A Practical Approach to learning
In an age when education is slowly coming under the claws of corporatisation, here is a school which believes that learning can be done in ways other than the regular classroom teaching.
Playing with Blocks
A group of children is seated comfortably under a tree listening to stories, while others are engrossed in playing with blocks of different geometrical shapes.
Welcome to the 27-year-old Vivekananda Convent High School at Bharatnagar Colony in Moosapet.
“We don’t adhere to the teacher-student concept of teaching. The lessons are divided among children and they are asked to make presentations to their classmates.
These small exercises enable them to think and reflect which are important and this is where the real learning happens,” says John Hemant Kumar, academic director of the school.
“Most of the time, we have group discussions about topics where students enthusiastically participate; it makes learning much easier and at the same time, the teachers are present to clear their doubts,” Mr. Kumar says.
The idea comes from activity-based learning which was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. “With activity-based learning, children have hands-on experience, the more they use their fingers during childhood, the ability to think improves,” he asserts.
But this is just a part of the school’s education system. The school gets help from corporate companies such as Deloitte, which trains students in computers and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which conducts programmes on preservation of environment.
“We use computers to project our ideas through presentations we make in class. Having learnt these skills, it’s easier to share it with the class and others show special interest when presentations are made by students,” points out P. Ashok Kumar, a Class X student.
Students have also seen to it that their surroundings are clean. As a part of WWF’s initiative to spread ecological awareness, they have setup a rainwater harvesting pit to conserve water.
“Ecological awareness also plays an important role as they have to understand the importance of preserving environment,” Mr. Kumar adds.