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Education Lite Blogs

Study: Indian Parents Give Priority To Kids Education

 ‘All parents want the best for their children’ is a centuries old truth. For Indian parents this is by providing them with the best education, confirms a survey…PUJA GUPTA

Women, 55 per cent, more than men, 43 per cent, make investing in their child’s education a top long-term goal, said the survey done by Scripbox, a digital wealth management service.

In addition, investing in their children’s education is prioritised by Indians in both metros and non-metros, it said. While investing to put aside an emergency fund emerged as the most important short-term goal, owing to the current pandemic, investing in children’s education (46 per cent) topped other goals such as retirement (43 per cent), healthcare (37 per cent) or buying a house (29 per cent).

The survey included 630+ respondents in the age bracket of 25-55+ years across India. An equal number of men and women responded to the survey. Among the total number of respondents, 50 percent were under the age of 35.

The survey points to different priorities for those over the age of 35 years and those below. For those above 35, investing in their child’s education, 58 per cent, is by far their top priority. For millennials, those under 35 years of age, investing in a house trumps building a corpus for their child’s education.

(Xinhua/IANS)

Scripbox recommends that while individual investment goals are important, investors must have a holistic approach to their planning. They should begin by having a financial plan in place that takes into account different goals at different life stages. With education costs, right from pre-primary to university having escalated faster than inflation over the last decade or so, Scripbox offers the following recommendations for Indians to be prepared.

Work backwards while planning for the amount required. For a private college education in India, the fee over the next decade can be anywhere between Rs 8-15 lakh for the entire graduation course and a similar amount reaching up to Rs 25 lakh or so for post-graduation. After accounting for a 12 per cent escalation in annual education cost, it is an expense of around Rs 14 lakh on an average and upwards. This means you need a sum upwards of Rs 4.5 lakh each year for three years to fund higher education. In addition, factoring in a yearly increase, recommend upping the yearly investment amount by 5-10 per cent.

If you have time on your side, start a systematic investment plan (SIP) in an equity mutual fund. This will require you to invest every month regularly in an equity mutual fund, an amount that will accumulate gains over the next few years to help you achieve that target amount.

When you get closer to needing the money, move the corpus to a debt fund for safety of capital. The monthly SIP amount should be such that your equity investment itself grows to achieve the target amount net of taxes, while debt is simply for safety.

Amidst Covid disrupted academic year, cancelled classes and examinations, thousands of students across India are cashing in on every technological tool available to stay connected with academics.

If you are planning to send your child out of the country for education it is essential to invest in a basket of algorithmically selected Indian and US mutual funds. You can invest in the US mutual funds via an international fund of funds. This hedges against the appreciating US dollar.

If you have less than 5 years to fund the education expense, then opt for a 50-50 equity and debt allocation. At the same time begin by investing whatever lump sum you can in equity.

Remember, equity investments need time to mature. In the short term, daily market volatility can bear negatively on returns. Hence, the sooner you start, the higher the chances of achieving your expected return. An early start also means lower monthly investment.

Also Read-TikTok gets 15-day extension to reach deal with buyers

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-Top News Asia News Education

Israel partially reopens schools

All students and staff will be obliged to always wear masks, except during sports activities and meals, which will take place outdoors…reports Asian Lite News

Israel’s special cabinet on the Covid-19 pandemic has decided to partially reopen elementary schools from Sunday onwards, as part of easing the full nationwide lockdown.

The Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education announced in a joint statement on Thursday that schools in Israel will reopen for classes from the first to fourth grade, for at least four days a week in each grade, reports Xinhua news agency.

It was also decided that the number of students in each class should not exceed 20.

All students and staff will be obliged to always wear masks, except during sports activities and meals, which will take place outdoors.

And on school buses, separation will be done by leaving an empty row of seats between the front and rear of the bus.

Israel has imposed a nationwide lockdown since September 18 to contain a rapid resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far infected more than 313,000 people in the country and claimed the lives of 2,508 others.

Also read:Israel set to commence agro exports to the UAE

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Education UAE News

UAE takes part in UNESCO meeting

The UAE was one of the first countries to adopt smart learning, as it is included in its future strategy, she added…Reports Asian Lite News

While participating in a meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, to discuss the return to schools in Arab countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education, said that the UAE’s leadership is keen to ensure the continuity of education in the country, despite the dire circumstances, as it strongly believes in the importance of educational sustainability.

The UAE was one of the first countries to adopt smart learning, as it is included in its future strategy, she added, noting that the Ministry of Education, upon the directives of the country’s leadership, adopted smart learning tools in 2012 and drafted plans to ensure they are successfully used in classrooms.

“Smart education was implemented on a large scale in the UAE in 2017 and 2018, and in 2019 it was fully adopted. Due to the pandemic’s effects on everyone’s lives around the world, the country is relying on smart education in 2020,” she added.

