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Ekya / June 19, 2018 Posted by : administrator

Understanding Science education in today’s context: Is it just to churn out professionals and earn a hefty pay cheque?

By Dr. Rakhi Roy, Parent of Rishit Roy, Grade V, Ekya ITPL.

Every parent aspires the best for their child, be it in any aspect of life – education being given utmost priority. More often, the aspirations are innate, to what we as parents have not been able to achieve ourselves.  As a result, inadvertently, we begin the journey, with a mountain of expectations and bated breath from an oblivious tiny tot.

Science education, unfortunately, is associated with a lot of societal demands. (We talk about child peer pressure; well, parental peer pressure seems to be worse). Usually, the parent wants the child to take up science, not because the child is interested, but because, they can be proud (yes, in bold) parents, of a child who “has taken science in senior secondary school” and is all set to become either a clinician or an engineer. To achieve this no mean feat, the tot is pressure cooked right from the choice of pre-school. Why? Because, we all are participants in this “life-athon” to become “well established, amongst the affluent (read materialistic?) and socially elite”. Paradoxically, the word ‘Science’ is derived from the Latin word ‘scientia’ meaning ‘knowledge’.

Consequently, the message we convey is – opt for science to become an engineer (seems to have beaten the doctors in the race) and in four years you shall have a comfortable life; as you receive a fat pay cheque every month. Being a doctor is too long drawn – five years of undergrad followed by another five years of specializations and super-specialization, till you open shop. The irony is – these are the same doctors (if there are any by then) that we shall go to when we age and succumb; in the same hands, our grandchildren shall be born. With no seeds of dedication sown, we expect a bountiful harvest of oath-abiding clinicians? The result of chaos, confusion, and frustration!

In the words of Shakespeare,

….nature must obey necessity, men at some time are masters of their fates, the fault….is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.

Let’s take a step back and think.  Deep inside, is this what the parent-conscience desires to teach our children? The answer is a screaming “NO”. But, the saga continues, thanks to the rigid education framework and its evaluation system; we are losing the “humane” touch of human beings!

Turning back to the protagonist of our life-athon, we unknowingly ignore our most prized possession- the child /student; the one actually running the race. Typically, if you ask a student, why do you go to school? Or why do you learn science? The answer that pops out is – because I want to be a doctor or an engineer.  And, why do you want to become a doctor or an engineer? The answer is a deafening silence coupled with a perplexed expression. With the lack of self-reliant thinking, we are churning out professionals who CANNOT reason. Scarily, unable to differentiate between good and bad for their own selves, let alone the world around them. And yet, we wonder why our planet is spinning every second towards a point of no return!

Probably, it is high time we break the barriers of compartmentalized education – language, history, geography, science, math, economics, life skills or art, to make it more comprehensive, more enriching. For a better planet, we need people, who can learn from the success and mistakes our forefathers made (history); value every drop of water/every bit of air our planet creates to be the only inhabitable planet in our solar system (geography); to discovering natural sustainable sources of energy compatible to the varied forms of life (science) and account for it (math). None of this is possible, without articulated speech (language). Importantly, it is essential to introspect, respect and connect ones “thoughts”, using the various forms of art and life skills, that one could acquire through experiential learning.

To conclude, I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”- Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Which way are we heading?

Dr. Rakhi Roy is a scientist at the Centre for Brain Development and Repair, Institute of Stem cell biology and Regenerative medicine, Bangalore, India where she works on using stem cell-based technologies to develop platforms for understanding neuro-developmental disorders. A Gold medalist in Human Physiology from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and a Ph.D. from Manipal University, Dr. Pal has more than 10 years of experience in the field of stem cell biology with a particular interest in neurological disorders. She not only has multiple publications and patents to her name but also possesses a unique blend of both industry and academic experiences.

Dr.Rakhi, parent of Ekya, was invited to be our guest writer on the Parents of Ekya feature. Interested parents who would like to write for us can shoot us a mail on communications@ekyaschools.com

Science Curriculum at Ekya Schools

At Ekya we do it differently; we have developed a research-based, active-learning science curriculum that is student-focused and cross-disciplinary, sparks curiosity and facilitates scientific thinking – Click here to know more about our Science program.

