Author Archives: Yograj

About Yograj

He is the founder director of Gyankriti group, leading the academics and curriculum development with the vision of 'making people happy'. He is also an IIT Bombay alumnus.

Visit to Education Park – truly zero energy campus

The lesson taught to us in school about renewable and non-renewable sources of energy and the importance of conserving the exhaustible energy by using alternative mode of energy has always been one of the most discussed lessons of science. The lesson however is rarely implemented in practical life, when we got to know about a “zero energy school” we immediately decided to visit the campus and learn from them. We wish to analyse and use similar ideas in the construction of Gyankriti School campus. Here are some key points from our visit:

Dr Chetan Singh Solanki, who did his engineering from SGSITS in Electrical Engineering and now is a Professor of Department of Energy Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. With an aim to improve education in rural areas Prof. Solanki has founded an educational park for kids of Khargone.

The layout of Education Park

The layout of Education Park

Solar Electricity is expensive to setup and maintain. A workable solution is to “Avoid & Minimize” use of electricity. The architecture of school is such that there is no requirement for fans or tubelights. The fact that the school has not taken an electricity connection shows the confidence in their “passive solar” design.

Micro Climatic Analysis - The key to design a passive solar building is to best take advantage of the local climate performing an accurate site analysis.

Micro Climatic Analysis – The key to design a passive solar building is to best take advantage of the local climate performing an accurate site analysis.

Most of the walls are orientated in North-South direction to minimize direct contact with sunlight. To account for the seasonal tilt in sunlight, the roof is extended in outward direction for about 2 feet. The roof therefore acts as a shade throughout the length of wall.

edupark3You can see in picture that the windows are not parallel to the wall. Instead they are aligned to the direction of winds in a triangular fashion. This helps in controlling the inflow of winds as per the prevailing season. Check the graphic for details:

edupark4

The walls on the opposite side of room have big windows on the top side for cross-ventilation. The air enters from triangular windows and exits from the opposite end cooling the entire room. They have observed a temperature difference of upto 11 degree Celsius when compared to the temperature outside.

edupark6

In the picture you can also see glass panes between the triangular windows and the roof. Direct entry of sunlight will heat up the room so the light gets reflected from the chajja (painted white). The diffused light entering the room after reflection is comparatively cooler than direct sunlight.

edupark5The bricks on bottom side of roof act as insulator as they are porous and less conductive.

From Barren Land to Green Land
 edupark7  edupark8

About 10000 sqft of land was dug out for construction purposes. This was done purposefully at a low lying area of the land so that it can accumulate water during monsoon. Now the ditch has taken form of a pond. About 100 meters away from this pond a well is located, the water percolates from the pond very fast and recharges the well.

Prof. Solanki got some discarded solar panels from US laboratories to setup a power source for boring well motor. The boring well irrigates all the plants and shrubs in the 14 acre campus continuously through drip irrigation.

Team Gyankriti wishes Prof. Chetan Solanki and Education Park Society all the best in their endeavours. We are very much inspired by their ideas and hope to implement many of them in Gyankriti School very soon.

Image source: https://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/synerg/rutag/2012-jan-ws/slides/IITB-Presentations/Chetan-Solanki-Education-Park.pdf

Website of Education Park Society: http://edupark.org/

Steps toward stronger parent-teacher interaction

To increase the interaction between parents and teachers we have decided to introduce two new methods. First of all, home visits of all students at the beginning of session. We have already started with KG-1 students and hope to do the same for pre-nursery and nursery in the month of June. Second of all, we want to improve the way “open house Saturdays” are conducted, from next session teachers will give a small workshop of next fortnights curriculum along with the regular interaction. More details:

Home visits

Class Teachers visit each student’s home for about 15 minutes in the first one to one-and-a-half months of the academic year. The bond created by this and the understanding got by the teacher regarding the various aspects of the child’s background and the child herself is of immense value. This truly helps her to play the role of a nurturer and facilitate the overall development of the child.

These visits are coordinated with parents and it is necessary for both parents and the child to be present during the Home Visit. All other family members (e.g. grand parents) are encouraged to be a part of the discussion and give their inputs. The purpose of this visit is to learn about the home environment of the child and also know the people living with her.
The focus is on rapport-building between the family and the educator. This helps the child to get the most effective guidance from both home and the school. The home visit is the first step to unite the educator and the parents with the single-minded goal of what’s best for the child.

The questions asked during the visit cover areas like the socio-economic background of the family, likes and dislikes of the child, general health (including medicines) and habits of the child, friends in the neighbourhood and concerns of the parents regarding the child. Home Visit is an opportunity for the class teacher to discuss the philosophy of the school and help the parents understand what the school expects from them. The discussion also helps her identify the various areas requiring guidance and also the reason for any particular behavioural pattern displayed by the child. Apart from questions, she also observes and makes a mental note of various points like the neighbourhood environment, the parenting style, lifestyle, etc. Educators are expected to accept no hospitality other than water! WE politely but firmly refuse all offerings, even tea or coffee. The educators take time out after the regular school hours and make these visits.

