Teaching Maths using stories, colours and songs in rural Meghalaya receives international praise


Meghalaya’s innovative teaching of maths in foundation classes, aimed at making learning of the subject easy and attractive, has been highly rated by the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards jury though it missed the awards by a whisker.

The innovative teaching which was implemented in about 1,000 schools in the Khasi Jaintia Hills region of the state was shortlisted as one of the top ten finalists for the prestigious awards this year but missed it narrowly, Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan (SSA) state project director F R Kharkongor told PTI. He said the project was highly rated by the jury which had recommended it to be featured in a Commonwealth publication and for its publication at its website.

According to PTI, Commonwealth Secretariat Head of the Health and Education Unit Dr Joana Nurse had officially intimated that the SSA Meghalaya’s project submission on its fledgling attempt at teaching Mathematics innovatively for foundational classes had been shortlisted as one of the Ten Top Finalists for the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards which is scheduled to be presented during the opening ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Education Ministers’ Meet at Bahamas on June 23.

As the name suggests, the innovative teaching of maths in foundational classes was introduced in 57 schools only as a pilot project without any government support two years ago, he said. Based on the positive feedbacks received from these schools, the Union Ministry for Human Resources Development gave its nod to expand the project to 1,000 schools last year, Kharkongor said.

He said the whole approach to teaching mathematics in foundational classes was made easy and attractive by incorporating stories, colours, shapes and songs. The pilot project was proven successful and students were engaged in the classroom while teachers have also dropped their “chalk and talk” methods of teaching.

The SSA project director said the outcome of the programme will be seen in a few years’ time when these students go to higher classes. He also said there is a proposal to spread the same project to 3,000 schools in the Garo Hills region, known for its bad performance in secondary and higher secondary examinations in the last few years.

At present the MHRD provides Rs 3,000 support for each school to procure learning kits and also for training the teachers, Kharkongor said.

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