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Ekya / May 08, 2024

15 English Language Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Although English is a funny language, it has become a global language. It is one of the highest-speaking languages in the world. And to effectively communicate in English is crucial in today’s time. For students, parents, and professionals alike, speaking English confidently and correctly is a necessary skill.  However, speaking in English can be tough, especially for beginners. It takes confidence and knowledge to put sentences together and express your ideas in a language that might not feel comfortable yet. Even as you get better, there are still some common errors in the English language that can sneak into your speech. Most of them aren't a big deal, but sometimes they can cause misunderstandings.  As one of the best CBSE Schools in Bangalore, we’ve identified fifteen common English language mistakes and give you tips on how to fix them, so your next conversation can go more smoothly. 

Not Speaking Enough

One common mistake is not speaking English enough. Many students feel shy to speak English at first, but speaking is one of the best ways to improve your command over the language. Imagine a cricket player who only watches others play but never picks up a bat themselves. They would never get better. The same goes for English. So, don't be afraid to use your voice. Talk with friends, ask questions to teachers in English, or even practice speaking to yourself. The more you speak, the better you'll get. 

Translating from Your Native Language

A common error in the English language many students make is trying to directly translate their thoughts from their native language into English. This is a problem because translations are rarely exact and it takes longer for your brain to do the work. Even if your English is basic, don't worry. Use the expressions and phrases you have learned. Practice using new expressions so they become a part of your regular vocabulary.. 

Emphasizing The Wrong Syllable

Another tricky English language error is emphasizing the wrong syllable. It's like singing a song out of tune. For example, "import" is pronounced as "im-PORT" not "IM-port." Another one is "address" which is pronounced as "a-DRESS" not "AD-dress." These little changes in emphasis can change the meaning of words and make it hard for others to understand.  To improve this, listen carefully to your teachers and make note of how they say the word. The best ICSE schools in Bangalore prioritize proper syllable emphasis in spoken and written English, incorporating it into the grammar lessons. Additionally, you can watch English movies, sitcoms, or cartoons to mimic how they emphasize the syllable. 

Pronouncing Sounds That Aren’t There

Pronouncing sounds that aren't there is a common mistake in English. It happens when we add extra sounds to words. For example, saying "aks" instead of "ask". To avoid this, we need to pronounce words correctly and not add any extra or unnecessary sounds.

Overuse of “Will” for Future

This is one of the most common English grammar mistakes. A lot of students rely too much on the word “will” when composing future sentences. While it may seem like the easiest option, using the more versatile structure of "going to + base form" is actually more appropriate in many situations.  "Will" is best suited for promises, spontaneous decisions, predictions, and future actions beyond the speaker's control. However, when discussing plans for the future, it is more accurate to use "going to". For instance, instead of saying "Tomorrow I will go to the bank," it is correct to say "Tomorrow I am going to the bank."

Adding Unnecessary Words and Missing Necessary Words

Another common English Grammar mistakes that students often make are adding unnecessary words or leaving out necessary ones. These errors can make sentences sound confusing or change their meaning completely. For example, saying "I am agree with you" is incorrect because the verb "agree" doesn't need the helping verb "am" before it.  On the other hand, forgetting a necessary word can also lead to problems. For instance, saying "I looking for a bus to the city center" is incorrect because the word "am" is missing. When talking about something happening right now, we use the Present Continuous tense by adding "am," "is," or "are" before the verb, along with the suffix "-ing." So, a correct version of the sentence would be "I am looking for a bus to the city center." Remember, it's important to use the correct words and structure so that your meaning is clear. 

