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World Teachers’ Day on October 5


Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.
                                                                                       - Warren G. Bennis



Dear Children,

Did you all celebrate Universal Children’s Day yesterday? I am sure you did in grand style. Let me discuss about another important day in the calendar. That is World Teachers’ Day held annually on October 5. It is a great opportunity for children to show love and affection to them. Teachers play a very important role in children’s life. Children should give due respect and venerate them since teachers are considered second only to parents. It is the day to show your gratitude to them. I am sure teachers get the best satisfaction when they see their students doing well in studies and sports, and are disciplined. Students should get the blessings of their teachers.

According to UNESCO, World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.

Education International (the global union federation that represents education professionals worldwide) strongly believes that World Teachers’ Day should be internationally recognised and celebrated around the world. Over 100 countries observe World Teachers’ Day. Good luck for all your activities on Teachers’ Day.

              - Aunt Anji

Machu Picchu

(1460-1470), Peru

Today we feature the seventh(last) in our series of Modern Seven Wonders of the world. We have already featured the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Roman Colosseum, Chichen Itza Pyramid in Mexico, Petra in Jordan and Christ the Redeemer.

Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,400 meters (7,875 ft) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows.

The river is a partially navigable headwater of the Amazon River. Often referred to as ‘The Lost City of the Incas’, Machu Picchu probably is the most familiar symbol of the Inca Empire. It is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

It was built around 1460, but abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.

Although known locally, it was said to have been forgotten for centuries when the site was brought to worldwide attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. It has recently come to light that the site may have been discovered and plundered several years previously, in 1867 by a German businessman, Augusto Berns.

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Since it was not plundered by the Spanish when they conquered the Incas, it is especially important as a cultural site and it is considered a sacred place.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its primary buildings are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. Currently, there are concerns about the effect of tourism on the site as it reached 400,000 visitors in 2003.

Watching over stones - Part 6

The kids watched in growing horror as Uncle Sachi lifted his cane. When the tip of the cane is hooked securely on the stone, the gnome gave a grunt of satisfaction and started pulling. Chinthaka felt the slight sensation of the stone about to give way but suddenly it seemed to realise what was happening and clung on for dear life.

After a few minutes’ struggle, Uncle Sachi paused to take a blue handkerchief out of his coat pocket and rubbed off the sweat from his brow.

“If you fellas don’t mind, I sure can use a hand....,” he informed the kids who stood staring at him.

Then he raised his voice again.

“Ahoy, there Ruwi... Old Matilda did not caste her spells to take them off easily. I’m sure some of your pixie magic can do wonders right now.”

There was a moment of silence and a small sigh. A dainty looking creature fluttered down from the tree tops. One close look and Champika’s jaws dropped in surprise.

“Why she looks like a fairy in the Grimm’s fairy Tales,” she whispered, tugging at her brother’s sleeve. Pramodaka blinked. Indeed the creature looked much like a fairy. She was dressed in a long, red dress with slippers to match. She had long, silky curls which were plaited to reach well below her waist, pointed ears and she wore a cap which resembled a leaf, tuck around her head. Her wings which sprouted from her shoulders, filled the air with a soft fluttering sound reminding him of the young sparrow which the children had owned several years ago.

“Really Sachi! I think you have enough experience casting spells off by now,” Ruwi, the pixie said.

“Every week one or two of us keep watch over the stones. Most of the folk who fall into the trap repent over their mistakes. We caught a bear, an iguana and a chimp already this month and the date is still October 2,” she told the children.

“And they were all sent there by that evil goblin, Sulo,” Sachi added in disgust. “Now are you all going to help me finish this job? Come on now. We haven’t got all day.”

“Oh, certainly,” muttered Pramodaka, coming back to his senses. “Uncle... er- Sachi what do you want us to do?”

“Well for a start you can grab onto me and help me pull this damned stone off your brother’s hand. What do you say, Ruwi? Got any better ideas?”

“I don’t think that method will work Sachi, as the stones have never lured in something as big as a human before. Why don’t I go and fetch Matilda’s book of un-casting spells from Maggi, her niece.

“The only problem is the book is too big for me to carry. The place is not far, so why don’t one of you kids come and help me?” Ruwi asked, focusing her bright eyes on the eldest child of the group.

Where will Aunt Ruwi lead Pramodaka? You will discover it in part seven of ‘Kids’ Den’.

International Children’s Day celebrations at Kingston College International

International Children’s Day was celebrated at Kingston College International (Mutwal, Wellawatte, Mount Lavinia and Matale branches) recently presided by Lion Dr. T. Kumaravel, Chairman of the College.

In fact, children are the precious gifts one should have. It is up to parents both the father and the mother to play an equal and immense role in their lives. From the time of their infancy to adolescence and teenage years, parents play a vital role in a child’s life.

Further, bringing up young children can be very enjoyable, although tiring. Being a parent to children or even a teenager is always a challenge. It is important to keep in mind that children go through various stages in their lives. As a parent, the best thing is always talk to them. While giving advice to the children, the parents also should listen to them and consider seriously what they are saying. Indeed, this will teach them to listen and be patient.

The parents should try to understand the children’s problems seriously and at the same time set standards for their behaviours. What the children learn at home will definitely influence them and make them to treat others also accordingly. Undoubtedly, the Chairman, Principal, teachers at Kingston College International lay strong emphasis on achieving a high standard of discipline, conduct, punctuality, attendance and behaviour. Further, the motto of the college is upliftment of education, economy and society.

Poorani Sivaprakash, Kingston College International (Mutwal branch),

Vice-Principal of Primary section.

John Logie Baird inventor of television

John Logie Baird (August 13, 1888 - June 14, 1946) was a Scottish engineer and inventor of the world’s first working television system.

Although Baird’s electro-mechanical system was eventually displaced by purely electronic systems (such as those of Vladimir Zworykin and Philo Farnsworth), his early successes demonstrating working television broadcasts and his colour and cinema television work earn him a prominent place in television’s invention.

Baird was born in Helensburgh, Argyll, Scotland.

He was educated at Larchfield Academy (now part of Lomond School), Helensburgh; the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (which later became the University of Strathclyde); and the University of Glasgow.


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