Twenty-six of the city's leading schools turned up for the first free-wheeling editorial face-to-face with The Hindu in School on Friday. The two-hour event saw a lively discussion on the impact of the newspaper, and plenty of suggestions on how to deepen children’s experience of reading the paper.
Launched on April 2, 2012, with an initial print run of 48,000 copies, the school edition has rapidly gained traction amongst its target group, zooming to a peak of 4,00,000 copies at the height of the academic year, V. Jayanth, Managing Editor, The Hindu, said. CCE and Samacheer Kalvi, many principals and teachers felt, had opened the doors for children to devote more time for extra-curricular activity. Under these circumstances, educationists like N. Vijayan, Senior Principal, Zion group of schools and Alwin School, felt that the newspaper was of especial value in schools like his which had allotted a ‘Zero period’ in the morning for students to read the paper.
Keeping abreast of developments across the world is of utmost importance, felt S Ramaier, Coordinator of St. John’s School, Porur, who announced that “from the new academic year, our school has decided to introduce a new subject called Current Affairs.” He called for the school edition to cover topics such as agriculture and farming practices.
The Editor of The Hindu In School, S. Shivakumar, said that the paper was tailor-made for schools. “In fact, the page mix that you see in the school edition of The Hindu is a direct result of our interaction with school students.”
Teachers from schools in the suburbs expressed their appreciation of the positive impact the paper had had on first-generation learners. “Communicating in English is an uphill task for these students; The Hindu’s Newspaper in Education (NIE) sessions are the only avenues to develop these skills,” said Geetha Mani, senior-section In charge of Vidya Mandir @ Estancia, Vallanchery,Kancheepuram.
“Notifications by the CBSE can be simplified and presented in the newspaper,” suggested M. Jayanthi, Head of Department of English, Chettinad Vidyashram.
The meeting also looked at how schools could contribute articles and opinions to columns such as ‘Childspeak’, ‘Educationist’s View’ or ‘Teacher’s Corner’ in the Opinion page on Fridays. The meeting was significant both for the schools as well as The Hindu In School team in understanding each other's viewpoints and expectations.