Saying Incorrect Negative Sentences

Students often make mistakes when forming negative sentences. For instance, saying “I no like pizza" instead of "I don't like pizza." In the Present Simple, to create a negative sentence, we need to use "don't" or "doesn't" before the verb.  It's also important to remember that after "he," "she," or "it," we should use "doesn't" and remove the "-s" ending from the verb. For example, instead of saying "He's not wanting to go," the correct phrasing is "He doesn't want to go." 
  • Using the Wrong Word Order in Questions 
Using the incorrect word order in questions is another common English language mistake. For instance, asking "What you are doing now?" instead of the correct form, "What are you doing now?".  Remember word order is crucial in the English language. In questions, following this pattern is necessary: question word (what) + auxiliary verb (are) + subject (you) + verb (doing) + complement, time, place (now).  Top schools in Bangalore, like Ekya Schools, emphasize the importance of students asking questions in English and providing corrections when necessary. 

Not Using Adverbs

Many beginners don’t use adverbs in their speech. Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They add more details to a sentence and make it more interesting. For example, instead of saying "he ran fast," we can say "he ran quickly." Adverbs help us paint a clearer picture of what is happening. So don't forget to use adverbs in your speech to make it livelier and more descriptive.

 Missing Comma in a Compound Sentence

Not using commas or pauses in a sentence while talking or writing can lead to confusion. It becomes difficult to distinguish between different thoughts or ideas, making the overall communication less clear. A compound sentence is made up of two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction like "and" or "but."  For example, instead of saying "I went to the store and I bought some apples," we should say "I went to the store, and bought some apples." By using a comma, we can indicate the pause between the two independent clauses. This helps our listeners understand our thoughts and ideas more effectively. So, don't forget to include commas in compound sentences when you're speaking or even writing. 

Faulty sentence structure

Faulty sentence structure is a common English language error that arises when a sentence is not properly constructed. This can make the sentence difficult to read and understand. An example of this error is using too many commas, which can make a sentence disjointed and confusing. Another example is failing to use proper subject-verb agreement, which can make a sentence grammatically incorrect. To avoid this error, it's important to practice constructing sentences with clarity and precision. 

Lack of pronoun

A common error in English is forgetting to use pronouns. Pronouns replace nouns to avoid repetition. For example, instead of saying "John went to the store," just say "He went to the store." Remember to use pronouns like he, she, it, they, we, etc. 

Unnecessary Shift in Verb Tense

It occurs when there is an inconsistent change in verb tense within a sentence, paragraph, or passage. This can confuse the reader and disrupt the flow of the writing. To avoid this error, you should ensure that you maintain a consistent verb tense, making sure that all verbs match in past, present, or future tense. 

nnecessary or Missing Apostrophe 

An unnecessary or Missing Apostrophe is another common error. For example, "it's" is a contraction of "it is" and should not be used to show possession. Instead, "its" without an apostrophe indicates possession. Missing apostrophes result in incorrect pluralization, such as "apple's" instead of "apples".  

Poorly Integrated Quotation

Lastly, poorly Integrated Quotation is a common English grammar mistake. It happens when a quote is not smoothly integrated into a sentence.  For example, "She said, 'I like pizza.' instead of 'She said that she likes pizza.' To fix it, we need to integrate the quote correctly into the sentence. 

It is okay to make mistakes while learning. However, the key is to learn from those mistakes and continuously improve. Learning English may be challenging, but the rewards it brings are immeasurable. By being mindful of grammar mistakes and actively working to avoid them, you can enhance your fluency and communication skills.  So, embrace the learning journey, avoid common English language mistakes, and watch yourself grow more confident and fluent in English.  For exceptional mastery over English , consider Ekya Schools, one the best CBSE schools in Bangalore. Call 080-49609096 for more information about admissions.     

Ekya / May 07, 2024

What Is IGCSE And Is It the Right Choice for My Child?

Every parent wants their child to have the best education, you are no different. However, when finding the right school for your child, you are often presented with a plethora of options. One such option that has grown in popularity in recent years is the IGCSE Schools in Bangalore. It is a globally recognized board and its curriculum is designed to foster holistic growth among students.  As one of the top IGCSE schools in Bangalore, we will explain what IGCSE is and help you decide if IGCSE schools are suitable for your child.

What is IGCSE?

