Friday, July 31, 2009

Deepam Sessions Aug 1-2 weekend









Centre Day Timings Center Location Centre Lead Contact
Olcott School 1 Aug 9-30am to 1-00 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Dr.Karthick 9444440713 drkarthick[at]ledentiste[dot]in
Uroor Kuppam 1 Aug 2-30 to 4-30 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Balaji 9884277487 braghavan[at]gmail[dot]com
Kakkan Colony 1 Aug 4-30 to 6-30 pm Besant Avenue, near Fruit shop Basu 9940064384 shankarnarayananbasu[at]gmail[dot]com
Pudiyador 2 Aug 11-00 to 1-00 pm Vannathurai Anupama 9003269018 anupama.s3[at]gmail[dot]com

apologies for the late post

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Deepam Sessions July 25-26 weekend








Centre Day Timings Center Location Centre Lead Contact
UK 25 July 2-30 to 4-30 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Balaji 9884277487 braghavan[at]gmail[dot]com
KC 25 July 4-30 to 6-30 pm Besant Avenue, near Fruit shop Basu 9940064384 shankarnarayananbasu[at]gmail[dot]com
Pudiyador 26 July 11-00 to 1-00 pm Vannathurai Anupama 9003269018 anupama.s3[at]gmail[dot]com

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 18th @ KC

Michael Jackson still enthrals the world. The kids were quite enthusiastic on MJ.They came out with facts which I am sure many of us did not know (well how many of you know about Jackson 5 ??? I did'nt :-) )...

I significant highlight of the week was visit by Dr.Saswati Mukherjee, Professor,Dept. of Computer Science, College Of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University.
Kids kept astounding her with their knowledge on booting, BIOS settings.

Secondly, the kids are participating instead of being .They themselves are volunteering to answer questions,read paragraph.Guess we ahve been succesful in breaking open initial reclusive/shy nature.And this "attitude" was not just among the boys, girls were not far behind in competing.Thirdly,Revathy, a kid from std 6, approached us and asked the print out of the story read last week.This clearly proves, we are able to create a little amount of "interest" in the kids' mind.

Cheers!!!
Basu...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Deepam Sessions July 18-19th weekend









Centre Day Timings Center Location Centre Lead Contact
Olcott School 18 July 9-30am to 1-00 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Dr.Karthick 9444440713 drkarthick[at]ledentiste[dot]in
UK 18 July 2-30 to 4-30 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Balaji 9884277487 braghavan[at]gmail[dot]com
KC 18 July 4-30 to 6-30 pm Besant Avenue, near Fruit shop Basu 9940064384 shankarnarayananbasu[at]gmail[dot]com
Pudiyador 19 July 11-00 to 1-00 pm Vannathurai Anupama 9003269018 anupama.s3[at]gmail[dot]com

Monday, July 13, 2009

Education in Bodoland

I recently spent almost a fortnight in the heart of Bodoland in Assam.The place was the last Indian village on the India-Bhutan border.I worked with teachers from rural north-east and Women self-help groups.Something interesting the teachers brought out regarding the challenges of education :
1.No safe drinking water
2. No infrastructure - schools do not even have a proper buiding- bamboo structures keeping the students in.
3.Poor attendance - half of te year there are floods and rains and for the other half - Malaria.
4.FIrst generation learners - no support for education from home .
Few take away's that I thought worth mentioning -
1. All classes will ahve some bright students and some slow learners(this is called the Differential Ability Group or the DAG). Teachers will face problem in handling both the higher and the lower ability groups. Simple solution : give the higher group pupils something extra, something higher than the normal class ability level.This will keep him occupied.For the lower ability group - give more tasks that will make him use his hands.USe Activity based learning (ABL).
2. We did not try to tell the teachers what to teach - rather how to teach. Keeping the interest level up for the students is purely on the onus of the teacher.
3. Every 30 -45 seconds there should be some interaction between the teacher and the student.
4. Saw a very good teacher - she started the class by gossiping and asking the students how are they. But gradually she moved into the topic/subject matter.This transition was so seemless, so smooth that the students hardly felt they are learning something. They were like the teacher was still gossiping with them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Deepam Sessions July 11-12th weekend








Centre Day Timings Center Location Centre Lead Contact
UK 11 July 2-30 to 4-30 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Balaji 9884277487 braghavan[at]gmail[dot]com
KC 11 July 4-30 to 6-30 pm Besant Avenue, near Fruit shop Basu 9940064384 shankarnarayananbasu[at]gmail[dot]com
Pudiyador 12 July 11-00 to 1-00 pm Vannathurai Anupama 9003269018 anupama.s3[at]gmail[dot]com

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Took the plunge

Yep, I finally took a nose-dive into community service and Deepam gave me a one-way ticket. So, on a balmy Saturday morning, with the whispers of the adjacent Bay Of Bengal casting a smile on my face, I found myself at the Olcott School with a bunch of 20-odd teens raring to take on the world with their lofty dreams. All they needed was that little reassurance, or an acqueising smile to show them they were headed in the right direction; that someone actually cared- and we were there to do just that.

The first class, two weeks ago, was mostly about breaking the ice and reaching out to them. This wasn't a problem- after all these were urban kids who seemed quite knowledgeable about issues that Chennai teenagers care about- Kollywood, cricket et all. They were so much into grasping what we intended to offer them that they forgot to give us nick-names (!). Though I found them innocent and unfazed by the journey to adulthood that confronted them, they had a mature side to themselves in that they had concrete plans for their lives, beyond castles in the air that every city teenager loves to build at their age. So much so, that most of them were intent on breaking into the admin/police service while the majority wanted to become software engineers. Of course, the few girls who aspired to be housewives had second thoughts when peals of laughter broke out in the crowd :P

The first class- we took on groups of 4-5 and asked them to quiz us and fill out a form on our behalf and then make a presentation to the class. Quite neatly done, within the schedule too.
Then followed a game of antakshari when we tried to break the routine and all of us were pleased when we realized we could sing without remorse ;). Lastly, we got them to fill out personal forms with their role model and ambition and read them out in class- giving each student his due. In the second class, we carried forward the learn-through-games idea and settled on a simple vocab-building game, which we will expand eventually as they get into the mood. They loved to learn all the states and their capitals (with occasional help from the Atlas) and meticulously wrote them down. They did, of course, stumble with capitals of North-Eastern states, but come to think of it, didn't we too?

So time flew by and before we knew it, four hours had come to an end. One of them asked if me he'd be able to use the laptop soon and I smiled assuringly when he proudly showed me his work-register with his time-table and weekly agendas. The Saturdays, though blank, were pencilled with "Deepam class" on the side- so that's when I realized that we'd sunk our roots firmly at Olcott...now it's time to grow!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Deepam Sessions July 4-5th weekend









Centre Day Timings Center Location Centre Lead Contact
Olcott School 04 July 9-30am to 1-00 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Dr.Karthick 9444440713 drkarthick[at]ledentiste[dot]in
UK 04 July 2-30 to 4-30 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Balaji/Anu 9884277487 braghavan[at]gmail[dot]com
KC 04 July 4-30 to 6-30 pm Besant Avenue, near Fruit shop Basu 9940064384 shankarnarayananbasu[at]gmail[dot]com
Pudiyador 05 July 11-00 to 1-00 pm Vannathurai Anupama 9003269018 anupama.s3[at]gmail[dot]com