Saturday, March 23, 2013

A class apart: Carpenters, grandmoms to teach primary school students

A class apart: Carpenters, grandmoms to teach primary school students

RituSharma : Ahmedabad, Tue Jun 19 2012, 02:58 hrs

Don't be surprised if a farmer or a gardner walks into your child's classroom to take biology classes or a grandmother walks in to teach story-telling to young children.
These are some of the new initiatives being undertaken to develop curriculum that will be implemented in 35,000-odd schools across the state beginning this academic session.
The new initiative of involving "community as knowledge partner" is aimed at amending the learning process in primary schools (from Class I till VIII).
Carpenters, farmers, doctors, freedom fighters and even grandmothers will be roped in to teach lessons, formulas and theories through practicals to make it easy and interesting for the young children.
"Emphasis is on experience, reflection, application and consolidation rather than just one-way teaching. Also, there is a need to align the learning process with the National Curriculum Framework," T S Joshi, the additional director of Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT), said.
Aware that even teachers lack practical knowledge of their subject at times, the state's education department has decided to use easily available local resources.
For instance, a local carpenter will teach children the concepts of area, volume, perimeter and other measurements that he uses in his vocation.
Similarly, a farmer or a gardener will give the children first-hand information about plants, insects pesticides and biodiversity in a local context.
The education department has fixed no remuneration for these "teachers" and has instead left it to school management committees (SMC) constituted under the Right to Education Act.
As part of the new initiative, young children will also be taken out on field visits to gain practical knowledge.

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