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Education

Engineering Degrees Secured Form 2001 Through Correspondence Invalid

In a huge setback to millions of students who completed engineering studies via correspondence courses in the past 16 Years provided by deemed universities, the Supreme Court last week announced that the degrees were unacceptable, putting them at jeopardy of losing jobs got hold of based on the certificates.

A panel of Justices U U Lalit and A K Goel noted that the UGC (University Grants Commission) and the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) did not accept distance learning programs in engineering academics and the endorsement given by the DEC (Distance Education Council) for such courses was against the law.

The SC move reveals the extent to which the regulatory network was negotiated since the courses were being operated for over 1.5 Decades without drawing serious inspection. The top court ordered the Center to make an oversight system to control deemed universities, claiming that UGC totally failed to restrain the commercialization of edification. It ordered the government to evaluate the status of various institutions of deemed university.

The court judged a group of petitions related to the correspondence courses’ validity of 4 deemed universities namely Institute of Advanced Studies in Education in Rajasthan, JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation in Tamil Nadu, and Allahabad Agricultural Institute, which have been offering engineering tutoring via correspondence ever since 2001 in spite of AICTE condemnation.

The apex court limited all deemed universities from providing correspondence courses without the endorsement of the AICTE and ordered a CBI probe in opposition to administrators who allowed the universities to operate the programs from 2001. The court passed the order post ASG Maninder Singh and counsel of UGC as well as Anil Soni, the AICTE advocate, told the court that courses for distance learning in engineering were not allowed.

Holding the degree subjected by universities is unacceptable. The court, on the other hand, opened a tiny window for candidates who took admission from 2001 to 2005 to revitalize their degree by facing a new examination by AICTE. It claimed that they must be given one more chance as they completed the course below the feeling that the course is suitable in the light of approval of DEC.

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Education

School forced to close after 150 pupils and teachers fall ill

A school was forced to shut its doors after a huge number of students and staff fell ill with a mystery vomiting bug. The virus spread like wildfire at the Dene Magna secondary school in Gloucestershire, affecting 150 people, which is around a fifth of the total number of pupils.

So many pupils, teachers and support staff had to go home because they were ill, that head teacher Stephen Brady decided he would have to close the school completely. So far, it has not been confirmed what the illness is, although it is likely to be the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

The school has now brought in a specialist cleaning company to embark on a thorough clean of the whole building before the school opens up again on Monday. Mr Brady said that the situation had become worse and worse, so it was common sense to send everyone home.

Perfect storm

He described it as a “perfect storm” of bugs, saying that pupils had been suffering from feelings of nausea and sweating, while others had diarrhoea and vomiting. The school spoke to officials at the local authority, who advised that a deep clean should be carried out. Pupils who are ill are expected to have recovered within 72 hours.

In a message to parents, the school urged mums and dads to keep their children home over the weekend, so that they did not pass on any germs to friends. He also said pupils should have a “good wash” so they returned clean and healthy on Monday.

The latest closure follows a similar incident at a primary school just eight miles away, which also had to shut when a quarter of its students fell ill. Staff also called in sick so the school, in Coleford, took the decision to close for an afternoon so a thorough clean could take place.

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Education

Prince George set to attend £6,500 a term London school

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to make Kensington Palace their permanent base from next year after signing Prince George up for a £6,500 a term school in London.

Prince George is set to attend Wetherby School, which is less than a mile away from the palace. Currently, the family split their time between Norfolk and London. The Duke and Duchess, who are both 34, have chosen the same pre-prep school attended by Prince William and Prince Harry.

The family could walk to school as it is just 15 minutes away from Kensington Palace, in a listed building overlooking Pembridge Square Gardens. The all boys school accommodates just 250 pupils, many of whom go on to study at prestigious schools including Eton, St Paul’s and Westminster. Prince George will be wearing a uniform of a little grey cap, scarlet trimmed blazer and a red tie.

It is thought that they have already enrolled Prince George, although the couple could decide to break with tradition and send the young prince to local primary St Mary Abbots Primary School.

Royal duties

Both Prince William and Kate Middleton are expected to take on more official royal duties next year, particularly as the Queen is standing down as patron from a number of charities, which means they will need a permanent residence in London.

Currently, Prince William works part time as a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service. And, while his contract ends in March, it is understood that he will continue in this role until the summer.

Prince William and Kate are also understood to want to expand their own Royal Foundation charity as well as focusing on mental health causes. While it is believed that Kate had not been keen on a move back to London, she understands that the Queen, in her advancing years, does need to lighten her workload.

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Education

Should schools go down to a four day week?

Head teachers are understood to be thinking about making the school week four days in a bid to bring down costs. Some schools in England are also said to be seriously considering making the school day shorter or cutting staff as a result of budget pressures.

Findings in the School Leaders’ Survey showed that school finances are in such a dire state that there are fears that future generations could end up paying the price. The survey, which asked questions of 900 headteachers across England, found that a staggering 94 per cent were unhappy with funding levels from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.

Out of those, three quarters of heads said they were very dissatisfied, which is a significant increase compared to last year and stands at the highest levels for three years. The majority of heads said they felt their challenge for 2017 was to try to mange their schools on low budgets.

Worried

Nick Mackenzie of Browne Jacobson, the law firm which carried out the survey said it was very clear from the findings that heads were genuinely worried about making ends meet. He added: 2he decision to delay implementation of the new funding formula means many schools are living on a financial knife-edge. We are already seeing some schools in the country seriously considering shortening the teaching day or going to a four-day week.2

Others, he said were considering reducing staff numbers of increasing class sizes. They are also looking into whether they can partner up with other schools to cut costs as well as considering new ways to generate income, such as using school buildings for events.

Headteachers criticised new Chancellor Phillip Hammond for failing to use his Autumn Statement to give further funding to struggling schools. School leaders strugging to make their finances add up consider his promise of £50 million to expand grammar school provision an insult.

 

 

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Education

4 Million People Re-Enroll Or Enroll For Health Care For The First Time!

Health Care Sign-Ups Come With Mixed Views From Citizens

On Tuesday, the Health and Human Services Department released a report which is the first 50-state report on the latest sign-up season under President Barack Obama’s new health care law. According to the figures in the report, around 4 million people have either enrolled for the first time or have re-enrolled for health care. The figures were quite encouraging for a start. As on 15th December, around 3.4 million people enrolled using the HealthCare.gov site, while 600,000 more people selected plans in state-run marketplaces. New enrollers’ border close to around 2 million, with figures last updated on 13th December. Going by the current figures, it may be possible for the administration to meet its goal of 9.1 million customers signing up and paying premiums by 2015.

Younger Generation Not Interested In Health Insurance

The most important factor needed to sustain the program is to exceed the goal set by the administration. The goal set by them is 13 million, a figure unlikely to be surpassed. As one expert said, “It would take a massive surge in enrollment over the next six weeks.” Another cause for concern is the apathy of the younger generation for health insurance. Their money is sorely needed to offset the cost arising out of older, sicker enrollees and to keep the premiums from rising. Only around 24% of the enrollees are 18 to 34 years old.

Open Enrollment Open Till 15thFebruary

The report has figures from 14 state marketplaces and 37 HealthCare.gov states. The figures this year are much higher than the 106,000 registered same time last year. The last date for enrolling is 15th February, and those registering by then will get coverage from 1st March.  Around 87% of the people who selected plans from HealthCare.gov will get financial assistance.