Renewed open house Saturdays
Regular fortnightly workshops will be conducted by the class teachers for the parents to enable them to know the agenda in school for the next two weeks. The class teacher will teach the mothers & fathers what she is going to teach their children in the next two weeks.

Research shows that programs that teach mothers to improve the quality of cognitive stimulation and verbal interaction produce immediate effects on the child’s intellectual development. It is seen that the level of involvement of mothers in the initial years of rearing is high and a mother is always the first teacher to the child.

When we have a PTA (Parent-Teacher-Association) that meets once or twice in a year, it serves no real purpose. Each blames the other over a cup of tea and samosas and the meeting is over with nothing purposeful achieved. The parents and educators should meet more often and develop a bond with each other. This can be done by meeting preferably once in two weeks but at-least once in a month.

These workshops will be held during school hours on 2nd & 4th Saturdays and time for one hour (generally between 10 to 11 am). A note will be sent in the school diary/email regarding the agenda of the forthcoming Workshop.

The focus is on the home-bound activities a parent can undertake to enhance learning. At times experts (e.g. psychologists or paediatricians) will conduct these workshops. The teaching methodology is explained and actually shown on the blackboard for a particular topic so that there is no conflict between the educator and parent style of guiding
the student. Thus parents and educators are working together for the child’s benefit. Any individual query regarding a particular student by a parent is strictly discouraged, as  workshop is not the forum to discuss any one-on-one issues. Curriculum based questions by parents are encouraged. Parents are encouraged to share experiences they come across while guiding their child. At times rapport-building sessions are conducted in which the class teacher introduces certain games or a questionnaire like how well you know your child or how to boost the child’s self esteem etc. Parents share actual experiences or anecdotes from their child’s life.

We hope that these steps will help bring educators and parents close. Children benefit when the adults around them share common values about child-rearing, communicate with one another, and give the children consistent support and guidance.

Eklavya School Open Days

What is Open Days @ Eklavya?

During these days, any teacher/principal from any school in india is welcome to visit Eklavya detailed 3-day exposure on practices in Eklavya from pre-school to senior school. ( http://eklavya.org/Open%20Days.html )

Why Open Days are held?

Every schools wants to innovate curriculum & teaching methodologies and build an institute of excellence. Few schools have made a lot of progress on that front and they should share their experiences and learning with more people who are either running/working with education ventures or want to open one. Organizations in education sector are not competitors of each other. The ecosystem of education in India can improve a lot this way.

“Education is an infrastrcuture at least as basic as a nation’s roads, electricity and telecom. It plays a fundamental role in determining, the prosperity and well-being of its citizens. Progressive nations are have strategically invested heavliy in education on long term basis. Teachers are central to a good education system. There is thus a need to ‘bring back the best minds to the field of education” – Eklavya Education Foundation

Open Days 2015

Open Days 2015

Thank you Eklavya Education Foundation

We wish to thank Sunil Handa Sir and Eklavya team for hosting us at the Open Days from 30th November to 2nd December. It was indeed a wonderful experience, soaking in the amazing culture you have built in the school. We were truly impressed with your perspectives, your teaching techniques, and tools and in what you have created at Eklavya.

The professional and cooperative attitudes of the members of your school were evident throughout the discussions we have had on these three days. The investment in library resources and teaching demonstrates to us your commitment to providing only the highest quality of services to your students and faculty.

It was sheer joy being in the class rooms and watch the kids, their behavior, sense of ownership, peer group interaction , collaborative and co-operative ways of doing activities and so much more. “ We do it here differently “ seemed to us as the way most things are done at Eklavya.

Even the Drivers of the School Bus came across as people with true sense of purpose and their work seem to extend beyond just transporting the kids to actually care for them.

Your teachers are amazing and it is not every day that you get to see teachers who know their students probably better than their parents. Every student is known to every teacher, that in itself is a reflection of the importance you have placed on the fine nuances of student teacher relationship. .

Though we keep hearing about Holistic Education in School, most of it has so far been only jargon, to actually see it happen on the ground was indeed a wonderful experience.

We will be delighted if could give us the permission to visit you once again over the course of the year to learn more about your unique ways of setting in culture within your people and to be a school-in-the-making always.

We, at Gyankriti, think that in a lot of ways we share a similar belief system and in our own way are trying to create learning and teaching systems that helps a child attain his full potential in life. There have been a lot of takeaways from the visit and my team and I are excited about aligning those values within our Institution. Fortunately for us, we do not have to look far for Inspiration, you are just an overnight journey and with your support we want to build on our mission to being relevant and practical in our domain and continuously innovate our learning models.

We are sure behind the serene ambiance of the school lies a lifetime’s struggle of creating the DNA of your dreams. Eklavya will remain in our heart and mind as an Educational Ecosystem nurturing young minds to think of the limitless possibilities they can achieve

You will remain an inspiration for a lot of people who look to institutionalize unconventional thinking. We also wish to start “Open Days @ Gyankriti” very soon.

Thanks & Regards
Beena Varier (Co-ordinator, Nipania Branch)
Rachana Saxena (Co-ordinator, Annapurna Branch)
Yograj Patel (Co-founder)

Why we start ‘writing work’ at the age of 3 years?