“The ministry is offering 13 educational platforms on its smart education portal, and has trained 25,000 teachers in the public sector to use smart education tools, along with nearly 9,200 school principals and teachers from private schools. A specialist training course on remote learning was also held, in cooperation with the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University, for some 67,000 people.

Also read:UAE FM takes Covid 19 vaccine

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Education Lifestyle Lite Blogs

Transform Nursery Into An Edutainment Hub

The lockdown has proven to be a strenuous time for both parents and children. With online education being a fairly new concept to most parents and children, need a safe and fun environment that facilitates active and engaged learning. International brand IKEA has a collection of everything you need to transform your nursery into an educational and entertainment hub for children where they can learn and play.

Read on to see how you can create that safe space in the comfort of your own home.

Turn the nursery into a safe heaven where kids can study and play. (Photo: Unsplash)

PAHL

The PAHL desk is just what the kids need to stick to their study schedule in these times. A simple, sturdy and spacious desk, that comes with a space for cables and chargers. The desk that will grow with your child, thanks to the three different heights, as it is easily adjusted to 59, 66 or 72 cm by using the knobs on the legs.

LOBERGET / SIBBEN

The perfect complement to the PAHL desk, this height-adjustable, sturdy chair has built-in lumbar support that gives extra relief to your child’s back perfect for long study sessions! Whether it be homework or adding touches to arts and crafts, the chair along with the desk can accommodate any task. Height is easy to adjust and the modern, clean design suits every need for children at every school level.

PLUFSIG

Children don’t just love spinning, tumbling, swinging and jumping for fun; they need physical activity. Physical play is as essential to their development as studies are. This folding mat aims to inspire children to play more actively at home as playing outside is not an option.

FUBBLA LED wall lamp

A desk lamp ideal for your children’s bedroom. No matter if it’s time for homework or story time, kids will always have the right light. The lamp has a dimming function that also works as a night light. The range of children’s lighting products go through some of the toughest safety tests in the world to ensure safety standards are met.

ISBERGET

In case you happen to use a tablet for your child’s e-class, it is no doubt that children, especially those in younger age groups, may tend to fidget with the tablet during the class. ISBERGET holds the tablet in place and can be kept at a distance from the child. This tablet stand can be tilted in 2 positions, so you get a comfortable viewing angle.

Also Read-Pandemic Reality And Fashion Sensibility

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Africa News COVID-19 Education

Egypt to reopen schools with tighter anti-Covid measures

Egypt has about 23 million students in over 56,000 public schools nationwide…Reports Asian Lite News

Tens of thousands of schools have reopened across Egypt to start the new academic year while implementing precautionary measures against the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Education Ministry.

The Ministry’s plan for the 2020/2021 academic year is based on maintaining social distancing, sufficient ventilation and regular disinfection at schools, while raising awareness of students and parents about the pandemic and necessary precautions, reports Xinhua news agency.

There will also be temperature checks for students, teachers and visitors before entering schools.

Egypt has about 23 million students in over 56,000 public schools nationwide.

Students of each grade will attend school for a specific number of days only, not the whole week.

“Precautionary measures are observed at schools, social distancing is maintained and students of different grades are scheduled to attend in different days,” Reda Hegazy, deputy education minister for teachers affairs, told Xinhua on saturday at one of the preparatory schools in Giza.

He explained that there is a new official TV channel to provide classes to students, while teachers at schools will complete the process side by side with the TV classes.

At the gate of a high school near Cairo University, the temperatures of students were checked before they headed to the morning assembly, where all students and teachers were seen with face masks on.

Schools were suspended in Egypt since in March in the wake of the pandemic.

Amid declining Covid-19 cases and deaths, the country has been easing restrictions over the past three months.

So far, Egypt has registered 105,159 Covid-19 cases and 6,099 deaths, with 98,089 recoveries

Also read:Egyptian, S.African leaders discuss Nile dam dispute

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Education Lite Blogs

App For Children With SLDs

Late identification of learning disabilities could leave some children behind in their academic and mental development – something early screening can solve…writes Siddhi Jain.

Indigenous research studies have estimated the incidence of Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) in India to be between 10-12 percent of school-going children. In remote populations and Tier-II cities where there is negligible awareness or service available for identification, these kids slip through the cracks in the system, says Dr Geet Oberoi, who has developed a nine-domain screening app for timely detection of learning disabilities in children.

As academic success has become highly competitive in present days, anything less than peak performance in schools could lead to mislabeling of a child, without sparing a thought to the reasons behind it. Oberoi, is the President of Orkids Foundation, the organization behind ‘First Screen’ app, launched last month that aims at early identification of children who may be at the risk of developing SLD (Specific learning disabilities). It also allows for early intervention well before the formal age of diagnosis at 8 years. It is a free android app, available in Hindi and English.

