Drab and dull text books that are part of the curriculum in most of the schools in the country are often cited as one of the reasons for students poor motivation.
How to make the course materials more lively and sustain student interest has been one of the challenges for the teaching community as well as educational planners for years.
A new experiment now going on in a select group of nine government schools at Samshabad, on the outskirts of the state capital, has helped to bring back students to the schools. The schools are extensively using animation and graphics to teach subjects rather than parrot the textbooks. The feedback is so encouraging that the authorities in charge of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan are contemplating to carry the same model to other schools.
The whole thing started with the district collector Prem Chand Reddy expressing unhappiness with the course content. He wanted use of modern technology to make the content interesting for the students.
Thereafter the authorities selected a group of teachers with computer skills and they were given a room and few computers with the mandate of jazz up the courses with more animation and graphic content. The teachers worked on their own besides downloading material from reputed medical sites to prepare the lessons for class IX biology. The good response to the lessons made the authorities to ask the same set of teachers to go back to their computers and draw up new content for biology subject for classes VIII and class X. The lessons were prepared taking into account 150 instructional classes in a year for one subject. Each lesson is timed for 40 minutes, keeping in mind the 45-minute period. For example,the CD of class VIII syllabus contains 46 lessons and the CD of class IX has 62 lessons.
Now the work is on to prepare lessons for physical sciences, English, social studies and mathematics. The initial team has been expanded with addition of more subject teachers and experts. “we will come out with the new lessons for almost all the subjects by end of May so that the students could be imparted lesson n the new format from the academic year 2007,” said V Gopal, one of the teachers involved in the scheme.