At Gyankriti we introduce basic pattern writing in second half of seedling (nursery) and alphabet writing starts in plant (KG-1). Many parents ask us why we start writing work so ‘late’, most of the preschools start from pre-nursery itself.

Well the answer lies in the development of Fine Motor Skills. A child’s effort to learn about the world involve the manipulation of materials. As the movements of their hands and fingers become coordinated, they become adept in manipulating and handling objects. The development of fine motor skills can be seen in the way a child writes with a chalk or a pencil. If you give a crayon to a 3 year old you will notice that she holds the crayon like an adult, using the forefinger and thumb to grasp it close to its writing end. Control over scribbling emerges at the same time as the child masters other manipulative skills. Closed forms such as circles are only possible for the child for three years of age or above. The ability to draw vertical lines seems to precede that of drawing horizontal lines. Crosses, squares, triangles and diamonds follow in sequential order. While toddlers delight in the sheer physical activity of moving a crayon around an producing marks on paper, a child entering the age of 3 years attempts to control her scribbling and discovers a connection between these marks and the world around her. Lines are no longer simply marks on paper but begin to have a meaning for the child.

Four year olds hold a crayon firmly and are better able to use the small muscles of their fingers. Their drawing comprise recognizable forms although one cannot decide what they are. By five years of age, the child’s drawings are quite distinguishable as people, animals or trees.

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Why you shouldn’t blindly trust the worksheets:

Its a bitter truth that many preschool teachers fake the work done by their children. They are under so much pressure from parents and school management that they just find an easy solution. I have came to know that in many preschools, teachers spend a lot more time on doing worksheets and then correcting them than on actual teaching part. The school management are working a ‘fixed targets’ of curriculum completion. On top that the curriculum is mostly not fit for the children of that age. That is why the children don’t take any interest in such activities. As a parent you can always use the above information and cross-check if your child is doing the worksheets on her own or the teachers is doing it.

Our belief:

At Gyankriti, we keep a strict control on managing the work done by children, we prefer to send empty worksheets instead of sending manipulated work. Parents should also accept the individual strengths and weaknesses of their children and try to work on them. At the same time the teachers and school management should report the actual status of children.

Information & FAQ’s – For New Teachers

Q1. What are the school timings and salary?
A1. The timings are 10:00am-1:00pm for Students and 9:30am-2:30pm for Teachers. Total CTC of teachers ranges from Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 1,50,000/- based on qualification, experience and exposure. The employees also get EPF & ESIC scheme benefits as the current government regulations.

Q2. What is the eligibility criteria for the post of a teacher?
A2. Graduate (preferably with one or two years experience). Open to new methods, sincere and dedicated.

Q3. What are the terms of appointment?
A3. Educators are required to complete the academic year. The educator therefore cannot leave in the middle of the academic year.

Q4. How many holidays are there?
A4. – Summer Vacation 45-50 days (unpaid if the teacher is not coming to school/summer camp)
– Diwali Vacation 7-9 days
– Winter Vacation 5-6 days
– Over and above there are 8-10 holidays for other festivals and events

Q5. What are the leave and bonus policies?
A5. During the probation period (usually 3 months) the teachers get only one leave per month. Permanent employees can avail up-to 10 leaves per year. All the employees get yearly bonus equivalent or more than one month’s salary based on their performance.

Q6. What is the increment policy?
A6. Performance appraisal is done continuously. Increments are given on the basis of performance with effect from 1st April every year.

Q7. What is the prospect for growth?
A7. At Gyankriti we believe that a teacher is a learner too.  Thus a lot of on the job training is given. Monthly training sessions also help you become a better human being. Many teachers at Gyankriti have become co-ordinators or head mistress in 2-3 years.

Q8. Is there any transport facility for a teacher?
A8. No

Q9. Is there a concession on the fee for a teacher’s child?
A9. Yes. You get a concession on the fees – a teacher has to pay only 50% of the total fees. While the fees has to be paid in advance, the discount will be refunded at the end of academic session.

Q10. What is the facility given to teachers who have small children?
A10. We don’t usually allow mother and children to work/study in the same Gyankriti branch. Either you have to choose separate branches or need to discuss the issue with management.

Q11. Can an educator leave early or come late on a given day?
A11. 100 % of the educators are ladies. Sometimes a small job requires an extra half hour at home and she can then manage school + home. It is important that she does both. To help her facilitate attending both duties, an educator may come one hour late or leave an hour early on a given day of the month ONLY after intimation & permission of the concerned supervisor. We call this the point system. An educator may use a maximum of 2 such points is a month.

Admission Helpline (Gyankriti Times – October 2015)

Extract from the Newsletter – Gyankriti Times (October 2015)

Tips for First Time School Choosers

Every year we come across a lot of anxious parents who are trying to check out schools with sole purpose that their child starts learning to read, write and speak in the shortest time. Our tip to all those anxious parents is that one has to be choosy but for a different set of reasons. For a first time school goer, the child, it is the first time they are out of their parental reach and comfort zone, a truly scary feeling. Each child reacts differently whilst some learn to make quick friends, some others start bullying the other kids, some others spend the whole day crying and a few of the others are actually are ready for a new environment. So the first thing a School Choosers has to do is to understand how well a school handles the transition process.