Could your child have learning disabilities?.

According to her, in India, SLD was recognized as a disability only in 2016, and unfortunately before that most children with SLD had an extremely challenging school experience with many of them dropping out and opting for open schooling. Many parents also opted for home schooling for their children looking at the stress and anxiety the schools were causing the children.

“In a considerable number of cases instances of other mental health issues like depression, bullying, defiance, eating disorders were seen emerging along with SLD and its effects in adolescence,” she told in an email interview.

How does timely identification and screening help? “It ensures the learning gaps of children are curtailed early and with intervention, before the gaps become too large to be worked with. As the children grow up, the academic pressure on the child increases and this may lead to children dropping out of schools and/or becoming susceptible to other mental health issues like depression, defiance, bullying and so on. Early intervention helps the children to be mainstreamed as fast as possible with a greater chance of finding less or no difference in performance as compared to the classmates.”

The pioneering app covers nine major domains, namely- reading and spelling, written expression, oral language, motor skills, attention, social skills, mathematics, executive functions and memory. The app includes a test of 90 scoring items with 3-point answers (yes, maybe, no/NA).

Dr. Geet Oberoi, President Orkids Foundation.

It takes 20-25 minutes to complete the test after which a visual feedback (as opposed to text) is given with possible recommendations for the future. Sub-skills of each of the nine domains covered are also given. For accuracy purposes, the test must be filled by a parent, or a teacher who has known the child for at least 6 months.

The free-of-cost app comes as a screening tool which is not diagnostic and thus does not label, but only screens to identify kids that may be ‘at risk’ is the need of the hour. First Screen would ensure that the valuable five years – between ages three and eight – can be utilised by providing extra support in terms of training and providing resources to the kids to help their learning curve.

Orkids shared that it has reached out to all different education boards like CBSE, ISCE, the State Boards as well as NCERT have been made aware of the app and its efficacy. “An ideal way forward would be to make screening a must for children in all schools at the age of four-five, so as to catch them young and ensure no child is left behind.”

Also Read-September becomes India’s worst pandemic month

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Education EU News

EC to reform education through digitalisation

It is a call to action to make education and training systems truly fit for the digital age…Reports Asian Lite News

The European Commission has adopted the new Digital Education Action Plan, reflecting lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis and devising a plan for a high-performing digital education eco-system, according to an official statement.

In the statement, the Commission said that the plan proposes a set of initiatives for high-quality, inclusive and accessible digital education in Europe.

It is a call to action to make education and training systems truly fit for the digital age.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has put distance learning at the centre of education practices.

“This has shed light on the pressing need to improve digital education, as a key strategic objective for high-quality teaching and learning in the digital age,” the statement said.

The Action Plan has two long-term strategic priorities: First, fostering the development of a high-performing digital education ecosystem and second, enhancing digital competences for the digital transformation.

“Education and training have faced huge disruption due to Covid-19 and a quick shift to distance and online learning. The mass use of technology has revealed gaps and exposed weaknesses,” the statement quoted Executive Vice President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager as saying.

“This is also an opportunity to reset education and training for the digital age. Ninety-five of respondents to the public consultation on the Digital Education Action Plan see the crisis as a turning point for the way technology is used in education and training.

“This is a momentum to shape and modernise education for the digital age,” she added.

Also read:EU considers legal actions over UK Brexit treaty breach

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Education India News Lite Blogs

Indian Games Boost Kids’ Skills

In a new approach to developing everyday skills into children with special needs, for instance, children with dyslexia, the Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) has experimented with supplementing usual occupational therapy with native Indian games, to help with their development.

In the radio program ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought to focus an important pedagogical tool that is playing with toys. This successful and continued practice of this pedagogy by MDA opens a unique line of thought and practice to practitioners working in the child development field.

MDA has adopted traditional games in their remedial techniques for teaching special children. The MDA special educators have witnessed significant improvements with the use of traditional games, which are so vital in developing the pre-skills for all children. The improvements include areas such as the children’s overall focus, fine motor skills from playing some of these games.

According to MDA, significant improvements were recorded in key areas such as children’s overall focus and concentration besides in motor skills as a result of playing some of these traditional games, such as playing with a top and thread (‘lattu’) and hopscotch.

“Most of the approaches used with children with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) are western. In Chennai, one session of occupational therapy used with children with special needs can cost between Rs 800-1000. Parents often find it difficult to afford all the recommended number of sessions.


“Children with SLDs also get tired and lose focus while working with an occupational therapist for a while. Instead of pushing them, we found it useful to introduce native traditional games to supplement occupational therapy. The results have been promising,” Chennai-based Swetha Chandrasekhar, who developed this concept for MDA, told IANSlife over phone.

