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CBSE instructs schools to observe 'World No Tobacco Day'
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had instructed the schools affiliated to it to organize events on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) to be observed on May 31.

The CBSE circular sent to various schools has urged the schools to fulfil their responsibility by highlighting and raising awareness among students, staff and the community about the deadly habit of consuming tobacco products.

The schools have also been reminded of ensuring the provisions of Section 6 of Indian Tobacco Control Act COTPA 2003, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products in an area within radius of 100 yards of any educational institution, through a display board to be put up outside the institution.

Citing the findings of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) of 2006 that 14% children in the age group of 13-15 years are consuming tobacco in some form, the CBSE has stressed the need for holding no-tobacco awareness campaigns and competitions in the schools.

The CBSE has asked its schools to conduct competitions, using technology and on the spot, such as poster making; cartooning; essay writing; story writing and quiz shows. The schools have asked to send the top two posters and video clips from the competitions at the school level to be awarded at the national level.

However, many find it ironical. The ritualization of the national and international observances and making children to show off there skills through talent events, competitions and carrots (awards) need to be avoided in schools and spend spend quality school time in improving the classroom processes and proper implementation of formative evaluation.

I think, there is a need for bringing about changes in teaching-learning process and ensuring empowering and enabling education leading to development of rational student rather than indulgences in rituals of competitions and waste time. The competitions cause stress and lead to smoking by many students, say promoters of positive psychology.

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