Teaching Tools – Make sure that the child gets to learn with all his/ her senses ( no pun intended but the sense of smell, touch,hear, etc ). All Teaching tools that are utilized should be in line with this learning process and should encourage engaging of all senses. Sensory Development of a first time school goer is at its very best phase at that age, make the best of it. Hands On learning not only teaches better but also inculcates in a child a lifelong habit of doing things instead of just learning by rote.

Teacher to Student Ratio – I am sure most people would have heard this and also logically agree to this but let me touch this topic with a teachers perspective .In a class room with the right ratios the teachers is not only able to devote more time and attention to individual children but will also be able get under the surface and understand what the child’s mind is thinking, the ability to understand some of the innate strengths of each child. A hammer breaks glass but bends steel , the ability of a teacher to understand which or who amongst of his or her student is Glass and which one is steel is established when the density is lower.

Age appropriate infrastructure – At many senior schools you will find that the school has same infrastructure facility for all age groups. Ideally there should be separate playing area, dining area etc. for the various age groups. We have come across several schools in big cities where they have separate building for pre-school, junior school, middle school and high school in the same campus.

What’s next after preschool?

Most common questions we are usually asked during the “admission season”:

  • What’s after preschool? Which senior school should we prefer for our child?
  • Should we admit our child in a senior school before standard 1?
  • How difficult is it to get admissions in good schools?
  • What is the admission procedure of a senior school?
  • What are their fee structure and other yearly recurring expenses?

At Gyankriti, we understand the requirement of hassle free transition from Gyankriti preschool to senior schools. We always try our best to answer your queries on this subject. More details on next page:

True cost of a senior school

Leaving a pre-school before Senior KG means…

  • Increasing unnecessary financial burden- There’s a huge gap between the fee of a preschool and a senior school. In some cases the senior school fee is 4-6 times the preschool fee. Apart from higher fee there are other expenses too in the form of school uniform, stationary etc. that is of more or less useless for toddlers.
  • Pushing too early towards unfamiliar environment – During the early years a child is exposed to unfamiliar environment for the first time. Those years are very challenging for kids of age group 2-5 years. Preschool operating in a bungalow or premise in a residential area gives child a homely touch & makes it very convenient for them to cope up with the situation unlike scary environment when little eyes experience huge infrastructure of a senior school.

What is the right time to admit in a senior school?

  • Too many schools in city. No scarcity of seats as such – Indore, being only city which host both IIT & IIM, is home for educational institutions. With 80+ CBSE and many international schools already in the city, there are plenty of options for schooling of child after graduating from Senior KG of a pre-school.

Alright! Can Gyankriti help us secure admissions in schools?

Reservation of seats in standard 1 of reputed schools – Gyankriti students enjoy privilege of guaranteed admission in selected senior schools of Indore. Here’s a list of associated K-12 schools and the number of seats reserved in first standard exclusively for Gyankriti Preschoolers.

Name of School Reserved Seats
Anusuiya School (Pearson) 20
G.D. Goenka School 20
Indus World School, Chhawani 15
Indus World School, Jhalaria 15
Progressive Education, Annapurna 15
Progressive Education, Nemavar Rd 15
Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir 20
Shri Ram Centennial School 20
Global Indian International School
The Millennium School (Educomp)

More details: http://goo.gl/rjc68y

For admissions and special discounts kindly ask us for procedure to be followed on our Admission Helpline – 888 9898 333 – support@gyankriti.com

Even if you want admissions in any other school which is not listed here or a want to switch after Nursery or Junior KG then do contact us, we will try our best to guide you.

Guidelines for PTC – पीटीसी के लिए दिशा-निर्देश

What are parent-teacher conferences (PTC)? अभिभावक-शिक्षक सम्मेलन (PTC) क्या हैं?
Parent-teacher conferences are short (10 -15 Minutes) one to one session between parent and teacher that are formally arranged by the school twice in a year usually on Saturday. The PTCs are a valuable tool to help a parent and  child’s teacher(s) work together for child’s success. This is a great  opportunity for parents to ask questions and gather information that  will help them to encourage their children to achieve success. Common agenda points to discuss in PTCs will include going through the important achievements, goals set, issues with academics or behavior etc.

अभिभावक शिक्षक सम्मेलन आम तौर पर वर्ष में दो बार प्रायः शनिवार को आयोजित किये जाते हैं, जिसमे माता-पिता और शिक्षक के बीच १०-१५ मिनट के छोटे सत्र होते है। यह सम्मेलन बच्चे की सफलता के लिए अभिभावक व् शिक्षक को साथ में कार्य करने में एक मददगार साधन है। अभिभावकों के लिए यह एक अच्छा अवसर है जब वे अपने प्रश्न पूछ सकते हैं और जानकारी प्राप्त कर सकते हैं जिससे वे अपने बच्चे को सफलता के लिए प्रोत्साहित कर सकते हैं। सम्मेलन में चर्चा की सामान्य कार्यसूची में सम्मिलित बिंदु इस प्रकार हैं, प्रमुख उपलब्धियां, नियत लक्ष्य, अकादमिक गतिविधियों से सम्बंधित प्रश्न और व्यवहार इत्यादि।

How parent-teacher conferences are conducted? अभिभावक-शिक्षक सम्मेलन कैसे संचालित की जाती हैं?
Parents are informed at the starting of the session through a circular about the frequency of the PTCs during the year. The PTCs are generally conducted in the classroom. Different time slots have been allotted to the parents according to set time limit and number of students in the class.

