Shahnaz Ahmad, Chairperson and Managing Trustee of Springdale High School, Jorhat, Assam, recently joined NewsX for an exclusive interview segment
Addressing the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Ms Ahmed said “We stay in the Northeast, i.e., in Assam, when we first heard about this word, Covid-19 or coronavirus, it was a very new word to us. So we didn’t take this whole thing very seriously”. According to Shahnaz, they thought it was just a virus initially and it would go fast but that didn’t really happen.
Shahnaz said, “We run institutions which has got to do with education and the most important thing we have in school are children and learning, so we thought that everything is going to close down but somehow it will come back again, it might take a month or more and it will come back. But, when it was not coming back, we started thinking about it because the learning has to go on”.
Shahnaz Ahmed said that they were dealing with humans and their brains and they needed to carry on otherwise, they would become stagnant. She said, “So we all sat down and as a leader of the school and people who really can think, we thought, let us find out some options as to how can we carry on with our learning without disturbing the students, so we thought about it and started talking to each other only on the phone because we were all locked inside, we could not meet anybody”.
According to Shahnaz, when they started talking, they found out a solution to this. She said, “The solution was, let us go with online classes. But, we never knew how to do online classes and that was the best part of it. To learn something called online classes at this age was something new for us”.
Talking about how Shahnaz made the process of transition to online classes smooth for both, teachers and students, Shahnaz said, “When we thought about these online classes then we got together and we started making modules because till then our school had been closed, exams were just over, our admissions were just starting but it closed down”. Shahnaz said that when it closed down, there were no way that books would be given out, so they formed their own curriculum.
They designed their own curriculum without books, said Shahnaz. She told her teachers to look at the aptitude of the students as she was sure that the previous teachers knew all the aptitude, talents, reports and asked them to share the reports with the new teachers. She said, “So they started forming the module for the online classes because we could not deal with the students by Zoom as most of them have been going up to the villages, some have gone off for vacations and must not have carried their laptops, it was just a ball from the blue, so the only way that we could go were by these online classes on WhatsApp within a very very simple way because we need to now make the children used to this thing, we need to educate the parents first only then the children will be able to carry on with these classes since we started from the prep classes upto class 10, i.e., from the age group of 3.5 to the age group of 15, so there is a great transformation of ages, a great transition of people. So we had to be very careful as the emotional side also has to be looked at”.
Talking about finding opportunity in the pandemic, Shahnaz said, “Every dark cloud has a silver light, we must know how to creep into that dark cloud and find out the best things that can be done. Let us be optimistic, let us be positive”. According to her, they have learnt a lot, they have learnt a digital form of teaching at this age. Shahnaz said that if there’s no obstacle in life, there’s going to be no spiking. She said, “only when we have obstacles, then we find how to deal with life because crisis does change things and it always changes for the better”.
At Springdale High School, the teachers are conducting regular sessions with the parents and students to address their doubts, said Shahnaz. According to Shahnaz, “We have set the target to complete the syllabus by November.
Shahnaz quoted, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. She said that when this pandemic arrived, they were all locked inside, but they never gave up. She said, “Not only education, but every sector has found a plan B because it became the necessity and when, it became the necessity, the invention had started. In the end, Shahnaz concluded by delivering her message to all students to remain positive and determined. She said, “I would tell students to remain calm and remain very strong. I’ll also tell them to be forward, focused and create goals which they can achieve”.
The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.
For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.
How mind blanking helps us understand ongoing thoughts
When we are awake, we typically believe that our minds are always racing with ideas. We maintain our own dynamic mental stream, which is like a river stream that never stops flowing.
A thought may lead to another, whether or not it is important to what we do, and it may ebb and flow between our inner world and the outside world.
But how does the brain manage to stay in such a thought-related condition all the time? According to a recent study that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it truly cannot be done because our brains must occasionally “go offline,” which we can perceive as mental voids.
