AES Kerala debut
Aakash Educational Services Ltd, (AES, estb. 1998), a well-known Delhi-based test prep (medical and engineering) services company, inaugurated its first centre in Kerala in Kochi on January 11. Addressing media personnel on the occasion, Aakash Chaudhry, AES director, said by end January two more centres will be opened — one at Thiruv-ananthapuram and a second in Kochi.
The company, which has 62 centres with 60,000 students countrywide, plans to increase aggregate enrolment to 80,000-90,000 students by 2013-14. “AES’ quality study material and teaching methodologies have benefited thousands of students over the years, and specific classroom programmes have been introduced recently for class XI and XII students,’’ said Chaudhry.
Kangra Poly upgradation
The Kangra Polytechnic, Tanda will be upgraded into an engineering college under Himachal Pradesh University, G.S.Bali, state technical education minister, said at a media conference in Dharamsala on January 5. Instructions have already been issued for upgra-dation and affiliation of the polytechnic to the HP University-affiliated Shimla and Technical Education University, Hamirpur.
“The decision will help students in the Kangra and Chamba districts to receive quality engineering education under supervision of the Shimla and Technical Education University,” he said.
Absentee teachers sacked
The Punjab government formally dismissed 206 teachers and non-teaching employees in the state’s education department who have failed to report for duty over the past several years. Those dismissed include 166 teachers of the master cadre, 25 Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and six computer teachers apart from nine non-teaching employees. This was announced by Kahan Singh Pannu, director-general, education (school), in an official press release on January 20 in Chandigarh.
According to Pannu, the education ministry has received 1,100 dereliction of duty complaints against government school teachers. “They will be scruti-nised and strictly dealt with,’’ he said.
Girl child education scheme
Fulfilling the promise of providing education grants to girl students in the state, on January 10 the Uttar Pradesh government distributed cheques valued at Rs.4.98 crore to 1,660 girls under the Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme. “There is no dearth of funds for girls desirous of completing their education. In this connection, almost 80 percent of promises made by the Samajwadi Party during the election period have been fulfilled,” said Durga Prasad Yadav, minister of state for civil defence, stamp and court fees, speaking to the media in Mathura.
The UP state government has also pledged an additional Rs.5.63 crore for the education of 1,878 girl children, according to Yadav. “The Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme for girls was launched for students from families which cannot afford education,’’ he explained.
New child safety guidelines
The education department of the Goa government promised guidelines for safety of students in state schools in the wake of the sexual abuse of a seven-year-old girl inside a school toilet in Vasco on January 14. The thrust of the guidelines will be that schools will be held responsible for the safety of students, an education ministry official said while addressing media personnel in Panaji on January 16.
“During school hours, students are in the custody of school managements, not parents. So it is their responsibility to ensure that children are safe,” said the official speaking on condition of anonymity.
The incident has sparked outrage among parents and citizens. While the perpetrator of the crime is yet to be traced, the headmistress of the school has been arrested for negligence.