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Monday, 13 May 2013

Visit Report – Learn out of the Box - Rajasthan

Schools Visited: SR International; St Verona Academy; Kids World; and AM Modern Public Schools

Visited by: Sapna Bist – Regional Manager; Narendra Shekhawat – Regional Associate; and Gauri Shankar – Regional Associate

Segment: Jaipur - Urban

Phase: 1

Introduction

The Learn Out of the Box program team in Rajasthan, visited some schools over two days in Jaipur (Urban sector). This article provides a case study of two of the schools visited.

Rural surrounding of the schools...
... where camels, cows shelters etc. are a common sight.













Though these schools are in the urban sector, the surroundings of the schools give a feel of rural Rajasthan. The families of the students studying in the schools are broadly from the agricultural sector or low income trades.

It was heartening to see teachers confidently using the WebBox and engaging the students in discussions. Though these schools are English medium schools, the students come from low income background and face difficulty in understanding English. However it was evident from the classroom interaction that the students understood the English video quite well and were able to pronounce difficult words like ‘ingredients’.

St. Verona School
Students' Interaction while using WebBox

Visit Date:  25th April 2013
Standard:  6th Std
Teacher trained:  2
Students impacted:  20

Mr. Mohnish, the Science teacher, at St Verona school was teaching ‘Food’ in his class when we went to the school. After explaining the concept of ingredients he gave a take home activity to the students and asked them to observe their mother when she prepares dinner and note down the ingredients she uses. They were also asked to note the sources of the ingredients.

Glimpses of the Outreach Program
As an initiative of the Outreach in the City program, which is part of Jaipur Literature Festival, some of the celebrated authors and illustrators visited 25 educational institutions in Jaipur. Of these 25 sessions, the Learn out of the Box team organized 5 sessions in the schools where our program is being implemented. St. Verona was one of the schools where this festival was organized. Anupa Lal who is a well known writer and storyteller took as a session in the school regarding storytelling and reading. (See our post 'Jaipur Literature Festival - Outreach in the City' to read more about that program)

The school Principal shared that they are planning to use the Learn, Out of the Box setup for making the learning of nursery class students interactive by incorporating rhymes, songs etc.

He also conveyed that the concept of learning with the use of WebBox has become very popular among the parents that parents whose children are not being taught with the WebBox are asking the school management that their children should also be taught in similar manner.

Kid's World
Visit Date:  26th April 2013
Standard:  6th Std
Teacher trained: 2 (The principle and the mathematics teacher. The science teacher has been
oriented by the mathematics teacher)
Students impacted:  18

Use of WebBox for explaining Math

The Principal, Mrs. Sweety Acharya, and the Math teacher of Kids World, Mr. Ravi Pathak underwent the Learn, Out of the Box training. In the course of the academic session, when a new Science teacher was appointed, in the school she was oriented by the Math teacher. When asked why she choose to be a part of the training program the Principal conveyed that she found the program very beneficial for her students and she wanted the program to be able to be sustained in the school. As teachers attrition is a major issue in the schools these days, she herself got trained so that even if the teachers might leave she will be able to orient and train the new teachers. Thus the students will continue to benefit. 
Models at the Science Exhibition

The content provided in the WebBox proved very beneficial when the school was planning to organize a science exhibition in their school. The WebBox proved to be a rich source of ideas for concept clarity, model making and new ideas. The WebBox was used to motivate and instigate curiosity in the students to make science models and projects.  Ideas of creating a model volcano, Rain water harvesting system etc were taken from WebBox.

From the Teachers and Students

Students
“When we had no TV classes we read in books and our sir explained on the black board. But sometime we did not understand well. We like TV class very much as we understand things clearly. We have learned some chapters like Electricity Circuits, Changes around Us, and Fun with Magnet by the TV classes.”
- Krishna Kumar, Class VI, St Vernon Academy


“पहले मुझे Science and Math में समझ में नहीं आता था. वेब क्लास आने के बाद मुझे बहुत अच्छी तरह से समझ में आता है.”
-Bhawna Soni, Class VI, St Verona Academy 

Teacher

“Students are really enjoying this method of teaching and I find that through this WebBox technique almost all the students (even those who are termed as weak studemts) understand the topic very clearly”
- David Singh, St Verona Academy
"Lessons in the WebBox are efficiently and beautiful explained. We are thankful to ‘Pratham - they gave us a new way to teach the student in a better and attractive way."
Mohnish, St Verona Academy