanta to empower the indigenous population through education. It is a fully free residential educational institution that provides holistic education, comprehensive skilling and sports empowerment.

The educational initiative at KISS comprises a school, a college and a university founded with the objective of providing food, education and empowerment to indigenous children.

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