सत्र के आरम्भ में अभिभावकों को सम्मेलन की आवृत्ति के बारे में सूचना दे दी जाती है। सम्मेलन आमतौर पर कक्षा में आयोजित किये जाते हैं। अभिभावकों को कक्षा में विद्यार्थियों की संख्या के अनुसार निर्धारित समय आवंटित कर दिया गया है।

Why the PTCs are important? अभिभावक-शिक्षक सम्मेलन क्यों आवश्यक है?

It is very important to have good relationships between parents and teacher because the goals for the child are indeed shared goals; both teacher and parent want what is best for the child/student. By conducting these sessions with parents Teacher gets opportunity to
discuss the child’s learning progress and by attending, parents can show that they are interested and prepared to participate in and support their child’s learning.

The PTC will give you feedback on your child’s performance and progress.Also it is chance for parents to find out how their child is getting along in school and what is going on inside the classroom. Since the parents are considered as primary educator, they can contribute a lot to the discussions and decisions of their child’s progress.

अभिभावक व् शिक्षक के बीच अच्छे सम्बन्ध होना अत्यंत आवश्यक है क्योकि बच्चों के लक्ष्य बंटे हुए लक्ष्य हैं। अभिभावक व् शिक्षक दोनों ही बच्चे के लिए सर्वश्रेष्ठ चाहते हैं। अभिभावकों के साथ ऐसे सत्र आयोजित करने से शिक्षकों को अवसर मिलता है कि वे बच्चे के विकास के बारे में चर्चा कर सकें, और उपस्थित होने से अभिभावक भी यह दर्शा सकते हैं कि बच्चे के विकास में वे रूचि लेते हैं।

सम्मेलन में आपको आपके बच्चे के प्रदर्शन और विकास के बारे में जानकारी दी जाएगी। साथ ही अभिभावकों के लिए यह जानने का अवसर है कि उनका बच्चा विद्यालय में कैसा प्रदर्शन कर रहा है और कक्षा के अंदर क्या चल रहा है। चूंकि अभिभावक प्राथमिक शिक्षाविद माने जाते हैं, वे बच्चों की चर्चा व् निर्णय में योगदान दे सकते हैं।

Dos and Don’ts for Parents अभिभावक सम्मेलन में क्या करें और क्या न करें

DOs:
1. Do attend the PTCs in the slots been given to you unless there is an emergency.
2. Both the parents will have to be present for the PTC.
3. In case you are late, you will not be able to get the allotted time with the teacher.
4. Please respect the privacy of the meeting.If a meeting is in progress or the teacher is busy, do not walk into the class. The teacher will call you in when she is ready to meet you.
5. Please bring the file with previous worksheets, pitara and any other documents as per the list sent to you.
6. Be prepared with questions that you want to ask at the conference to save time i.e. if you want specific feedback on maths or you wanted to discuss your child’s social skills etc.
7. Share information which you think is important for a teacher to know.
8. Be open to suggestions from the teacher.
9. If you wish to leave any comments/ give any feedback for the meeting, please fill in the Parents Feedback Form after PTC is over.

Don’ts
1. Please switch off your mobile phones before you enter in the classroom for the meeting.
2. Do not interrupt the teacher in between the meeting.
3. Do not exceed your allocated time limit.
4. Do not defend your child if teacher has mentioned any specific issue.
5. Do not lose control over emotions.Try to stay calm and focused on what will help the child the most.
6. Do not stray from the topic.
7. Do not discuss about the other child or the other teacher.

क्या करें :
1. यदि कोई आपात स्थिति न हो तो सम्मेलन में निर्धारित समय में ही उपस्थित हों।
2. माता- पिता दोनों की उपस्थिति अनिवार्य है।
3. यदि आपको विलम्ब हुआ, तो आबंटित किया हुआ १० मिनट का समय आपको प्रदान नहीं किया जा सकेगा।
4. कृपया सम्मेलन की गोपनीयता बनायें रखें। यदि सम्मेलन चल रहा है या शिक्षक व्यस्त हैं, तो कक्षा में ना जाएँ। जब भी शिक्षक आपसे मिलने के लिए तैयार होंगे वो आपको अंदर बुलाएँगे।
5. कृपया फाइल के साथ पुरानी वर्कशीट, पिटारा और सूची में लिखित अन्य दस्तावेजों को भी लाएं।
6. समय बचाने के लिए अपने प्रश्नों को तैयार करके आएं जैसे यदि आप गणित में कोई विशेष प्रतिपुष्टि चाहते हैं या बच्चे के सामाजिक कौशल के बारे में चर्चा करना हैं इत्यादि।
7. ऐसी जानकारी साझा करें जो आप चाहते हैं कि शिक्षक का जानना महत्वपूर्ण है।
8. शिक्षक के सुझावों को गलत नजरिये से ना देखें
9. यदि आप सम्मेलन के लिए किसी तरह की टिप्पणी करना चाहें या कोई सुझाव देना चाहें तो सम्मलेन के उपरान्त कृपया अभिभावक प्रतिपुष्टि फार्म को भरें।

