Staff Reporter

The programme was launched on Wednesday in 3 Pondy schools

PONDICHERRY: Reading newspaper not only helps one keep abreast of what is happening around oneself but also to hone one's language skills. When children read the newspaper, it helps them to improve their knowledge on subjects like science, agriculture, IT, business and sports.

The Hindu's Newspaper in Education (NIE) programme is back again, covering around 10 schools with 6000 students in Pondicherry in the first phase.

The programme for the current academic year was launched on Wednesday in three schools Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School, St Joseph of Cluny Girls Higher Secondary School and Acharya Siksha Mandir in Villianur. A total of 16 resource persons from Chennai spent the day with the students and interacted with them.

The target group for the programme is students of VII, VIII and IX standards. Through the programme in which resource persons are brought in regularly to interact with students, the children are taught language, self-improvement and group interaction skills.

According to P. Subramaniam, NIE coordinator, the programme, which aims at empowering students with in-depth knowledge of contemporary issues while assisting them improve their skills in several faculties, will be implemented in more schools in Pondicherry, Villupuram and Tindivanam.

The programme supports classroom transaction, inculcating reading habit and values among children. Newspapers, which are supplied at schools under "Student Subscription Scheme", are used effectively to teach children several skills including oral and writing skills, comprehension, effective communication, critical thinking and problem solving.

Chief mentor of Acharya group of schools J. Arawindan said results of the NIE programme in their school were very positive and encouraging (the school had taken the NIE programme last year also). "As far as our school is concerned we are interested in development of the children, not just academics. The students are exposed to more things thanks to the newspaper. We conduct regular competitions based on the newspaper and give away prizes to students. We are making them use The Hindu more effectively." S. Antonysamy, Principal, Petit Seminaire, said this year more students had joined the NIE programme. "The response from the students is very encouraging and is helping them in more ways." Sister Emiliana of Cluny School said the children found last year's sessions very interesting.