Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weed – a book by Paro Anand

Not just fantacies and comics, there are a few books written for children with subtle issues embedded in them that will make the kids think constructively.

One such book is Weed by the award winning author Paro Anand.

The Hindu Young World carried a review of it in its latest issue. Did you read it?
You should read the book too. May be this Christmas vacation.
Should the children of the terrorists be supported to have good education? Should they remain just outcast? But if the father was a terrorist what does the child have to do with it? Growing up in an atmosphere of violence is the child’s mistake?

There are many unanswered questions in our minds regarding these kids. Not just the terrorists, thieves, convicts in cases of violence and murders do have families and there are kids too in the families.
What does the society do about them?

Tell me what do you think!

By the way here is an interesting interview with the author!

Friday, October 3, 2008

‘Energetic’ idea!

In these days of power cuts in the state of Tamil Nadu, every one thinks of alternate energy sources.
(We in the city of Madras are luckier than our counterparts in the muffssil areas – the power is off for five hours a day in those areas!)

The ‘green’ people have a concern for the energy resources and usage too.
Look at what this school near Bristol in the UK has come out with!

Does your school have some innovative ideas like this, implemented?
Or has come out with solution for a long-debated issue?
Why don’t you share it with the rest of the world? Just send an email. YOCee will get back to you!


  1. October 11, 2008 @ 7:26 pm, by Saniya

    Scientists have come out with an idea! Here it is –

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Abolition of homework. Fruitful in the Indian system?

A new school – Nottingham East Academy has decided to scrap homework and replace it with an extra lesson after school hours in activities such as sport and aircraft – modeling.

Well, as every coin has two sides to it, so does this idea of scrapping homework. Some believe it is a progressive idea and can be implemented even in India while many feel that it won’t work in India.

Before you form your own conclusions, let us together speculate both the sides and then you could possibly arrive at a conclusion which you feel would be appropriate.

It’s a progressive idea.

Homework serves little purpose as it only puts pressure on the parents instead of the pupils. Abolition of homework would prove to be good especially for students whose both parents are working, so that they need not break their heads with their child’s homework after a long, tiring day. Further, children from illiterate and poorer backgrounds are worse off in a system that emphasizes on homework.

Students especially of the primary classes could be put off by the very idea of school, if their tender shoulders are burdened with loads of homework – and this is quite prominent in India, when the children are on their vacations, supposedly enjoying their holidays.

Moreover, if students are saddled with hours of home tasks, they don’t tend to play outdoor (resulting in them watching television or playing computer games and becoming couch potatoes), socialize with peers, spend time with parents etc., all which play an important role in developing their life skills.

In India, teachers often teach new lessons and expect the students to attempt the exercises, which shift the onus onto parents who might not necessarily be fully equipped. This results in children being sent to tutorials at an early age and learning becomes a drab affair.

Now let us see why the scrapping of homework wouldn’t work in India.

The abolition of homework or rather, reducing it and fitting it into the daily school schedule after hours is an innovation being adopted by schools in UK. It is an interesting measure but all educational reforms may not be appropriate in every country. And we shouldn’t forget that it is yet to be seen whether this reform is successful in the UK, and even if it is, there are reasons as to why it must be wary of following suit in India.

The main reason why this new measure wouldn’t work in India is because of the educational system here in India.

The educational system in India revolves around examinations and home assignments, effective means of ensuring that students are well prepared to compete in these examinations.

And even after this, students scoring above 90 percent are unable to secure admission in the college or course of their choice, there is no logic in abolishing homework assignments, further handicapping the educational system.

Moreover, this is one of the main reasons of Indian students’ success abroad. Anyway, parents’ involvement in a child’s development is essential and cannot be done away with. At the same time, there is no harm in taking a look at the homework system used in Indian schools and seeing if there is any room for improvement, but abolishing homework from India may prove to be a mistake, in my opinion.

What do you think?


  1. December 25, 2008 @ 2:11 pm, by Raman Sathiapalan

    i dont know…
    but i guess i would want homework abolition in my school… haha i

Monday, September 22, 2008

Children in reality shows

In a recent recommendation, The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has urged the governmant to ban children below 16 years of age from participating in reality shows.

The issue has been debated across various sections – schools, film and TV industry, parents, teachers and kids since June’ 08

iGovernment, a voluntary web platform that aims at good governance says this

Shinjini, a participant on a Bengali music reality show, suffered a breakdown and had to be hospitalised in June after she was severely rebuked by the judges for her performance.