क्या ना करें
1. सम्मेलन के लिए कक्षा में प्रवेश करने से पहले कृपया अपना मोबाइल फ़ोन बंद कर लें।
2. सम्मेलन के बीच में शिक्षक को हस्तक्षेप ना करें।
3. निर्धारित समय में ही बैठक समाप्त करने की कोशिश करें।
4. यदि शिक्षक कोई समस्या का उल्लेख करती हैं तो अपने बच्चे का बचाव ना करें।
5. भावुक होकर अपना संयम ना खोएं। शांत रहें व् जो बच्चे के भले के लिए है उसी पर केंद्रित रहें।
6. विषय से भटके नहीं।
7. किसी अन्य बच्चे या शिक्षक के बारे में बात ना करें।

Postponement of PTC Slot सम्मेलन के समय का पुनर्निर्धारण:

Rationale: At times there are requests from parents to change the slot because of:

– Engaged in some other work which is unavoidable.
– Out of town for some work etc.

The motto of the school is to address genuine  requests made by parents for the change in PTC slots other than slots fixed from school side.

औचित्य: कभी कभी निन्मलिखित कारणों से अभिभावक समय बदलने के लिए निवेदन करते हैं :

-किसी ऐसे कार्य में व्यस्त हो जाना जिसे टाला ना जा सके।
-किसी कार्यवश शहर से बाहर होना इत्यादि.

विद्यालय का सिद्धांत है कि नियत किये गए समय के अलावा कोई और समय के यथार्थ निवेदनों पर ध्यान देना।

Guidelines for Postponement of PTC Slot सम्मेलन के समय के पुनर्निर्धारण के लिए मार्गदर्शन ::

-If there is any genuine case or emergency then only a parent can ask for a change in PTC slot.
-For any change in date (not in time slot), parent  need to send the request by email or through letter, addressed to the Gyankriti Head Office ( support@gyankriti.com )  at least 7 days in advance, unless it’s an emergency.
-The reasons for the postponement must be mentioned in the notification to check whether the reason is genuine or not.
-If the reason is found genuine, HO will approve the same and send it to the teacher for further processing.
-The teacher then will find a mutually convenient slot before or after the regular PTC date and will inform the parent about the confirmed date and time for the meeting through diary note.
-यदि कोई यथार्थ समस्या या आपात स्थिति हो तभी अभिभावक समय बदलने के लिए कह सकते हैं।
-आपात स्थिति में तारीख में बदलाव के लिए अभिभावक को ई-मेल ( support@gyankriti.com ) या पत्र के माध्यम से कम से कम ७ दिन पहले मुख्यालय में निवेदन करना होगा।
-पुनर्निर्धारण के कारण का उल्लेख सूचना में अवश्य करें ताकि हम देख सकें कि कारण यथार्थ है या नहीं।
-यदि कारण यथार्थ है तो मुख्यालय उसे स्वीकृति देगा और आगे की प्रक्रिया के लिए उसे शिक्षक को भेजा जायेगा।
-शिक्षक सम्मेलन की तारीख के पहले या बाद का कोई उपुक्त समय निकाल कर अभिभावक को सूचित करेंगी
-यदि कारण यथार्थ है तो मुख्यालय उसे स्वीकृति देगा और आगे की प्रक्रिया के लिए उसे शिक्षक को भेजा जायेगा।
-शिक्षक सम्मेलन की तारीख के पहले या बाद का कोई उपुक्त समय निकाल कर अभिभावक को सूचित करेंगी।

Modern Nationalism: Mopping the floor

Recently I came across a viral Facebook post, it narrated the scene at a coffee shop:

So I am sitting at Starbucks yesterday and this group of three executives comes in.
They grab a table which a customer had just vacated.
It was slightly messy with a plate and a cup on it.
These three scream for the staff to clean it and complain loudly about the falling standards of cleanliness. (“Saala Starbucks Bhi KFC ban gaya hai. Itni gandh!”)
They leave about forty minutes later.
Leaving an even bigger mess on the table with plastic cups and bits of pastry.
A young lady takes the table.
She looks like a student and I think she is from Japan because her cap has the Rising Sun on it.
She picks up the plastic cups and throws them into a dustbin.
She then goes over to the counter, takes some tissues and starts cleaning the table.
Some of the staff notice
And run over to her and say that she should not bother. They will clean the table.
She answers:
“No, it is all right. It is my table, no?”

A massive lesson there.

The topmost comment on the post was even better. Why are we Indians like that?

A lesson should be learnt for sure, but the problem is in how we grew up looking at the system. Starting from we being a kid, every time we mad a mess, there was somebody to clean in be it mom or a house maid. I guess not everybody has been taught to even fix our bed after we get up. We need to start from there.