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an internationally recognized board created by the University of Cambridge in England. It caters to 14–16 year olds (usually grades 9-10) and prepares them for further university studies worldwide. IGCSE courses offer a rich curriculum that tailors to individual strengths and nurtures the skills and competencies of students. Here are some of the benefits of IGCSE schools for your child.

Student-Centric Approach

The IGCSE curriculum is student-centric and fosters creativity. Teachers and students contribute equally to the class, making it an enriching experience. Learning is practical, allowing students to understand concepts better through real-life applications. IGCSE schools encourage students to ask questions, share ideas, and learn collaboratively with their peers. This approach nurtures logical and creative thinking skills in students. 

Preparing for the Universities

One of the major advantages of joining IGCSE schools is that the students here are well-prepared for further studies. This is made possible by the extensive knowledge and benefits that come from a globally standardized education. The students are encouraged to become independent thinkers and learners which is crucial for university studies. IGCSE schools focus on understanding and grasping the concepts rather than just memorizing. These are the traits most universities look for in a student. 

A Community Worldwide

The IGCSE program brings together students from all over the world in a global community. Children learn how to be inclusive and empathetic towards different people and cultures. This helps them develop a broad perspective. The program also allows each child to become a part of a diverse and comprehensive global community.

Inquiry-Based Learning

IGCSE courses foster curiosity in students by emphasizing real-life experiences, exploration, and expression. This encourages children to ask questions and research answers, helping them gain a better understanding of their communities and the world around them.

Rigorous Assessments

Top IGCSE schools in Bangalore such as Ekya Schools offer a rich experience for students with thought-provoking assessments. These include a variety of modes such as oral, written, coursework, and practical assessments. These assessments offer questions of different difficulty levels, enabling students to challenge themselves and discover their strengths and weaknesses. By instilling confidence and boosting morale, the IGCSE curriculum empowers students to plan their future educational journeys. 

Choice of Subjects that Cater to Different Abilities

The IGCSE subjects are designed to meet the needs of different students. With over 70 subjects to choose from, including 30 languages, schools can offer a combination that suits each student. Students must select at least 5 subjects, which include: 
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Science
  • Languages
  • Creative, Technical, and Vocational Subjects Students also have a wide range of 30 languages to choose from, including their mother tongue.

Recognized by Universities Across the World

The IGCSE is the most recognized examination qualification across the world. Students with these qualifications are accepted into several countries like the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. Many universities acknowledge and accept the IGCSE curriculum as part of their entrance criteria. The IGCSE opens up opportunities for further vocational education and serves as a strong foundation for employment. Students with IGCSE backgrounds have the necessary abilities that employers value in potential employees.

In conclusion, choosing the best school for your child can be a daunting task considering the number of options today. However, if you think a strong syllabus and robust curriculum are best for your child, IGCSE schools are the way to go. To find the best IGCSE schools near Bannerghatta Road, look no further than Ekya Schools in JP Nagar. Our goal is to give students a well-rounded education that nurtures critical thinking, and creativity along with academic excellence.Join us and allow your child to delve into the stimulating realm of IGCSE subjects, nurturing their personal growth and development along the way.. We're here to shape future leaders with an inclusive and inspiring learning environment.      

Ekya / May 06, 2024

Common Mistakes When Making A Class Presentation

A successful school presentation demands a lot more than just good content. Presentations are more about expressing and explaining things in a creative manner which involves two important parts- the content in an understandable form and its way of presenting it. The second involves speaking skills, presentation skills, voice modulation, and more. Many aspects of class presentation should be taken into consideration. However, there are a few common mistakes that are often committed during its preparation: 

Not Doing Your Research

Whatever topic you choose to present, you need to have a good knowledge about it. Well, that will only come with good research skills. You can do that by getting help from your teacher, the school library, or the Internet. Research not only helps you with better presentation but will also prepare you to answer the questions asked during the question hour.  

Not Making a Proper Introduction

 Whether the presentation is in front of a small group or you are representing your school, a small introduction about yourself along with the topic’s introduction is a must. This not only gives you a great start but also gives the audience an idea of what the presentation is about. To make your introduction a bit more interesting, you can start the presentation with a quote or some statistics to grab attention. 

