Jyoti Francis – Director – Navnirmiti Eduquality, Mumbai
Ms. Jyoti Francis, the director of Navnirmiti Eduquality foundation talked about the contribution of the foundation towards teaching Mathematics and Science for school students. The foundation aims to help students to gain a natural understanding of the complex subjects.
Navnirmiti – Objective
Navnirmiti foundation was founded in 1995 and for the past 20 years, the team is actively working in providing quality in mathematics and science education. Ms. Jyoti went on to say that “What do we mean by quality is that students should be learning by understanding and it is possible to do and learn”. The children thrive better in a likable environment. Ms. Jyoti said that “Mastering Mathematics and Science is possible for any child”.
Training and coaching programs
When enquired about the training and coaching program offered, Ms. Jyoti said that Navnirmiti works with schools of all categories. She said, “Especially we work with government schools because that is where the children don’t get exposure. We work by partnering with the government”. She added that the foundation also works with private schools to enlighten the students. “We provide two types of approach”. The first is a workshop for teachers which focuses on innovation and constructive way of teaching. This training workshop will train the teachers to teach with emphasis on concepts. The conceptual training helps the teachers to understand. The second approach is working with schools in an intensive manner through year-long program. Ms. Jyoti said that “We give them complete training, assessment, modules, worksheets, follow up, demo classes and observation. We teach them through hand-holding method”.
Ms. Jyoti went on to add that the foundation focuses on popularizing the concept in mass level. Mathematics fairs and mathematics classes are conducted to provide an environment for children that encourages them to become teachers by explaining the concepts. The children will understand and perform mathematical activities and explain it to teachers and parents. She said that “We organize big melas where parents come in to see their children doing it. They develop a new perspective about mathematics. They have seen it on paper and pencil and children memorize formulae. The children are able to come up with ideas in day to day classes.
Their prime focus is for pre-primary and lower classes. Ms. Jyoti said “We focus on early childhood also. There is no need to memorize numbers. First, we need to introduce mathematics in a friendly and joyful manner”. The children should not think that learning mathematics is a punishment or they have to mugup and get tested on that. The children are encouraged to perform various activities and the teachers from Navnirmiti help assist the children. The focus is mainly on Pre-primary, primary, middle school and high school.
Working with schools to impart knowledge
In India, the most popular boards are CBSE and ICSE boards apart from the government board. When Ms. Jyoti was questioned on which boards they focus, she said, “We focus on all kinds of schools immaterial of the board because the concepts are same everywhere. Basically, we focus on the conceptual ladder. Every child should learn these concepts no matter the board or the country”.
She said, “It is all we have developed for the past 20 years. Some are our own experiences with the children and people with mathematics background and experts in the field have developed this program”. The teaching methods evolved as the experts and teachers from Navnirmiti worked on the concepts. Activities are sequentially structured keeping the level of the children in mind. This content and program are developed in-house. “A lot of customization takes place with schools depending on what schools expect from us”.
Working with Schools
The foundation has worked with more than 5000 schools across India. They have traveled to various places to conduct the workshop and at least 20,000 teachers have benefited. Navnirmiti currently works intensively on statewide programs and mass scale programs. Currently, state government level collaboration with the Tripura government is established to improve the quality of education. Ms. Jyoti said that the Aarya Vidya Mandir in Mumbai is the first school that utilized the complete program for 3-4 years in the classroom. She said that a systematic approach was successfully used. Ms. Jyoti said, “Many schools are taking our workshops and I can’t really name them”.
Forming a strong foundation
We don’t have assessment or special programs for 10th and 12th. We started working with the primary for initial years of training. We find 50% of children drop out by class 5 in government schools”. She went on to add that 80% of the students go to government schools while the remaining 20% go to private schools. By standard 8, the number of children dropping out is even higher. Ms. Jyoti said, “We found that their ability to learn mathematics and science determine their going to higher classes. Even children in private schools pass the exams, but they don’t take mathematics or science courses later. They do it for going to engineering colleges or other”. She expressed her concern that the children are not studying these subjects because they want to. That is why the performance of Indian children in PISA tests are poor. It is very easy to score 90% in school, but even 12th standard children are not able to perform in PISA tests. There is no point in working with 10th and 12th mathematics unless creative and innovative ways are used to teach subjects at the root level. “Every child thinks differently. Child’s mind should arrive at a solution, but there is no innovation in teaching right now. Children are taught to pass exams only to enter into college”, said Ms. Jyoti.
Navnirmiti is all about Teamwork
Navnirmit is not about a single person – The foundation is an organization of numerous individuals including founding members and co-founders. Various experts and teachers of mathematics and science work together to develop teaching modules and training programs.
For more info visit: www.navnirmitieduquality.org
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