Sometime ago, Bournvita Quiz contest fame Derek O’ Brien launched a campaign across 4500 schools in India to ban their students from participating in such shows. Some schools agreed and some didn’t.

Now the Government of India is mulling over this issue and will be out with a definite rule by the end of this month.

Meantime, some of the TV show producers and parents have suggested that the age limit could be 12 and not 16!

What do you think?

Have you ever participated in reality shows?
How was the experience, the shooting schedules, the behaviour of judges . . .?
Is it more fun than participating in school contests or the contests held in public?

Share your views here!


  1. January 29, 2009 @ 9:50 pm, by Shrishti

    I think that these shows that exploit kids for our entertainment shoud be banned !

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nominations invited for Young Achiever Award

Do you know a kid in your neighbourhood who is an achiever despite a below ordinary or a disadvantaged background? You can show them to the world by passing on this info to the young achiever and do your bit for those children.

The Ma Foi Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd. is inviting nominations for Disha Award for young achievers, 2008.

The award aims at encouraging and recognising the young with disadvantaged backgrounds who have achieved excellence in academic and extra-curricular activities. The age limit is 10 to 16. The award carries a cash award of Rs.10,000 a citation and a trophy.

Applications should reach Ma Foi Foundation by September 30. For details contact 4358 2125.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Holiday on Sep. 15

Yes, it is a holiday today. A bonus holiday for the government employees, bankers, schools and many private institutions too.

It was declared last evening and The Hindu’s news update service put up the information at 7 pm yesterday.

How many of you spent an hour’s time (or more?) calling up your classmates and teachers to find out if it was really a holiday and how the day’s exam was going to be rescheduled, etc., etc.,?

When I saw the neighbour’s kid walking around with the telephone handset calling up friends I told him to check up his school’s website – he studies is a school which uses LCD panels instead of blackboards!
He did go to check up the website but could find nothing up there! He began his round of calling his friends from where he left 10 minutes ago!
I tried googling to help this boy out so that he could leave the phone out and get back to his books. I did not find even a single school in the city updating information on its website. Leave alone the day’s announcement, the info on the websites were at least a month old in many cases.
But I came across a surprise.
A school in Salem had updated their website with all the information a student needs to know of the surprise holiday declared on a Sunday. Clear information of what happens to the day’s Computer Science exams and what is up on Tuesday, after the holiday.
All this at the same time The Hindu published online – at 7.02pm!
The city schools do have an edge over the others in infrastructure, the technology, the resources and geeky teachers and students!
Did they come handy when those skills and technology could be used?


  1. September 23, 2008 @ 8:33 am, by Sheba

    I wish my school did the same. It was a whole lot of confusion on 15th morning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Schools, paint your buses yellow, says the state govt.

This is for the safety of children travelling by school buses, vans, autorickshaws and other contract vehicles.

The Tamil Nadu Govt. has issued a notification that the school buses in the state be painted in yellow. The vehicles should also have clearly written in bold letter ‘School bus’ or ‘College Bus’ in the front and rear top of the buses.

All the school and college vehicle should have a visual depiction to indicate that the vehicles transports school or college kids.

And for private and contract vehicles, the rule is that a board displaying ‘School Children’ should be placed. This is applicable for vans, contract vehicles, autorickshaws other than those run by the educational institutions.

So, does your school bus or autorickshaw carriy this board? I am sure schools will follow the rule.
And for the autorickshaws or vans, you can help them with a board painted by you, if you travel by it.

After all it is for your safety!


  1. September 11, 2008 @ 10:57 am, by Vehicle

    In some States, school busdrivers must pass a background investigation to uncover any criminal record or history of mental problems. Vehicle

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Teachers’ Day gift

For the teachers who are always knowledge-thirsty want to know the best practices of teaching and keep themselves updated of the changes in education systems.
Here’s a gift for the teachers of India thoughtfully developed by Azim Premji Foundation with support from the National Knowledge Commission.

President Pratibha Patil launched a national portal – – on Sep. 5 on the occasion of Teachers Day.
The portal for teachers will offer a platform for sharing best practices and generating discussion in the teaching community, a release says.

Over the next few months the portal will offer content in several Indian languages along with English and will gradually provide access to students, parents, teacher educators also.
Currently the portal is available in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

Your teacher can also contribute to this portal and participate in the discussions. If your teachers is one among those looking for knowledge everywhere, share this infor with him / her.
Your gift to the teacher – an little and useful information!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Power cuts and schools in Chennai

The power cuts are here to stay in Chennai.