Re-analyzing a previously gathered dataset, researchers from the University of Liege, EPF Lausanne and University of Geneva asked healthy subjects to describe their mental state as it was just prior to receiving an auditory probe (beep) while lying still in the MRI scanner. The options were environmental perceptions, thoughts influenced by stimuli, ideas unaffected by stimuli, and mental lapses. Using this experience-sampling technique, good photos were gathered.
In contrast to the other states, mental blanking episodes were recorded much less frequently and recurred much less frequently over time, according to the researchers. The researchers also discovered, using machine learning, that during episodes of mind-numbing, our brains were arranged so that all brain regions were in constant communication with one another.
Mangaluru’s Dasara celebration culminate with grand procession
The 10-day ‘Mangaluru Dasara’ celebrations culminated on the final day of ‘Navratri’ with a grand procession amidst thousands of devotees.
As the celebrations of Dussehra concluded on Wednesday, idols of all the nine forms of Maa Durga, including goddess Shailaputri (Daughter of mountain), Brahmacharini (Mother of devotion and penance), Chandraghanta (Destroyer of demons), Kushmanda (Goddess of the Cosmic egg), Skandamata (Goddess of motherhood and children), Katyayani (Goddess of power), Kalaratri (Goddess of auspiciousness and courage), Mahagauri (Goddess of beauty and women), Siddhidhatri (Goddess of supernatural powers or siddhis), and Lord Ganapathi were carried in the procession with much zeal and enthusiasm by the massive crowds in Mangaluru.
Navratri, one of the most important and auspicious Hindu holidays, is observed with great fanfare throughout the nation. It honours Goddess Durga and is celebrated for nine days and nine nights. Maa Durga worshippers do a number of rituals, keep fasts (vrats), make special meals, recite shlokas, clean their homes, and dress in new garments during this period.
In addition, each day of Navratri honours Maa Durga, or Shakti’s nine manifestations, commonly known as Navdurga, or the Nine Forms of Durga. According to Drik Panchang, Goddess Parvati, who is regarded as the greatest strength among all Goddesses, is the source of the idea of Navdurga. Worshippers of Maa Durga honour her nine incarnations and offer prayers for happiness in their homes and daily lives.
The celebration started with great pomp and show. Not just that, a massive crowd gathered to celebrate this festival to the fullest by participating in the festivity.
The celebration also included a series of parades by artists dressed up as religious figures.
Dussehra is widely known as Vijayadashami in the southern part of India. It is that time of year when the well-known Ramlila is performed, gorgeous fairs are held, crowds swarm to see Ravan effigies burst into flames, and the aroma of traditional sweets fills the air.
Despite the fact that celebrations and cultural practises vary depending on location in India’s culturally rich country, the fabric that binds everyone together remains the festival.
Dussehra, also known as Dasara, symbolises the triumph of good over evil, and it is tied to two stories. After a fierce battle that lasted more than nine days, it is said that Maa Durga conquered Mahishasura on this day. According to another tale, Dussehra is observed to commemorate Lord Rama’s victory over Lanka’s ten-headed evil king, Ravana.
The tenth day of Navratri, which is comprised of nine days dedicated to honouring each form of Goddess Durga, is Dussehra. Vijayadashami, on the other hand, is the day of victory. While some connect it to the famous Ramayana conflict, others do it to remember Goddess Durga’s triumph over the demonic Mahishasura.
In some regions of the country, Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami or Dasain, makes way for the Diwali celebrations.
Twenty days after Dussehra, one of the most significant and widely celebrated festivals, the festival of lights – Diwali, commemorates Lord Rama’s return home following his victory over Ravana. However, the main message of the Dussehra festival is that of good triumphing over evil, and it is on this day that people pray for prosperity and good health.
The nine days of Navratri culminate in the killing of Ravana and the burning of his life-size effigy at the Ramlila, together with those of Meghnad and Kumbhakaran, on the day of Dussehra, or Vijayadashami, when the holiday is celebrated with great grandeur.
