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ByJoseph   posted on01 Feb, 12 2112 Views 0 Comments Regular Feature Add to favorite

I come to understand that the Navodaya School system is on par with the Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools and education is free for the rural intelligent children. I am also shocked to learn that only in Tamil Nadu we do not have these schools as the state government is against them. Is it true?

- Cherian Mathai, Thrissur


Dear Cherian Mathai,

It is a very sad story, indeed. Jawahar Navodaya Schools have been established almost in every district in India, the state of Tamil Nadu being an exception. An entrance test is conducted every year to select rural children for enrolment. They are given free education with all residential facilities. Even the teachers live in the campus monitoring the students from as early as 5.30 am till as late as 10.00 pm. There is a good mix of curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

The eye sore to the government of Tamil Nadu is that the children are taught Hindi also. It is hard to understand why Navodaya Schools are banned while Kendriya Vidyalayas, which also teach Hindi flourish in Tamil Nadu.

The only obligation on the part of the State Government is to supply the required lands for the schools. The rest is the full responsibility of the Government of India, namely, spending crores of rupees on each school to provide all the required facilities.

We wish that the Government of Tamil Nadu rises above the narrow language considerations and make this unique facility also available to the rural children of the state. Let there be Navodaya Schools in Tamil Nadu also.

Experts say that children who spend hours watching television are vulnerable to several health problems. What are the risks involved?
– Ram Pragadish, Kolkata


Dear Ram Pragadish,

A recent report by the US-based Kaiser Family Foundation claimed that 8 to 18 year olds in America devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of time ‘media multitasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content.

The report, third in a series, went on to state that the “amount of time spent with media increased by an hour and seventeen minutes a day over the past five years.” They also observed a rise in the number of hours spent on multitasking. While not conclusively probing the cause-and-effect relationship between heavy media use and falling grades, the study did report that a larger percentage of heavy users (47 per cent) and lower grades, compare to light users of media (23 per cent).

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