At Gyankriti we believe that teaching Practical Life Skills and Survival Skills along with regular academics is the most important responsibility of any school. Our preschool toddlers are trained to do basic age appropriate skills on their own, it may be buttoning, lacing, dusting or cleaning the floor after eating.

Yeah!! Cleaning and mopping the floor, for toddlers. Isn’t that bit extreme? No, it is not. In fact the children enjoy these activities and repeat on their own at home. There begins the problem because of our conditioned mindset. Some parents don’t like the fact that children are doing these activities at the school. This isn’t something “people like us” are supposed to do, it is the “maid’s job” after all. I am really disheartened when I get these kind of feedbacks from the “young, educated, middle class” audience we serve. School children in Japan clean the school toilets on their own. We don’t even know the name of aaya who cleaned the toilets of our school/office.

At the same time I would like to appreciate a vast majority of our parent community who love these kind of activities and encourage their children. Nationalism in modern time is not about wars or movements. It makes more sense to put efforts in bringing up our children in a way that they make our country proud in the way, the Japanese girl did. PM Narendra Modi started a fantastic Swacch Bharat mission after last year’s Independence Day speech, its success solely depends on our responsible behaviour. Let’s stop saying “यह मेरा काम नहीं है” or “यह काम मेरे level का नहीं है” for a better India.

Happy Independence Day.

जय हिन्द!

Note: The author is Founder-Director of Gyankriti. The views expressed here are personal.

Reproduced from original post on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/modern-nationalism-mopping-floor-yograj-patel

Homework in preschool?

Did you know that homework can be, and often is, sent home for preschoolers? Do you think this is reasonable, or are you wondering whether this is even a good idea? You’re not alone, in either case, even I am getting various suggestions from parents and teachers regarding homework. As a policy we have never given homework to children but we are definitely ready to debate and discuss this issue raised by parent-teacher community.

photoI knew our child would eventually bring homework home, but I never expected it to happen at the preschool level. However, our parents and teachers report that homework in preschool is definitely happening. Is this completely crazy, or does it set a child up with a solid foundation as she goes through the rest of her school years?

Setting a foundation

Many parents we talked to felt that, within reason, homework at the preschool age helps set an important foundation. The type of homework sent home at this age varies from school to school, but most don’t make it overwhelming for the child and her parents. Often the tasks are simple, such as tracing a letter or practice writing their name. “I think it’s totally reasonable,” shares one of the parent. “It starts the homework habit early and gets the parents involved. Also, it helps the parents to know what they are learning during the day so they can reinforce it at home.”

“Nuha gets little homework assignments and I think it’s fun and involves us at home in her projects at school,” explains one of our teacher. “Usually it involves her cutting pictures out of a magazine for their colour books or bringing in something, like leaves. I think it sets them up to know that someone from home can help them with their work.”

Different types of homework

Some moms feel that regular, daily “busy work” homework is unnecessary for this age — but little projects every now and then are not only a good idea, but they can be lots of fun, too. “Simran’s KG class had ‘homework’ once,” says one of our parent. “They were told to learn the name and qualities of vegetables cooked at home everyday and share it the class next day. That kind of stuff gets parents involved, which I like. If she was sent home with pages of actual work I’d be a little upset — it’s not necessary.”

Another parent, thought the idea was, as she put it, stupid. “I think that’s unfair to the parents and disrespectful of everything else that is going on in people’s lives,” she says. Being involved in your child’s education starts from the day they are born, and it doesn’t stop when they go to school. Parent involvement is critical when it comes to your child’s success, and although preschool can seem like glorified day care, it really isn’t. Your kiddo is learning important social skills, classroom structure and how to be a good student — in addition to beginner academics. Having — and continuing to have — an interest in her schooling is a good habit for parents to get into. This also helps you be prepared to support your child throughout her education.

That being said, the parents we spoke to were about half and half on the necessity of homework for children this small. Being involved doesn’t have to mean helping your child with homework every day, especially for a 2 or 3-year-old who just wants to come home and play with blocks.

How do you feel? There’s a long-running debate on the benefits of homework. The purpose of homework is to bridge the gap between children’s learning at school and at home, but just how relevant is it to the modern generation? Let us know in the comments.

In my honest opinion, as shared in our previous blog, homework should be set at such a level that children can do with little or no help of the parents/elders at home. Is it possible at this age, probably not. Then what should we do? I have an answer for that too but I would like to read your suggestions first.

Note: The author is Founder-Director of Gyankriti. The views expressed here are personal.

Handling a fussy eater | खाने की आदतो के बारे मे कुछ सुझाव

picky-eater

Many parents have complained/informed about eating habits of their children. Here are some suggestion:

Handling a fussy eater
A fussy eater is no freak. Fussy eating is perfectly normal, especially for children. As children experiment with food, they develop preferences just like adults. The solution is to offer a wider variety of foods so that they are more likely to choose favourites across food groups. Variety also provides different vitamins and minerals. Don’t stress out if your child refuses to eat bananas. Just look for other foods which contain similar nutrients.