As each of Ravana’s heads represents a different negative attribute, Dussehra also represents purging oneself of sins or undesirable traits.
In several southern Indian states, Shami Puja is also known as Banni Puja and Jammi Puja. Devotees wish Maa Durga farewell on Dashami, and the visarjan is performed at Aparahna time or Pratahkala while Dashami Tithi is in effect.
The tenth day is also known as Vijayadashmi, when Maa Durga’s idol is submerged in water in the hopes that she will keep an eye on them and fend off all misfortunes and evils. Vijayadashmi and Dussehra commemorate the triumph of good over evil, and worshippers celebrate the festivals by indulging in various foods with their loved ones.
‘Toxic stereotyping of Asian women doesn’t just end once the credits roll’
A new edition of Meghan Markle’s Archetype podcast, which launched last month with Serena Williams as its guest, has finally come out.
The Duchess of Sussex’s podcast released its most recent episode as the first one following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II earlier in September. The most recent episode followed a discussion on toxic Asian stereotypes featuring journalist Lisa Ling and actor-comedian Margret Cho.
Meghan and the guests discussed a variety of topics, including their own experiences, how they overcame stereotypes, the problematic representations of Asian women on television and in the media, and much more.
The Duchess recalled the various cultures she was exposed to while growing up in Los Angeles and stressed that many Asian cultures were a part of her life while growing up in the opening scene of the ‘Demystification of Dragon Lady’ episode. Meghan acknowledged that she had been ignorant of the stereotypes that many Asian women had endured for a very long time and emphasised the negative portrayal of Asians on screen.
She said, “This toxic stereotyping of women of Asian descent — this doesn’t just end once the credits roll. Movies like Austin Powers and Kill Bill—they presented these caricatures of women of Asian descent as oversexualized or aggressive.”
Before the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, three episodes of Archetype were broadcast, featuring guests like Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, and Mindy Kaling, who seemed to dispel stereotypes about women. Following the late monarch’s funeral on September 19, a week of mourning was observed by Queen Elizabeth’s family. After that, the members of the Royal family went back to work.
The podcast has resumed, but the release date for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Netflix docu-series has been further delayed as a result of the Queen’s death.
BJP accuses CM Kejriwal of corruption in electricity discoms
BJP on Thursday leveled another corruption charge against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). This time, party spokespersons Syed Zafar Islam and Harish Khurana accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of appointing chosen officials to facilitate corruption in the electricity companies and prevent audits.
BJP spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam pointed out the Delhi Chief Minister’s previous promises and accused him of “stealing” electricity. In 2013, Kejriwal used to accuse the two companies of the Anil Ambani group and Tata Discom of being “thieves”. I want to ask what happened that the man who used to talk about stopping electricity theft, is himself stealing electricity,” Islam said.
“BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPS) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL). In both these companies, 51% of the shares are with Anil Ambani and the remaining 49% with the Delhi Government. “Since the Delhi government also had a 49% stake, the government used to keep retired IAS officers, retired Finance Secretaries, and retired Revenue Secretaries as its representatives to protect their interests,” the BJP leader continued. But, Kejriwal Ji removed them and appointed his own pawns to protect his own interests and facilitate corruption. ND Gupta and Jasmine Shah are known for corruption. Kejriwal has kept them as his pawns,” Islam said
He also alleged Kejriwal of stopping the audit of the government funding and accused him of corruption by giving commissions. “The Kejriwal government took a decision in 2016 that audits will be conducted every year. But, he didn’t follow his own decision. Because, if the audit had been done, it would have revealed how much money went to the public and how much to the beneficiaries, “Islam said.” Islam said.
BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana also attacked the Kejriwal government, saying, “When the AAP government came, Kejriwal used to say that we would waive off all the electricity bills and the electricity bills would be the lowest in Delhi. He also used to accuse the power discom of being thieves”. He claimed that the public has no idea of how their money had been spent and demanded an audit of government spending.
