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Category Archives: Education

Adventures of Susheela and Ambili

We had the awesome-est time with kids from The Thakur International School. The enthusiasm and exuberance of the kids was infectious and kept energizing us as we went from one class to another spreading joy and making new friends. Both Susheela and Ambili connected with our young audience immediately. While Susheela’s Kolam brought colourful delights, the story of Ambili and her encounter with Maakdi, the frog, got the children ticklish and giggling all over!

 

Nursery, KG and Prep – Susheela’s Kolam

The children’s imagination knew no bounds as they contributed enthusiastically in Shusheela’s quest for new canvases to draw her Kolams. Their mothers will have a hard time restraining their creative hands now for sure!

After the story the children created their own beautiful Kolams with lovely colours.

Standard 1st & 2nd

We introduced the kids to Ambili and saw the wonderous curiosity in their eyes as they waited to hear about her adventures. They giggled at her silliness and joked about how Maakadi the frog was fooling her. They jumped and hopped just like Ambili did with the frogs in the rain! The kids shared their own experiences about how they dance and play in the rains and love to get all wet and muddy…what a splashy-splashy day we had! After we shared our experiences we all coloured our own Ambili in interesting patterns just like little Ambili from the story.

 

The school gave us a sweet token. As we watched the kids enjoying the stories we were reminded of a simple fact…there is no age for innocence!

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Education

 

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A single book…a thousand smiles!

My friends and I had a most inspiring day today! It all started with my ramblings on twitter when I came across a tweet on my timeline about Pratham Books and the book reading drive they want to conduct on 8th September 2012, World Literacy Day. There was no looking back after that. The team at Pratham Books was quick to respond to my query and helped me put together this beautiful experience. A special thanks to my husband Ankit, son Siddharth and friends Shilpa Neha & Anoop for lending their support.

 

I approached Maharashtra Vidyalaya in Goregaon west, Mumbai, for conducting the session and the teachers were more than happy to have us among the reading out a story to their children. Then it was a mad rush to create cut-outs of characters from the book, create Kolam designs for children to colour and arrange for a Marathi version of the book as the children are more comfortable with the language. We chose standards 1st and 2nd for the readings.

 

The teachers started by explaining the kids how it is important to believe in their passion and taking it to unseen heights. Then the story began and the children sat mesmerized as they heard about Susheela’s adventures with her lovely Kolams. All this while I could see sparkle in their tiny eyes about their own dreams and untold passions. As the teacher interacted with them we found the kids sharing their own ideas of where Susheela will draw her next Kolam.

 

After the reading the children spent a wonderful time decorating their own Kolams with beautiful colours. Suddenly the group came alive with excited chatter of which colours to use and how to make the Kolams as beautiful as that of Susheela.

 

After the colouring, the kids proudly showed-off their creations! It was magical how brightly coulored Kolams transformed a class into a kaleidoscope of infinite imagination!

 

The teachers were so thrilled with the response from the children that they now want us to select more stories and include more classes (3rd and 4th) next time. We are so inspired by this that we now plan to take this up as a regular activity and approach many more children and spread the joy of reading stories to as many children as possible.

 

Thank you Pratham Books! 🙂

 

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Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Education

 

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One Nation-One Examination

Our new HRD minister has given wind to quite a storm by proposing the slogan ‘One Nation-One Examination’ as part of his 100-day plan. Going by the initial reactions, I’m not sure how it will be taken. While the idea has been doing the rounds of the academic circles for some time now, it will take very careful consideration before it is actually implemented. Some of the initial reactions that have come up are:

Against –

  1. The states wouldn’t want to lose control that a state board provides them with
  2. How will the system test the IQ and EQ of children at an all India level through just one examination
  3. The X board exams act as a wake-up call of sorts to students to prepare them for the final XII board exams

For –

  1. This will help reduce undue pressure for school children and their parents; children should not be made to go through the double stress of first X and then XII exams
  2. The earlier system of Higher Secondry worked very well and can be replicated here with reforms to suit the present day needs
  3. It will help reduce the numer of drop-outs that mostly happen after class X
  4. It will help create a more systematic grading system that will do away with un-natural college cut-off percentages

This is, however, not an exhaustive list of arguments on the issue. While some states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have shown support to the idea, Kerala for one thinks that the government could be acting in haste. What becomes of the proposal only time will tell. One can only hope that it does not end up becoming another of those issues that lose their real relevance and get lost in the political battle that they happen to kick up.

 

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