One and half hour daily in the city limits and three hours in the suburbs. Newspapers and television channels talk on how it affects the industries, workplace and domestic life. Here is an article in today’s Times of India on the effect of power cuts in schools.

Yes, classes under the tree shades is an option now. But with the onset of monsoon in late September / October this would not be the best option.
Generators / inverters and other options are costlier, which means if the school installs them, there will be a hike in the school fee!
The schools with hi-tech facilities like plasma TVs and A/Cs in every classroom may not be able to do with alternate energy sources during the power cuts, as catering to high-consumptions is very difficult through gensets.

One of the teachers I know said, she would experience the power cut at home from 6 am to 7.30 am and leave at 7.30 am to reach the reach the school at 8 am. And there it is 7.30 to 9 am. With the humid weather and no breeze these days, she says she sweats for 3 hours in the morning and this drains her energy away for the whole day!

The same should be the experience of the students living in the same area!

So,what does your school do to manage the situation?
How do you manage your time to do your homework and complete your studies after coming home?
And what in your opinion can solve this problem?

One of my kutty friends suggested why not produce energy out of something which is available in plenty but remain useless. He suggested producing energy out of the noise produced by vehicles during the peak hours!

Hey, if you have any such crazy ideas, do share them here!


  1. September 2, 2008 @ 5:10 pm, by Ramji

    Its too hot in the afternoons to be under a tree or in the open. So alternate source is the only solution. More innovators will be on the job now I guess

Friday, August 29, 2008

Safe surfing of the Net

Have Google and the Chennai City Police come to your school this week?

Yeah, the IT major – Google has joined hands with the cops to guide the students to be net-smart. After all the kids of today turn to the Net for every project of theirs!

But the operation of visiting schools, issuing booklets and guiding is restricted to 12 schools in the city, the reports say. So what do we do for the rest of the kids, who also would benefit if they too get the guidance.

We invite kids who received the booklet from Google and City Police to share the information with others.

You can host put them on your own blog.
Or send your request to be a contributor to YOCee’s blog and put them up here.
Or just sit with your friends and read to them.

To start with here’s CBBC’s guidelines on safe surfing.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Websites of Chennai schools

Recently I came across an article in The Times of India about Chennai schools becoming smarter online.

I felt it was an encouraging trend that the kids and their parents need not always check with their classmates or the parents of their classmates for information they miss at the school.
The info now would be available online.
After all, many parents are cyber savvy these days!

I became curious and clicked on the websites of popular schools in Chennai. What I saw online was quite contrary.
Not many links opened here and no updates on this site. A blank page opened in the news section and the last year’s details are only available under achievements section! Some are fairly updated though the events for this year are yet to find place.
Of course I came across a well maintained and updated website too.

Have you ever looked at your school’s website? Do you see updated information or your parents get to know what the school is doing beyond the activities of your class?

If not so far, please have a look at the website of your school now!

Many teachers like Mrs. Trebilcock have a homework blog which the students and parents can check on a daily basis. (The US schools are enjoying their vacation now. So you will find the last post in this blog in June 2008)
And some teachers of professional courses like Ms. Kalnay have online dialogue and assign homework using blogs!

Do you think such a system will work in Chennai schools? Will the schools make all information available online for the kids and parents? If security is a threat, why not with a password for students and parents?
Do share your thoughts!

But why the websites once made for the schools are not updated? Don’t you think it is necessary? Do you talk to your teachers about the importance of keeping the school’s website current?

The forum is open to you!


  1. August 18, 2008 @ 11:31 am, by Balaji

    Revathi, I’d like to share with the readers a Chennai school web site that I liked: The School by KFI.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Power Shortage!

Posted by Saniya Surana

We all hear about the approaching end of Earth’s resources, but do we really do something to secure the next generation’s future? Well, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has taken an initiative to cut down a little on the ever-rising power usage in the city. They have decided to suspend power for an hour everyday in Chennai and for two-hours in its suburbs.

The electricity board has guaranteed to cut the power only during the daytime, mostly between 10am and 6pm, so students are not disturbed and people will not have to spend sleepless nights after a long day. They have assured people that even the residents’ of politicians and other influential people will not be exceptions.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Weaving into a story

Do you love short stories? Do you read the kids’ magazines – Gokulam, Chandamama, Dimdima? Then you should have also read the stories by Geeta Canpadee, a writer for children.

