"LEARN WHILE you play”, will be the new mantra under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in the coming years. The State Project Directorate, under the SSA, is introducing a new teaching module for Class I and II, to improve children’s ability to understand reading, writing and doing simple arithmetic.
The Education Department has initiated Nai Disha, as a pilot project in coordination with an NGO-Pratham (working in strengthening primary education) in the State. The programme would be launched in all Government schools of 20 districts on January 10, 2007, where shiksha mitras would teach according to the new module that stresses on playful learning. The stress would be on language and mathematics, said Meena Sharma, a senior consultant at the State Project Directorate under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
The NGO had been entrusted the task of training the Shiksha Mitras of the 20 districts. For smooth functioning of programme, training structure has been divided in three phases— State level, district level and on block level. The districts selected for project included Lucknow, Sitapur, Barabanki, Agra, Mathura, Allahabad, Kaushambi, Bareilly, Moradabad, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Lakhimpur Khiri, Bahraich, Firozabad and Meerut..
Sharma said that Shiksha Mitra would be given specific goals to teach children through the new technique from January 10 to April 10. On the basis of which an evaluation of children’s ability would be done by an independent agency, to assess the improvement in children’s learning levels. Depending on the results, the programme would be extended to all the districts of the State.
“The idea of the training was conceived when we conducted a 15-day remedial classes for the children in the month of August where we found tremendous changes in children’s ability levels,” said Sharma. “We came to this conclusion that with little efforts, children’s abilities can be enhanced,” added Sharma.
This initiative is purely on improving learning skill of children. The idea is to evolve teaching techniques with more fun, meaningful and hands-on. It’s a superb catalyst for all kinds of learning opportunities, weather it is reading, writing or doing simple mathematics, said Smitin Brid from Pratham. The initiative was mandatory, especially after seeing the results of ASER-2005 that highlighted the fact that children’s ability level was very low. Children of class I and II could not write simple sentence and could not even solve simple addition and subtraction problems, added Brid.