Lack of preparation for the presentation

Not preparing well before the presentation day may put you in a difficult spot. It is possible that you will present well but you are internally not satisfied with your performance. Well, one of the best ways to prepare is to at least go through the content twice. Practice in front of the mirror or ask your parents to be the audience during the preparations. This way, you will get to know your weak areas and work more on them. You will be fully prepared to capture the attention of the audience with your confidence and speaking skills. 

Confident Body Language

Confidence is the key to a good presentation. It is not something that will develop overnight, we need to work on it. As per a study, poor body language affects your confidence. You need to understand that your language speaks a lot about your personality. With good content and strong body language, confidence reflects automatically. For class presentations, you can practise hand movements and voice modulation. Another important point that should not be ignored is maintaining eye contact with the audience. Before the final presentation day, it is advisable to practice in front of a mirror.

Not Being Engaging

 If you want your audience to understand the presentation well, then keep it engaging. A presentation full of text will make it boring so, to keep a balance between the infographics and text to make it more interesting and engaging. If possible, minutes of video related to your topic. This will keep your audience entertained. Remember whenever on stage  it is your responsibility to keep your audience engaged sensibly without going off-track. 

Inconsistent Slides

 Presenting slides in a good way demands a perfect framework that involves a lot of things and often focusing on one aspect might lead to ignoring others. Here are a few common slide mistakes made during the presentation. 
  1. Overcrowding the slides: It is one of the most common presentation mistakes often committed by students. You need to understand that for presentation “less is more” fits perfectly. Instead of too much text, visuals should be used. Instead of paragraphs, pointers should be used. Using different colours also makes the presentation interesting.
  2. Reading directly from the slides: Reading directly from the slides only projects you as underconfident and unprepared. Although it might seem a little tempting and an easier option, the best is to make small pointers of important topics on which you want to talk.
  3. Complicated data: Data should be presented in a way that the written content becomes more understandable. For this Pie charts or bar graphs in different colours can be used. 
  4. Not maintaining the hierarchy: Arranging the slides haphazardly
  5.  only confuses the students. It will distract them as there will be less clarity regarding the points. 

Going Off-Topic

Many times you might go off-topic to make your point more clear during the presentation. But as a presenter, you need to understand that class presentations and question sessions should be done within a time limit. For this students need to maintain the flow as per the hierarchy and should have an idea about which points need more explanation than the others. This will only come with a few practice sessions before your final day. 

Not being prepared for feedback and questions

 Once you finish your presentation, allow your audience to put their doubts in front of you. This way not only will your audience get a chance to clarify their doubts but you will also learn to tackle difficult questions. Sometimes, if you have no answer or are in doubt about the question, it is ok to accept and consider returning with better research next time.  As a presenter, you need to keep the flow of your presentation in a positive direction and end it on a positive note. It leaves a good impression on the audience. Keeping a way forward slide at the end is a good way to end. You can also present an idea about a drive you want to start in your school related to some global concern. But make sure everything is related to your topic of presentation. Nothing should go off-track.

If you are searching the internet with terms like- the best schools in Bengaluru or ICSE schools in Bangalore, CBSE syllabus schools consider Ekya Schools. We are among the leading schools in Bangalore, offering the best quality education. Our Understanding by Design (UbD) framework curriculum is designed in a way that caters not just to the academic requirements of a student but simultaneously builds the overall personality of the student.  We encourage students to actively participate in co-curricular and other group activities like presentations. This helps in building confidence and developing skills like speaking skills, presentation skills, tackling questions, and more. We have expert faculty that prepares our students for holistic development. At Ekya, different school clubs also help students develop different skills such as music, dance, coding, debating, and more.  Hopefully, the above information will be helpful.      
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Bangalore Days – Poem by Nidhi Bhavsar

Titled 'Bangalore Days', this poem by Nidhi Bhavsar of Grade IX, Ekya School JP Nagar reflects on the early glories of a city that is now a shadow of its former self, thanks to endless urbanization.
Bangalore, once a paradise. Buildings were rarely seen. Rain was found in abundance, Its citizens always with umbrellas. No more is it a haven, A stressed man's refuge. It is now a land with pollution and dust, A major city but without its glory. May Bangalore regain its legacy, May it flourish again as the garden city, Maybe the destiny of this great city will change, It may just become green again. The beautiful weather, the picturesque scenery, It may all come back to regain its destiny. The peaceful roads, the tiny, cozy houses, It may all return, Bangalore's beautiful legacy.