When she spins a new story, she mails them to magazines. After they are published in print, she lets the world read it online. Yes, she publishes them on her blog.

Isn’t it a good idea?

Now, YOCee will let you know whenever she puts up her story online through this blog! Here’s a new story by Geeta aunty!

You can also read the scanned pages from the magazines where her stories are published.
But if you want to read all the stories and have fun reading the fresh-smelling magz, you should buy a copy!

We alert. You read and buy!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Tree

Posted by Saniya Surana

Are you concerned about Earth and its residents? If your answer is yes, then ask yourself whether you have ever fought for the cause you are deeply concerned about? I am sure a few have done so as most of us think – ‘What can I alone do anything?’

But we people tend to forget this famous determination quote – “Where there is a will; there is a way”. Yes, even you can make a dent in the hearts and minds of people without paying a penny or even exercising your limbs except for you hands to click on the mouse! You may still wonder ‘How’. Here’s a simple solution: What you need to do is just sign up on Good Tree which is a web portal where you can get to know people who share feelings which are the same as yours and that too for the same cause as you are most concerned about. You may wonder; how you can make a difference by just signing up this web portal and maybe even telling a few people about it. The catch here is that; whatever you do on this site is tracked down and revenue is generated which is given for charity, thus you can help those needy or even reduce the global warming with a simple click of your mouse! So, friends what are you waiting for? Go ahead and sign up.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Witch in a school?

Witch? In a school?
That’s weird!

But not for the kids of Warboys Community Primary School in Cambridgeshire in UK!
They love the witch on their school logo and want it to continue even when there was a poll on new logos proposed.
Read the story from CBBC Newsround here!

Does your school’s logo has something different on it?
What do you think is cool about your school’s logo and what is not?

Post a comment on this blog or mail to


  1. July 5, 2008 @ 10:17 am, by Niranjan

    Should be a cool witch!

  2. July 5, 2008 @ 10:20 am, by Dhanya

    cutieee… we dont have a weird logo for our school. at least not a witch.. :)

  3. July 5, 2008 @ 10:25 am, by Rana Preet

    lovely if it does not shoo away the children :0

  4. July 23, 2008 @ 9:50 pm, by r.yashmini

    i wish it was on my school’s logo.

  5. September 20, 2008 @ 2:30 pm, by Ani


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kids from a village host a photoblog!

The kids of Kalleda Rural School in a village called Kalleda in Andhra Pradesh capture the scenes of daily life in their village and host their own photo blogs.

Rural Development Foundation, which runs the school have initiated the Kalleda Photo Project two years ago. Through this project, the kids in the rural area are exposed to observe the daily life in and around the village through the lenses. Also, now they know a bit of photography and a lot of caption-writing.

Each student has a Flickr account and Flickr has donated a Pro account for this project to display a collection of all the photo blogs by children. Visit the main page of the photo blogs here.

Each student’s blog is added as a contact and the pictures taken by the kids are all up in one place.

While the school kids are on clicking photos, the students of Pai Junior College in the same village are on shooting videos. They learn the tricks of videography as well as video editing as part of the project. They upload their vidoes through YouTube. The videos are classified event wise. Watch the clippings of Bathukamma festival celebrated in Telengana here.

The area is well documented in photos and videos by the students living and studying in the village.

Our city too has many less visited but interesting places. You may be surprised to see an old statue of King George V in the middle of the famed Panagal Park in T. Nagar.

If you too have a digicam and keep clicking away interesting scenes on the road, why don’t you share it with the other kidsi n Chennai?

And how about an exclusive photoblog for YOCee kids? Post your views here!



  1. June 29, 2008 @ 11:51 am, by Ragini

    A very good project indeed. Wish our city too had such a mission.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Become a Student Reporter for YOCee!

The Student Reporter programme for this year is just launched.

Your school would have displayed the poster on the notice board. If you have missed it, here is the poster.
Go through the details and be part of the fun assignments!
Student Reporter

Friday, June 6, 2008


Posted by Chethana

“Excuse me? “Is there a suggestions or complaint book in this shop??” I ask mechanically for perhaps the millionth time. All the employees stare at me for a second like I am out of a martian saloon and roll their eyes towards the register sitting in the most pathetic corner of the shop almost hidden.

