At The Hindu NIE’s ‘Meet for Mentors’ programme, Principal Secretary, School Education, Poonam Malakondaiah exhorted principals and teachers to instil essential values among children

Teachers should focus on inculcating values among students, and not goad them toward wealth accumulation as their only goal, said Poonam Malakondaiah, Principal Secretary, School Education.

Ms. Malakondaiah was addressing a gathering of school principals at ‘Meet for Mentors’, an initiative of The Hindu Newspaper-in-Education (NIE) programme. It was the duty of primary school teachers to inculcate among students essential values of honesty, compassion, concern and connect with nature, towards making them effective partners in nation building.

Towards this end, the Right to Education guidelines prescribe continuous and comprehensive evaluation of students, academic as well as formative, she said.

Formative evaluation included extra-curricular activities and assessment of mental abilities.

In this context, teachers shoulder heavy responsibility, not only as trainers, but as ‘educational leaders’, Ms. Malakondaiah said.

Teaching has become much more difficult and the role of schools, more important and complex, with changing teacher-pupil dynamics, she observed.

The Hindu scores a point

P.S. Venkat, Vice President, Circulation, The Hindu said the newspaper’s eight-page school edition — The Hindu In School — was a unique product which was more of an educational tool than a newspaper.

Content for the edition is re-edited and packaged for its target readers, and cannot be compared to the content of regular newspapers, 50 per cent of whose space is taken by advertisements.

Less than a year into the market, the edition had reached 2,500 schools across the country.

Upcoming value-added programmes — ‘Newspaper Collage Week’, ‘Young Journalists’ Meet’, ‘Speed Reading Contest’ and ‘Dhwani-Musical Evening’ — were designed to enhance the behavioural and social skills of students.

Replying to a query, Mr. Venkat said the newsprint and technology used for the school edition was the safest for reading by children, as it was set on a value-platform rather than commercial considerations.

School Edition Editor S. Shivakumar termed it a full-fledged newspaper with news, views, and features in a shorter and crisper format, backed by visuals and interactive features.

Making a page-by-page presentation, he said efforts are to make the edition more interactive.

A lengthy interactive session followed, with principals and representatives of various schools raising different concerns and coming up with suggestions. Schools desirous of subscribing to the school edition may send in their requests to hydcirc@thehindu.co.in.

Mails for post-event coverage, contributions and feedback may be sent to school@thehindu.co.in.

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