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“Activity-based learning method has made long strides in education”

Staff Reporter

National workshop on multi-level pedagogy throws light on children’s learning

— Photo: R. Ragu

IN CONSULTATION: School Education Secretary M. Kutralingam (centre) in discussion with Binay Pattanayak, chief consultant (pedagogy), Technical Support Group-SSA (left), at a workshop on multi-grade and multi-level pedagogy in Chennai on Thursday. SSA State Project Director M. P. Vijaykumar is in the picture.

CHENNAI: “When you enter a primary school classroom now, the children do not even notice that someone has come in. They are engrossed in their learning. Give Standard III students any Tamil newspaper and they will be able to read it,” M. Kutralingam, Secretary to School Education Department, said on Thursday.

Speaking at the inauguration of a three-day national workshop on multi-grade and multi-level pedagogy here, he highlighted the strides made in education in the State since the launch of the activity-based learning (ABL) programme.

Started four years ago in Corporation schools in Chennai, the programme has been extended to the entire State. A child-centric method of learning, ABL focussed on each child and the speed at which they learnt, he said. “This has been adopted within the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).”

Call to delegates

M.P. Vijaykumar, Project Director, SSA, urged the delegates from other States to study the system Tamil Nadu had adopted and to give their feedback. “Theory does not work. We need to show the teachers working models and provide them room to experiment.”

Detailing other measures initiated by the State Government, R. Perumalsamy, Director of Teacher Education, Research and Training, said Internet connections had been provided to many schools, libraries upgraded and computer laboratories set up in several government schools.

Director of Elementary Education Uma Maheswari said that despite the progress made in enrolment and retention of students, the quality of education needed to improve. Most schools in the State had one teacher for all grades and all subjects.

Working in this context, a method needed to be developed to improve teaching, Ms. Uma Maheswari said. The ABL methodology helped considerably in this regard.

Learning at their own pace

Learning at his or her own pace, each child could move forward once he or she had completely understood the subject, the Director of Elementary Education noted.

Director of School Education D. Jeganathan; Richa Sharma, Deputy Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development; and Binay Pattanayak, Chief Consultant (Pedagogy), Technical Support Group-SSA, participated in the programme.

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