WHY :-I have always loved teaching students, and taking on the challenge to solve their learning problems innovatively. I began teaching math when I was an engineering student, and then went on to work with as the head teacher in Saraipali (Chhattisgarh – Orissa Boarder), handling math remedial classes and managing several teachers in a government initiative. There, I came to know the various challenges faced by underprivileged students.
ASER assessments in Chhattisgarh show a steep decline in student performance in math in the state, to the extent that only 29.7% class 8 students could solve a 3-digit division problem in 2014 as against 50.08% students in 2011. The NCERT National Achievement Survey (2012-13) shows that Chhattisgarh is ranked last in the country in both language and mathematics.
The all India figure for children in Std. III who are able to do at least subtraction has not changed much, from 27.6% in 2016 to 28.1% in 2018. For government school children, this figure was 20.3% in 2016 and 20.9% in 2018. The proportion of children in Std. V across India who are able to do division has inched up slightly, from 26% in 2016 to 27.8% in 2018. The overall performance of Std. VIII in basic arithmetic has not changed much over time. Currently about 44% of all children in Std. VIII can solve a 3-digit by 1-digit numerical division problem correctly. While this figure has gone down from 2016 to 2018 in many states.
‘Beyond Basics’ - bonus tools: Of the 14-16 year olds who could solve a numerical division problem, a little under half could compute the time question correctly, 52% could apply the unitary method to calculate how many tablets were needed to purify a given volume of water, about 37% were able to take the correct decision regarding the purchase of books, and less than 30% could compute the discount correctly.
Only if students like the subject would they be willing to learn it, but as a teacher, I experienced first-hand the disparity that students found math both boring and overly challenging. Without basic skills in place, children cannot learn higher-level content, but the textbook-based approach leaves many children behind. Special focus, time, and better teaching methods are needed to help children learn the foundation of the subject, and there is an urgent need for a more student-focused approach.
This led to the birth of Mathclub Foundation: an approach to learning mathematics designed to make students fall in love with the subject through math enhancement activities in an inspiring and stimulating learning space.
Lack of innovative teaching frameworks, multidimensional approaches, well-trained teachers, effective skill building and holistic personality development are a few of the many challenges I strives to address.
WHAT WE DO :-We have developed a Math Enhancement Programme, focused on building the capacity of students, teachers, and school leaders. By setting up a Math Lab in every school, we are able to promote active learning so that both students and teachers approach the subject with new focus and enthusiasm.
This is a two-year integrated learning programme for classes 3 to 8 that makes math meaningful for students by helping them to build connections between mathematical concepts and their understanding of the real world. We also aim to empower teachers by increasing their subject teaching expertise through training and mentoring, so that they can build engaging learning experiences for their students. For school leaders, we conduct an orientation programme to familiarise them with the goals and activities, and win their support for implementation.
Through this programme, we also conduct various math enhancement activities, such as ‘Math Fashion Show’, in which students design and exhibit costumes under the theme of geometry and explain the properties of various geometrical shapes to the audience. We also organise activities throughout the year, including a Math Club, Math Summer Camp, Inter-school quiz competition, and National Mathematics Day. We have also created various learning kits and manipulatives for diverse math topics.
As math becomes enjoyable and interesting for students, their learning and performance in the subject will naturally improve.
HOW IT WORKS :-MATHCLUB FOUNDATION proposes to implement the MATHEMAGIC Program in 12 government schools in Kondagaon District, Chhattisgarh state and aims to impact approximately 3600 students in classes 3 to 8, 48 math teachers and 12 Principals.
Main activities of the programme include:
- Teachers Training for setting up the Math Lab in each school, and making effective use of Math Lab components (i.e. Toolkit + Math Lab Activity Plans) and Supporting Resources (like Worksheets Booklet etc.). All the Math teachers in these identified schools will be given two days of training, three times a year.
- Mentoring and Support for Teachers by deploying a School Resource Person (SRP) for schools to guide and support teachers in the effective implementation of Math Enhancement Programme. Each of the identified schools will be visited by the SRP regularly, and he/she will guide teachers in tackling the ‘hard spots’ in the curriculum with their students, through activities and questions.
- Building Student Participation through creating a Math Club that introduces engaging activities and contest regularly and invites student participation. In the Math Club, various activities such as Math-E-Magic contests, math-related projects, math games, expert talk, and ‘Fun to Do’ activities will also be initiated in the school to encourage and increase student interest in the subject.
- Measuring Impact through a comparison of baseline study with endline study will provide an insight into progress in student learning levels. Baseline Report and Endline Report will be published to communicate the same.
- Creating a Sustainability Plan with the school to guide them in programme implementation in the absence of SRPs. Identified Math Enhancement Programme Lead and Teacher Champions will translate these plans into action.
- Building Volunteer Support by encouraging stakeholder participation at all levels.
With only 2048 Rupees you can help a child learn mathematics for 2 years.
|S.no||Cost||Year 1||Year 2|
|1||Salary of Program Manager||504,000.00||554,400.00|
|2||Salary of Resource Persons||1,200,000.00||1,320,000.00|
|3||Monthly travel & overhead expenses of the Resource Persons||120,000.00||120,000.00|
|4||Monthly travel & overhead expenses of the Program Manager||54,000.00||54,000.00|
|5||Pre-Program Activities - Government Permissions, School Identification and finalization, Program Initiation||45,000.00|
|6||Laptops for the program team||130,000.00|
|7||Mobile Data card||30,000.00|
|9||Background Verification (3rd Party Agency - Police, Education, Previous employer)||12,500.00|
|10||Mats (12 Runners)||30,000.00|
|11||Teacher Table 1 number Teacher Chair - 1 number||40,800.00|
|12||Cupboards - 1 number(6" X 3" Size) , (with Shelves & Glass Doors for storing the math kit)||240,000.00|
|13||Math Lab Makeover - Painting of math concepts on ceiling and floor - 1 room (Includes paint, labour charges, materials etc.)||240,000.00|
|14||Display board - 1 number - (3 "X 5" Size)||36,000.00|
|15||Preparation of classroom (wall putty, electrical points, window grills etc.) and fixing electrical wiring||60,000.00|
|16||Wall of fame - posters of eminent Mathematicians- 4 numbers|
|17||Green Board - 1 number (Teacher to write during transacting lessons)||30,000.00|
|19||Math Toolkit for classes 3 to 8||966,000.00|
|48 Handouts will be provided to each student per year||86,400.00||86,400.00|
|20||Math Enhancement activities||216,000.00||216,000.00|
|21||Entry and exit level Tests - All 300 students of each school for all the identified intervention classes will undergo the entry and exit tests. These tests will be conducted by the LLF Academic Team at HO. This is @ 50 Rs per student per test.||360,000.00||360,000.00|
|22||Team Training - The identified team will undergo training once a year for a period of 3 days in year 1 and 2 days refresher in year 2.|
The cost is inclusive of 4 Resource Persons + 1 Program Manager intercity travel, local travel, boarding & lodging , local training materials, &training cost + Senior Trainer cost and local travel, honorarium (3 days in year 1 and 2 days in year 2)