Most of the times I visit a shop in Chennai this is what happens. I am sure you all will want to know what the complaint is – here it goes – ‘Please do not use plastic bags’. Use paper or cotton bags’, but who listens???

I dont even know if the complaint book is checked and I doubt anybody takes the good Samaritan who goes to the higher authorities with this matter seriously.

If it is recycled plastic, it should be printed on the cover (e-g. Amway covers are recycled plastic). Just imagine the seriousness of the situation – I am sure the shop (we are talking about the big marts and departmental shoes here) will have at least 50-75 or even more customers per day. so how many plastic cover are used daily and then per year???

Lets brush up our math which every one of us have blissfully forgotten during these heavenly holidays assuming one customer uses 1 bag. 1 x 50 = 50 x 30 = 1500 (in a month) 1500 x 365 = 5,47,500.

Yes, it amounts to a WHOPPING 5 lakh estimate an year and even more if the shopper has purchased a lot of things and has to take two plastic bags instead of one.

The least we kids can do it (forget the grown ups, if possible tell them but now in this IT and other professions with high competition dominating India it would be amazing if we have a decent conversation with most of them) is take a cloth bag to the shops and avoid large bags for small things.

Here’s another tip – during the exam times, where we spend the last days trying to cram all we can into this small brain of ours, tear up USED month sheets from the calendar and use the backside for working out and writing.

As much as possible use books with recycled paper and less of plastic bags for two things

1) you drive the teacher mad if there is that annoying noise of plastic in class

2) we are dong our 0.01 percent to save the environment. If every one of us contributes 0.01 percent maybe the earth will change slowly for good, change into the one all the environmentalists are praying for, and we do all this for our good and others.

What’s your opinion on this guys? Shouldn’t we arm ourselves with paper / cloth bags when we go shopping next time?

Shouldn’t we go for more non – CFC products and battle it out with the nasty chemicals and other substances depleting our dear environment and at the same time, save ourselves and the next generation?

  1. June 6, 2008 @ 8:28 pm, by Saniya

    Hey, it’s a very good post and very interactive. In my opinion, the shops not only in Chennai but around the world should use paper/jute bags and use the many other methods to save our mother earth. This is the least we can do to show are gratitude for everything she has given to mankind.

  2. June 9, 2008 @ 8:31 pm, by chethana

    hey thanks
    it was plain frustration which drove me to write this article. glad to see such an enthusiastic reply. i am sure if we folllow ur ideas, it would do good for both us and nature.

  3. July 1, 2008 @ 8:36 am, by Poornima

    Heyy!! You are very much right chethana..I’ve already stopped using plastic bage completely. Even if all of us at YOCee follow this, we will be able to bring in atleast a small change! I’m sure people here will understand the hazards of using plastic and stop using it right now!

  4. July 1, 2008 @ 2:18 pm, by Revathi

    Here is an example from Coimbatore, where school students collected about 1.5 lakh plastic bags in a day!!

  5. July 4, 2008 @ 7:48 pm, by chethana

    Exactly right Poornima, even that 0.000001 change can do India and then the earth better.

  6. July 23, 2008 @ 9:58 pm, by r.yashmini

    Chethana’s words are true.i only get eco-friendly products but my neighbours laugh @ me :-)

  7. September 23, 2008 @ 9:14 pm, by Sheba

    Thats true indeed. This critizising puts us all down :(

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chethana gets in as contributor provides info, news and reports.

But kids have more issues to talk about. They want to get a feedback on their thoughts. They want to form a group and fight issues.

But YOCee is more a news magazine on the web. Where should the opinion find a place and discussed threadbare?

Here, on this blogosphere!

Here’s an example:

Chethana is bothered about the amount of plastic bags used in big marts. She mailed it to YOCee. She knows, this hub would take it further to create an awareness among the younger people who can bring about a difference.

YOCee is happier to introduce Chethana as a contributor to the blog. She would be posting her views / suggestions on matters that concerns her and she is sure that everyone of us should be concerned too.

Await her post and get together for a plastic-free environment!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Welcome young friends!

Welcome to this special place on your own website –

Whenever we receive mails from the young readers about various issues and news that concerns them, we wished we had a place for open discussion within the website

Today, we have brought out this blog, which we hope would be your favourite hangout!

We welcome you to share your thoughts, your comments on the articles in YOCee, add-on information on any of the events reported on the website, any news on the interesting events, interesting links, your own personal blogs . . . You can do a lot of things here!

After all, YOCee and its hangout are your own!