The Times Of India has decided to extend its initiative 'Newspaper in Education' to the Mumbai market. The activity is currently executed in eight markets, and will make its mark in Mumbai early July 2004. "This is a part of the natural extension," explains Sanjeev Vohra, Director, RMD, The Times Of India.
Newspaper in Education (NIE) is a school-level activity targeted at the age group 11 to 16. "Necessarily the Class 6 to junior college students," informs Vohra, "The activity plays the role of an education tool and comprises of various components that help students with their curriculum."
NIE began with the Delhi market and consequently spread to Kolkata, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. It is targeted mainly at schools and the work around it takes place with participating schools. Vohra explains that a dedicated force field is in place to execute the activity.
The initiative is inclusive of various components like News and Views, a customised monthly workbook, Cub Reporter Programmes, events, child development programme and Times Excellence Awards amongst others. Shedding more light on these, Vohra says, "News and Views becomes a part of the curriculum and will be distributed in various schools. We encourage students to write and report in the Cub Reporter Programme."
Events, as he puts it, form a big part of the exercise, "We organise various competitions like painting, singing, quizzing, debating, Spelling B and a whole lot of other things. These are intra school and interschool and arranged at suitable venues." The child development programme is organised by a range of experts. This component includes aspects like career counselling, guidance in fields varying from arts and crafts to technology.
Vohra explains that NIE has generated substantial response in all the existing markets and this has led to its extension to other significant markets, "Mumbai is a key area and we expect quite a lot of action here."