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What is Scouting and Guiding all about?
Who can become a Scout or Guide?
What purpose does this serve?
In Maharashtra, the Education Department has made it mandatory that all students must join the Bharat Scouts and Guides or the Road Safety Patrol (RSP) for a minimum of three years, i.e. from Standard VIII to X. The students are then judged on their performance and their grades are entered in the SSC Board Certificate. Somewhere down the line, the priorities shifted and emphasis was given to “passing of tests” and “obtaining the grades” in the minimum stipulated time. The actual experience and enjoyment of Scouting was lost.
At the time of joining every Scout (or Guide) is known as a “Recruit” or “Pravesh” and after passing some prescribed tests, he is given membership to the worldwide movement at an investiture ceremony. He is now ready to be trained for
I. The Pratham
Between each level, the period of training is about nine months. Therefore, the time spent as a Scout or Guide in the school is a minimum of four years.
Here in Udayachal, the students have the privilege of interacting with each other and with nature by following the Patrol system. Each Patrol consists of students from Standards V to X, where the seniors teach the juniors as Patrol-leaders and Patrol-seconds, thereby developing qualities of leadership and discipline.
They also earn proficiency badges after every test, to name a few, Friend to Animals, Cook, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Handyman, Campcraft, Camper, First Aid, Semaphore Signalling, Civil Defence, Child Nurse, Hiker, Community Worker, Ecologist, Stargazer, etc.
In addition, Baden Powell’s exercises, songs, games and competitions during each weekly meeting recreate the whole endeavour into a lifestyle.
Training in Patrolling
he Scouts and Guides Patrol Leaders training camp was held at Vikas High School, Vikhroli (East) on 20 September, 2003, with participation from five schools. Scouts, Guides and four Guide Captains from Udayachal High School (UHS) took part in this camp. These included both students and some teachers of UHS.
The camp started with a prayer, flag hoisting and the flag song. Scouts and Guides were divided into four patrols. Topics such as Motto, Sign, Promise, Laws, First-Aid and different Knots were taught during the sessions, which were thoroughly enjoyed by all the patrols.
Augustine D’Souza, the East Mumbai Suburban District Commissioner, and T.V. Jangle, Assistant District Commissioner, highlighted the various proficiency badges, camps and activities in Scouting and Guiding, and encouraged students to take active part in the movement.
The finale was the campfire during which each Patrol presented its items. The UHS patrols presented English songs, skits in Hindi and Marathi with a message for all Indians to be united, and a dance on Vande Mataram. The day came to an end with the distribution of certificates by Jangle.
A Parent Recounts
lesser-known sportsperson amongst the likes of Sauravs and Sachins was making waves in Udayachal Primary School (UPS). It had nothing to do with the Sahara sponsorship, which gave a new lease of life to our national sport. The reason why Dhanraj Pillai was enjoying the adulation of our tiny tots was far simpler. As part of the Independence Day celebration, they were going to enact pages from the lives of Pillai, Kalpana Chawla, Mother Teresa, Salim Ali and Sohrab Godrej. Starting with gathering information from the Internet to writing dialogues, composing music and lyrics, down to rigorous practice sessions — the teachers and the participants were thoroughly involved in the whole programme.
The programme began with the unfurling of the tricolour by Chief Guest Satish Sahney, Chief Executive Officer, Nehru Centre, and a smart parade by Standard III. The play on Kalpana Chawla must have inspired many a young heart to step into her shoes. The sportspersons in the next item came and departed like a breath of fresh air, but not before they had enthused the whole audience. Mother Teresa descended on earth with the angels and her short speech left us all speechless. The conversation between Salim Ali and Sohrab Godrej emphasized the need to maintain an ecological balance. All of us, as members of the Godrej parivar, must awaken to this need of the hour before it is too late. The Chief Guest’s illustrious speech explaining the relevance of the second stanza of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, Jana Gana Mana Adhi Nayak, held us all in rapt attention. Incidentally, the first stanza of our national anthem, Jana Gana Mana, has been extracted from this poem.
That day we not only saluted our national flag, but also saluted Mother Teresa, Kalpana Chawla, Salim Ali and our very own Sohrab Godrej — thanks to the little angels of UPS.
Udayachal High School Celebrates Independence Day
The distinguished orator, writer and former ambassador of India to the U.S., the late Nani Palkhivala, said that India needs to be supported by five pillars viz. national identity, law and order, education, egalitarianism and responsible citizenship. The English play, “Independence — A New Perspective” highlights the need of the hour.
