Thursday, December 18, 2008

Deepam on 'The Hindu'

The Hindu has a story on Deepam in today's 'NxG' paper. Madhu, the journalist has written a good piece on the group, touching upon all aspects. The photo is from the 1st class we had at Perungudi in May 2008. The online version can be found here http://www.go-nxg.com/?p=3271




Sunday, December 14, 2008

Teaching in Govt Schools

Hey Guys,

This story should settle the debate on 'teaching in Govt Schools' - I heard this from someone ( who teaches physics for class 11 / 12 at a Govt School in Coimbatore ). One of the most wonderful stories about a government official.

This one is about Karmegam, the C.E.O ( chief educational officer ) of Coimbatore , probably between 2007 and 2008. He was officer incharge of Government schools in this region.

  • He worked most days from 9 am to 1 am 
  • He would do random checks on Govt schools - Once he went to a rural school, as a saree-vendor. Teachers rushed in to take a look at the stock, during school hours.. no prizes for guessing on what happened after..
  • He made sure all govt schools had computers installed. He even gave away laptops to the schools - All the HM ( headmaster / headmistress ) were to email daily reports on teacher attendance , students performance and many more to the education dept
  • Daily reports were emailed out to schools - reports on checks done on schools by the 'flying' squad. He would land up in schools unannounced and would check on the class and the students. He would never tolerate any negligence of work. He took people to task on the spot ..
  • He brought in a 'teacher rating' system for the govt schools - All teachers would be graded relatively , across the region. The bottom rung were dealt with severely. 
  • He held an exam across the govt schools in the region, to test students' capabilities. The ones who were unable to meet the basic criterion were provided with extra coaching, to bring them up to speed
  • He would meet with most of the teachers personally, to understand the issues, through a townhall meeting !! All the non performing teachers, were dealt with in front of the entire teaching community!!
  • Whenever he was offered a gift, he would look for the nearest kid in the school , to give it away !!! When he was offered more than a lakh, as a reward for his efforts, he just donated that money for a non profit foundation :)
  • And this is the best... he sent his kids to a government school !
With more such people , am sure Deepam will have to look for a new cause to support !!!

P.S The person who mentioned this, was one of the teachers who met with him personally.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Weekend Notes..

I spent my last weekend at the besant nagar beach, playing frisbee for the Chennai team at a National Tournament. This post is not about that. But about the interesting event that happened during the games..

Some of the kids who we teach at Olcott School and at Nalamdana centre, wandered near the playing field. With the games being held under the lights and the Saturday evening attracting a lot of crowd, i spotted a couple of our kids at the game watching us play. No doubts on who and which team got the loudest cheers and support from these kids!!! and at one point, when we were trailing the opponent team, these kids were rooting for us and during the breaks they were with me, 'offering support' !!! 

I continue to benefit from these little kids. As Ram pointed out the other day, it would be arrogant if i claim that am 'giving back', as i seem to be the one who is benefitting!!!