More poems from our young poets

A Confluence of Art and Literature – School Report from Ekya JP Nagar

A confluence of art and literature “An artist is not a special kind of person; rather each person is a special kind of artist.." ~ Ananda Coomaraswamy. Art is not only about drawing, painting, sculpting and so on. It has a much deeper meaning than that. It is humans expressing themselves in an imaginative and creative way. Art has a huge influence on people and it helps us discover new talents hidden inside. At Ekya, we believe in discovering and honing each and every talent of all our students. Thus we have started our year doing exactly that. From Grades I to X, we have held competitions for all the students in order to discover and enhance their skills in various fields. So as to have a competitive edge, we held two rounds of these competitions. The prelims were held on 12th June and the finale was held on 14th June 2018. GRADE I TO IV For our primary school children, ‘Shloka Recitation Competition' was held. All the children were ecstatic and overjoyed. They took a lot of effort in the preparation and put up a great show. They recited various shlokas from different religious beliefs. This made them realize the importance of our nation and its sacred history. The finale judges, Ms. Ashwini and Ms. Neelufur, gave an insight into the competition and the overall performance of the students. “The finale was a very well-prepared event. Each student had a unique and difficult shloka yet they did not hesitate while reciting it. Their confidence was brilliant and each one’s oratory skills were put to a test. The students were crisp while speaking and knew all the difficult words by heart. A few of them even gave an introduction to their selected shloka and why it was written. This interest of theirs was very heartening. Thus the students put up a great show with loads and loads of effort which was clearly seen and much appreciated.”   GRADE V TO VII The next segment of our events was the “Dance Competition’ for Grades V to VII. Our little ‘Birju Maharajs’ and ‘Anna Pavlovas’ exhibited the best of their moves and put up a very intense competition. They changed the serious atmosphere with some groovy tunes which kept everyone on their toes and wishing to dance along. The effort put in was fabulous and was admired by one and all. The judges, Ms. Ranjana and Ms. Lakshmi, gave us a little tune to write down as well. “The entire atmosphere was electrified with the excitement of students and teachers alike. Everyone had prepared a great performance. The participants’ confidence, interest, and groovy moves were well thought of and carried out flawlessly. Their choice of songs and costumes were delightful. Many dance forms ranging from Indian classical to contemporary to hip-hop were covered extremely well. The supportive audience cheered on the participants and made the competition a very enjoyable one.”   GRADE VIII TO X Finally, the high schoolers of Ekya put forth their views in a few of the world’s most controversial topics in a debate. Students were paired and were made to go against their partners. Their views and their way of conveying their points were extremely creative. As one of the ways of preparing the students for the real world, this activity makes them realize the importance of their voices and opinions. It teaches them to take a stand and be prepared for the people who will be going against them. The topics did put many of the students in a dilemma and made them ponder on the different sides of the same story. While asking Ms. Asha, Ms. Meghana, and Ms. Sreepriya, the teachers in charge of the events, we learned quite a lot about the event that was held, “Each and every student put in a lot of effort and prepared extremely well to speak. None of them stumbled around for words or stuttered. They were crisp in speaking and put forth their best arguments. All of their hard work was well-recognized and admired. All the students' listening, speaking and convincing skills were put to test and enhanced. They had articulated speeches on both sides putting up a great debate. The questions were well constructed and the answers were bang on, too. The good participation and support from the audience created a lively space. It was a very close competition that was difficult to judge. In the end, all the students stuck to their stands and held their beliefs with adequate evidence.”    

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