Gaurav Gann (Indian Folklore) eulogises not only the entire spectrum of our nation’s civilization — mythology, great and mighty kings, saints, warriors, but also the current phases of development — astronauts, scientists and inspiring heroes from our history.
hree Udayachal Primary School students of Standard IV E, with Betty and Uma as teachers, have won the Middle School Scholarship.
Bhavana Subbarao, daughter of A.R. Subbarao of Godrej Agrovet Ltd., secured 95.33 per cent marks and stood seventh in Mumbai. Bhavana now studies in Father Agnes School, Standard V. Gaurav Pooniwala, son of Trivesh Pooniwala, Process Equipment Division, Maintenance Department, secured 94.66 per cent marks and got the eighth rank. The third student, Pushkar Kulkarni, son of Sudhir Kulkarni, Precision Engineering Systems, got 94.67 per cent. Pushkar, too, stands in eighth position in Mumbai. Trivesh and Pushkar now study in the Udayachal High School, Standard V.
Well done, students.
Tejaswini Thakur, Librarian, Udayachal Primary School (UPS), stood first in Shrimati Nathibai Damodardas Thackessary Women’s University. She is now a post-graduate in Master of Library and Information Science.
Hat Trick in Udayachal Pre-Primary School!
areen Modak, Hetal Gada and Jalpa Doshi, teachers of the Udayachal Pre-Primary School (UPPS), stood first in their respective colleges in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). Zareen earned a post-graduate diploma from Shrimati Nathibai Damodardas Thackessary Women’s University, Juhu Campus. Hetal got a diploma in ECCE from Organisation for Educational Resources and Technological Training (ORT), Worli, affiliated to World ORT, London, and Jalpa earned a diploma in ECCE from SIES (South Indian Education Society) College of Comprehensive Education.
UPPS and UPS are proud of you.
All For Quizzes
n Inter-School “I.T. Right Child Bright” quiz competition was organised by “Intel® Teach To The Future” on 13 September, 2003 at Anandilal Podar High School. Twelve students participated in the written test, out of which four schools qualified. Udayachal High School was one among them.
A team of four students viz. Shashank Naik, Mohit Sain Mathur, Vincent Patankar and Dipesh Panchal from Standard VIII was sent. Our team qualified in the written test and a team of two members, Shashank and Mohit, participated in the quiz, thereby winning the third position.
Well done! We are proud of you.
dayachal ex-students, Noel Sequeira (2003 batch) and Sonali Parekh (2002 batch) have been awarded national scholarships in the National Talent Search Examination conducted by the Department of Educational Measurement and Evaluation of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Udayachal applauds their achievements!
Vrinda Sharma, daughter of Dhruv Sharma, General Manager (North), recently won the first prize in a Fancy Dress Competition at her School, the Convent of Jesus and Mary (Kindergarten), New Delhi. She had dressed as air hostess, and the prize was given to her looking at her stage confidence, spoken dialogue and her outfit. Sister Lucy, Principal, Convent of Jesus and Mary, gives Vrinda a prize and a certificate.
Teachers Day - A Day To Remember
eachers rank second in importance only to parents. The power to absorb, grow and expand through learning is given to us by our teachers. One can accumulate wealth and can lose it, too. But it is the teacher who is the provider of knowledge, which lasts as long as one lives.
“Education,” wrote Mahatma Gandhi, “does not mean a knowledge of letters, but it means character building. It means knowledge of duty. Only our teachers make this possible.” In an age when education was characterised as holistic and not just a process of stuffing a child’s head with information, teachers inculcated a sense of self-discipline in us by instilling a feeling of being valuable and important. I believe that it is because of these qualities ingrained in our system during childhood that the vicissitudes of teenage and adult life thereafter did not destroy our spirit, in spite of the hectic pace of life.
Both teachers and parents need to know that nurturing a child’s self-esteem is the central element for inspiring a child’s peak performance. That a broken toy or mushed up clay is a better trade-off compared to broken faith or mushed up creativity. A combination of hyper-expectant parents, hyper-sensitive teachers and a hyper-insensitive education system is not a good blend for developing a child’s personality with moral character and strong values to steer and sustain him through life.
A Valuable Lesson
The teacher’s vision, in today’s age, has to extend far beyond what was considered sufficient in yesteryears. His/her responsibilities are enormous and grave. In many respects, the reality is that the teacher is the custodian of India’s destiny.
I dedicate this article to my benevolent teacher under whose care and concern I was fortunate to spend my formative years until her untimely death in 1984.
On the professional front, being in the Administrative Department, I love to do something for our Udayachal School teachers in whatever way possible, as I strongly believe that every day brings forth a new challenge for teachers — it is not just teaching, but touching every child’s life.