Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Sarala Birla Academy inauguration

The Sarala Birla Academy, the Aditya Birla Group’s internationally benchmarked public school was formally inaugurated by Narayana Murthy, chairman, Infosys Technologies and Prof. Prema Pandurang in Bangalore on June 11.

"Our vision for the Sarala Birla Academy is to ignite minds and create a love for learning and continuous development of children by making the learning process an enjoyable experience. The academy’s mission is to help each student reach his full potential and by doing so, help develop a higher sense of self-esteem in students," said Kumarmangalam Birla, chairman of the governing council of the academy speaking on the occasion.

Commented Narayana Murthy in his keynote address: "Education is about assuming responsibility in society, assuming responsibility to show fairness to the less fortunate; to create a future that the posterity can be proud of; to fulfil the promise that freedom brought us. Every one of you has the potential to redeem this promise," he told the first batch of class V-VIII students of the academy.

Prof. Prema Pandurang stressed the importance of values and spiritualism in life. She blessed the children and "this temple of learning and knowledge".

Earlier Dr. Bruce Robinson, the school’s principal, outlined the academy’s aim as that of providing exemplary standards of quality education. "An education philosophy based on experiential learning, backed by technology, is at the core of our teaching processes," he commented. "The academy aspires to become a leading residential school within India and South-east Asia, in the near future, apart from being a home away from home," said Robinson.

The Aditya Birla Group runs 30 day schools in ten states across India with an aggregate enrolment of 35,000 children. The Sarala Birla Academy spread over 67 acres, is the first wholly residential (boys’) public school promoted by the group.

Global Communications Symposium in Spain

Two postgraduate media students from Convergence Institute of Media, Management and Information Technology Studies (Commits), Bangalore (est. 2001), are currently in Barcelona, Spain, to participate in the First Annual Global Communications Symposium (June 28-July 2). The students — Bhuvana Gurumurthy and Archana Rao — will participate in the four-day symposium attended by representatives of top international PR (public relations) firms worldwide and organised by Blanquerna School of Communication Studies, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona.

Commits is the only media training institute from India to participate in this prestigious global communications programme. The other institutions are: University of Erfurt (Germany); Pretoria University (South Africa); Stirling University (Scotland); Emerson College (USA), Universita’ degli Studi di Udien (Italy) and Assumption University (Thailand).

Edusys software package launch

Dr. K. Balaveera Reddy, vice-chancellor of Vishveshwaraya Technical University, Bangalore launched the latest version of Edusys — an educational institution management software package which reduces paperwork in administration — in Bangalore on June 25. Conceptualised, designed and operationalised by the Mysore-based Raman Computer Pvt Ltd (RCPL), Edusys is described as a "management software that aims at promoting paperless educational institutions".

"There are many school managements that work very hard to deliver quality education to children who cannot afford to go to expensive schools. RCPL would like to contribute to the sincere efforts of these school managements. Edusys will help them gain an edge over others and help them function better. The concept of a paperless school led to the development of Edusys which will take care of all the paper work that is involved in institutional governance," said S.V.Venkatesh, chief executive of RCPL.

Raman Computers Pvt Ltd, promoted in 1991 in Mysore (Karnataka) has over the past decade built a large network providing synergetic support in delivering solutions. The company has the largest network of partners in Karnataka and has more than 300 employees.

Horlicks Wiz Kids 2004

The Bangalore-based S.S.Edutainment Pvt Ltd, "one of the largest organisations in India working with schools committed to provide opportunities beyond academics for the all round development of students’ personality", has initiated the Horlicks Wiz Kids 2004 contest which is expected to receive participation from 4,500 schools in 15 cities across India including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Madurai, Vizag, Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur and Patna. Participation is open to all students from class I-XII.

The Horlicks Wiz Kids 2004 contest is a nationwide search for students who project a holistic personality. "The talent hunt will be conducted by a Horlicks Dream team to recognise all-rounders whose spirit of enquiry and endeavour drive them to achieve excellence in all walks of life. This talent is an initiative of Activity — The Kool Skool Fest, an inter-school literary and cultural event staged annually by us since 1997," says Syed Sultan Ahmed, chief executive of S.S. Edutainment.

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Cathy Pacific Wilderness Experience winners

Cathay Pacific Airways recently concluded a workshop series on environment education in Mumbai and Delhi, a part of its selection process for participants to the International Wilderness Experience Programme 2004. The workshop series commenced in mid-April, and the winners and participants to the international event were announced in end May.

"This year the environment workshop series was based on the theme of bird conservation. Cathay Pacific worked in association with World Wildlife Fund (India) in Delhi and the Bombay Natural History Society in Mumbai to organise these events, inviting participation from students aged between 16-18 years. Following an entrance test, participation in a nature trail and project presentations, the participants were judged by a panel which selected the top performers to attend a round of interviews with the Cathay Pacific management. Subsequent to the interviews, Rupal Kulkarni and S. Harini from Mumbai and Nabamalika Joardar from Delhi were selected to attend the International Wilderness Experience programme to be held in South Africa in July 2004," says a Cathy Pacific spokesperson.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the International Wilderness Experience Programme and 50 international students from 14 countries will be flown — all expenses paid — to the Entabeni Game Reserve in South Africa where they will be guided by a team of highly qualified educationists to experience nature through hikes, camping trips and wildlife observation.