Empowered to seize phones brought to school

Empowered committees will be formed in all schools in the State to check the use of mobile phones by children.

Director of Public Instruction A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish said here on Monday that the Education Department had decided to authorise these committees to seize mobile phones brought to school by children. “These committees can decide not to return the seized phones to the students. Such phones will be auctioned off and the proceeds from the same will go to the school concerned,” he said.

Teachers have been asked not to use cell phones inside the school during working hours. This, Mr. Hanish said, was to enable teachers to set an example to the children.

This year too ‘Pravesanotsavom' (Induction Festival) will be organised in schools to make freshman students feel at home. The State-wide inauguration of the festival will be done by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan at Government Upper Primary School, Azhikode, in Aruvikkara grama panchayat on Tuesday. A colourful cultural procession will precede the inaugural ceremony. The new students will be welcomed with gifts and given a sumptuous lunch.

At the inaugural ceremony presided over by Minister for Education M.A. Baby, Minister for Civil Supplies C. Divakaran will inaugurate the distribution of textbooks. O.N.V. Kurup, poet, will deliver the message for the fresh academic year. Minister for Law M. Vijayakumar will inaugurate the distribution of learning kits. A. Sampath, MP, will give away teacher grants and deputy leader of the Opposition G. Karthikeyan will distribute library grants. District panchayat president Anavoor Nagappan will distribute computers.

Biodiversity year

With assistance from the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), schools will undertake various activities to celebrate International Year of Biodiversity. Mr. Hanish said this included the cultivation of rare species of plants, biodiversity popularisation drives through forestry clubs, seminars, quizzes, and exhibitions.

With IT-enabled learning being extended to classes V, VI and VII, the Education Department has imparted training in IT-enabled education to 1.1 lakh teachers. This, Mr. Hanish said, would serve to stem the outflow of students from government schools.