“A total of Rs 16,233 crores has been extracted as fixed charges in the last five years. Rs 12,408 crores were given as subsidies between 2015 and 21. 2,677 crores were given as a surcharge, the regulatory assets were worth 9,195 crores, and 3,900 crores were paid for the power purchase agreement. But, the total figure stands at Rs 49,636 crores”, Khurana said.
“No one knows the calculation of this Rs 49,000 crores. I want to ask, do the people of Delhi don’t have the right to know how their money has been used? We are only asking what the Kejriwal government promised. We demand the whole audit of the government spending,” Khurana said.
The allegation comes amid a spate of corruption cases being investigated against several AAP leaders, including Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Amantullah Khan, etc.
5 most successful college dropouts
From our childhood, we have been told that the most promising way of being successful is by studying hard and achieving good grades in school and college. But some people have taken the less travelled road and dropped out of school. Even after this huge risk, these people are billionaires. Let us take a look at a few of these popular names:
- Steve Jobs
The founder of Apple left Reed College when he was just 19, reportedly because it was too much of a financial burden for his family. Despite his short tenure at Reed, Jobs still found his time there valuable. In a 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, he credited a Reed calligraphy course for inspiring the typography he used on the first Mac. Apple is a well-known brand in today’s time.
2. Bill Gates
Bill Gates attended Harvard for two years before he dropped out to create what would become Microsoft. The Harvard Crimson describes him as “Harvard’s most successful dropout,” and today he is one of the wealthiest people on the planet. Imagine dropping out of your college and trying your hands at something you love then eventually becoming one of the richest men in the world. How crazy is that?
3. Evan Williams
Evan grew up in Clarks, Nebraska, where his family ran a farm. He attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for three semesters before dropping out.
Williams was a freelance software programmer for Hewlett-Packard and Intel before landing a gig at Google. He later quit his job at Google to build and became a billionaire.
4. Mark Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard, founded Facebook and now he has a net worth of 5070 crore USD. According to the book “The Facebook Effect,” it took him just five minutes to decide to quit college. Zuckerberg’s company Meta Platforms owns the most famous social media sites instagram and whatsapp.
5. Michael Dell
You must be well aware of Dell computers. Dell technology is founded by Michael Dell. He dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin during his freshman year at the age of 19. His net worth is 4,960 crore USD.
In New Zealand, Jaishankar raises visa delay issue
With delays impeding the study plans of some Indian students who are trying to enter New Zealand, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar voiced his worries over visa delays to his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta.
During his visit to New Zealand, S. Jaishankar urged the country to treat individuals who have been affected by the pandemic “more sympathetically” and “fairer.”
“I also raised with the minister the concerns that some of our students have faced, students who had to leave New Zealand during the Covid period and who didn’t have the opportunity to get their visas renewed,” S Jaishankar said.
I urged a fairer and more sympathetic treatment for them, also students who are waiting to come to New Zealand to pursue their studies and whether the visa process for them could be hastened,” he further said during a joint press interaction with his New Zealand counterpart.
India ranks second among the countries sending students to New Zealand to pursue higher education in a range of fields.
S Jaishankar said, “There are perhaps demands in New Zealand which could be met out of India, and we have a mobility understanding with many countries, so the possibility of those could serve as guidance for progress between us.”
Along with the country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, S Jaishankar will honour members of the Indian community in New Zealand for their contributions.
Opinion2 years ago
South Block’s mistakes will now be corrected by Army
Sports2 years ago
When a bodybuilder breaks Shoaib’s record
News2 years ago
PM Modi must take governance back from babus
Spiritually Speaking2 years ago
Spiritual beings having a human experience
Legally Speaking2 years ago
Law relating to grant, rejection and cancellation of bail
News2 years ago
Chinese general ordered attack on Indian troops: US intel report
Royally Speaking2 years ago
The young royal dedicated to the heritage of Jaipur
Sports2 years ago
West Indies avoid follow-on, England increase lead to 219