Monday, March 11, 2013

No more rote learning in state primary schools

No more rote learning in state primary schools

Innovative teaching Govt introduces new curriculum with focus on 'experience, reflection, application and consolidation'
Leaving behind rote learning and age-old methods, 40,000-odd government primary schools across the state have adopted innovative teaching practices. As part of the new curriculum, the schools have introduced self-learning through open-ended stories, picture-based lessons and making models based on scientific principles.
"This is one of the aspects of a larger project being undertaken by the Gujarat Educational Innovations Commission (GEIC), the Gujarat Council of Education Research and Training (GCERT) and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in association with the UNICEF. The principle that has been introduced and will be followed in all the subjects is ERAC — Experience, Reflection, Application and Consolidation," said Dr Jayanti S Ravi, Commissioner, Higher Education.
Some of these measures have already been inducted in the curriculum from this academic session, across subjects from Class I to VIII, and pilot studies are being conducted for the remaining ones.
Besides, workshops and orientation programmes are being conducted for students on how to make scientific models and learning Science by practising and experimenting with simple, cheap or even discarded material. Around five schools have been identified in each district that will mentor these workshops in the remaining schools in their districts. At the orientation programmes, students are shown a documentary made by the Education Department on how to do experiments and make these scientific models.
On the implementation of these innovative methods, project co-ordinator Dharmesh Ramanuj said the heads of Cluster Resource Centre would keep an eye on whether it's being implemented in its true sense. "Checks will be made in order to prevent teachers making these models and doing the experiments or students buying these from the market," he said.
The initiative, however, is giving some teachers a hard time in the classroom. As revealed by representatives of the state resource group, in the absence of content and only pictures, teachers are approaching the group expressing difficulties in making sentences, especially in English.
Suggestions of providing content in the teachers' edition (separate teaching module for teachers) had been made to the Education Department during workshops with government primary teachers. And it has been learnt that the department is yet to take any note of these suggestions.
Excerpts from new curriculum
What do you think, will Swapnil play the match with a strain on his right foot? How? What is your opinion, should he play? How will the team manage to win without him? Have you ever been in such a situation? Complete the story in your own words.
Make your own genie in the box below. Write a story about your wishes and how will these be fulfilled.
How well can you observe this picture (of a railway station, market, etc)? Look at it and identify the occupations in it.

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