Try to improve your child’s appetite by increasing her physical activity. A hungry child is less likely to be fussy about food. Health drinks and vitamin supplements are not the only solution for fussy eaters. Try to meet your child’s nutritional needs as you would meet your own.

My son refuses to drink milk
“My son refuses to drink milk. It seems to me that all children readily accept milk- based beverages. But my 5-year-old son absolutely refuses to have milk with or without a nutritional supplement. I’m worried that he will lose out on vital nutrients.” – A concerned father

A balanced diet has the most ‘vital nutrients’. So if your child is getting a healthy mix of foods, with portions of staples, proteins and vegetables, you need not worry about his milk aversion. Dairy products are an important source of calcium and minerals, but can be found in milk products as well. Introduce him to curd, flavoured yoghurt, paneer, cheese and ice-cream which will provide him calcium. Other foods rich in calcium include leafy greens, almonds and dry fruits. Health drinks are good but not indispensable. Just focus on healthy eating habits, and don’t worry about the milk. You could reintroduce it after a few months. Alternatively, try flavoured milk. If your child develops a taste for it, you can slowly shift to flavoured health drinks. Try getting a friend, teacher or relative to convince your child to drink milk every day. Sometimes, children are more open to suggestions from people other than their parents.

कई अभिभावकों ने अपने बच्चों की खाने की आदतों के बारे में शिकायत/सूचना दी है।  यहाँ कुछ सुझाव हैं :

खाना खाने में नखरे करना एकदम सामान्य है, खासकर बच्चों के लिए।  क्योकि बच्चे भोजन के साथ प्रयोग करते हैं, वे अपनी पसंद बनाने लगते हैं  बिलकुल बड़ों की तरह। समाधान यह है कि भोजन की व्यापक विविधता पेश की जाए ताकि उन्हें चयन करने के लिए अधिक संभावनाएं प्राप्त हो।  विविधता से उन्हें भिन्न भिन्न प्रकार के विटामिन व खनिज भी मिलते हैं।यदि आपका बच्चा केला खाने से मना करता है तो चिंता मत कीजिये।  उसे कुछ और दीजिये जिसमे सामान प्रकार के पौष्टिक तत्व हों।

बच्चे की भूख बढ़ाने के लिए उसकी शारीरिक गतिविधियों को बढ़ाएं।  अगर बच्चा भूखा होगा तो वह भोजन के लिए कम नखरे करेगा। कृत्रिम पेय पदार्थ और विटामिन के पूरक ही एकमात्र समाधान नहीं है।  अपने बच्चे के पोषण सम्बंधित जरूरतों को ऐसे ही पूरा कीजिये जैसे आप अपनी करते हैं।

मेरा बच्चा दूध पीने से मना करता है
“मेरा बेटा दूध पीने से मना करता है।  ऐसा लगता है कि सभी बच्चे दूध के उत्पादों को ख़ुशी से स्वीकारते हैं।  किन्तु मेरा ५ वर्षीय बेटा दूध बिलकुल नहीं पीता। वह सादा दूध या पौष्टिक पूरक मिला कर दोनों के लिए ही मना करता है।” – एक चिंतित पिता

एक संतुलित आहार में महत्वपूर्ण ‘पौष्टिक तत्व’ होते हैं।  तो यदि आपका बच्चा पौष्टिक भोजन, प्रोटीन और सब्जियां खा रहा है तो आपको दूध के बारे में चिंता करने की जरुरत नहीं है। डेयरी उत्पादों में महत्वपूर्ण केल्शियम और खनिज होते हैं, किन्तु वे दूध के उत्पादों में भी पाये जाते हैं।  उसे दही, फ्लेवर वाला मट्ठा, पनीर और आइस-क्रीम दीजिये, इनसे भी उसे कैल्शियम प्राप्त होगा।  अन्य कैल्शियम युक्त खाद्य पदार्थों में हरी पत्ते वाली सब्जियां, बादाम और सूखे मेवे सम्मिलित हैं।  हेल्थ पदार्थ अच्छे हैं किन्तु अनिवार्य नहीं हैं।  बस स्वस्थ खाने की आदतों पर ध्यान दीजिये, दूध की चिंता मत कीजिये।  आप उसे कुछ महीनों बाद वापस देने की कोशिश कर सकते हैं। एक विकल्प यह है कि फ्लेवर वाला दूध देने की कोशिश कीजिये।  यदि आपके बच्चे को वह  स्वाद अच्छा लग जाता है तो धीरे से फ्लेवर वाले हेल्थ ड्रिंक देना शुरू कर सकते हैं। उसे प्रतिदिन दूध पीने के लिए समझाने के लिए किसी दोस्त, शिक्षक या रिश्तेदार की मदद भी ले सकते हैं। कभी कभी बच्चे उनके माता-पिता से ज्यादा किसी और के सुझावों को सही मानते है|

रचना सक्सेना द्वारा हिंदी में अनुवाद किया गया|

नोट: लेखक ज्ञानकृति के संस्थापक एवं निदेशक है| यहाँ व्यक्त किये गए विचार व्यक्तिगत हैं।

Note: The author is Founder-Director of Gyankriti. The views expressed here are personal.