According to D. Chandrasekhar, President, MDA and a distinguished alumnus awardee of IIT Madras, “After a long day of school, children with dyslexia come for remedial classes, and then they attend therapy classes, after which they’re tutored at home and they finish their homework and whatever little time left, they’d like to spend it in front of the screen or playing against it.”

“Therefore, at Ananya (their fulltime remedial centre) when we make our individualised education plan, we try and add in a pinch of a traditional games in order to tweak their pre-skills, which are vital for the academic development. When working with these traditional games, we realised that they were naturally multi-modal and multi-sensory and usually cater to more than one skill. These games can be easily adapted to suit the strengths and the needs of each child.”

In order to make a real-time difference in the development of children, traditional games have a way of seamlessly teaching physical growth and development, social-emotional development, sensory motor development, communication skills, problem solving, concept building skills, understanding and processing skills, executive functions, perceptual readiness for learning, listening, reading and writing besides several life skills, including social skills.

Native Indian games a promising supplement for kids with special needs.

Some of the practices and games and their benefits include hopscotch, which helps develop balance, gravity control and focus, among other skills; kite flying, which helps develop large motor movement, muscle tone, spatial orientation; and mancala which helps develop numeracy skills, fine motor and grapho-motor skills, midline crossing, attention and focus.

Traditional practices adopted include the ritual bath, which helps develop gravity control, body awareness and midline crossing.

India is a country really rich in culture and the cultural aspects of India are not confined to art, music and architecture but also extends to play. These games do not require any expensive props and everybody could play them regardless of age or gender. They cater to specific developmental aspects needed for children, keeping in mind the geographical and cultural backdrop, Chandrasekhar concluded.

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-Top News Dubai Education UAE News

Microsoft to equip Emirati youth with globally recognized skills

As part of its broader efforts to empower Emiratis, drive forward employee skilling in the government and achieve central goals of the Dubai Strategic Plan, the Dubai Government Human Resources Department, DGHR, has partnered with Microsoft, bringing together their respective skilling programmes.

A virtual online ceremony saw an Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed by Abdulla Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi, Director General of DGHR, and Sayed Hashish, General Manager, Microsoft UAE.

The Riyada program aims to empower the Emirati workforce and equip them with technical, behavioral and professional competencies. Microsoft will provide support under one of its pillars of its Tomoh Emiratisation programme , which aligns well in delivering central aspects of Riyada, offering internship and secondment opportunities at Microsoft to UAE nationals. The practical applications will include training and equipping Emiratis with worldwide on the job skills by shadowing professionals within Microsoft as well as offering them professional certification courses to accelerate their careers.

“This partnership with Microsoft is focused on delivering world-class training to enhance the performance of UAE institutions,” said Abdulla Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi, Director General, DGHR.

“We are confident that this agreement will serve to further elevate the Emirates as a global innovation center. The training and expertise provided to Emirati talent will enhance the skills of a future generation, cementing the UAE’s status as a diverse digital hub of creativity and innovation.”

“Our organisation is committed to supporting the UAE future vision of a digital nation. The Tomoh programme will equip Emirati youth with globally recognized skills – a key pillar of the National Agenda and aligned to Vision 2021, thereby driving the nation’s digital transformation and global competitiveness,” said Sayed Hashish.

“This collaboration is a natural progression of Microsoft’s role in the UAE economic transformation journey in the quarter century we have been present in the Emirates. We seek to deepen our contribution to the Emirati community throughout the 21st century, by empowering the next generation of young talent.”

“In my eight years at Microsoft, I have benefitted from many possibilities and fulfilling career opportunities open to Emirati talent in a global technology company,” said Hamad Mattar, Business Programmes & Operations Lead, Microsoft Middle East & Africa.

Microsoft. (File Photo: IANS)

“Tomoh is a real asset for us, and we have been impressed by the highly motivated, diverse and skilled Emiratis we have been able to work with through this initiative.”

The Tomoh programme has been carefully designed based on research looking at the current and future needs of the UAE job market. It is aligned with the objective of deepening collaboration with Emiratisation initiatives and focused on three core pillars: ‘Learn at Microsoft’ – that offers internship and secondment opportunities to UAE nationals and involves learning of globally recognized skills.

‘Work at Microsoft’ – an opportunity for Emiratis to pursue careers at Microsoft, either through direct hiring of experienced Emirati professionals, or under the ‘Microsoft Aspire Experience’, designed for fresh graduates. And Skill-Up Digitally – that enrolls students, job seekers and entrepreneurs into a powerful digital skilling programme, enabled by the Microsoft Cloud Society.

Also read:UAE launches smart service for swift attestation