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Padmini

**Nagu Nagutha gaNitha
**

A Remedial Math Programme in Government Primary Schools in Bangalore

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Published by: Akshara Foundation Resource Centre No.633/634, 4th ‘C’ Main, 6th ‘B’ Cross, OMBR Layout, Banaswadi, Bangalore - 560043 Phone: + 91 80 25429726/27/28 www.aksharafoundation.org

a Programme rePort

Nagu Nagutha gaNitha

A Remedial Math Programme in Government Primary Schools in Bangalore 2007 - 2008

Table of ConTenTs The Context The Methodology Implementing The Programme assessment and evaluation Feedback From Government Officials Challenges of The Programme Results 2 4 8 15 18 21 22

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the context

What is MatheMatics?

Mathematics is problem-solving. It is about questioning and investigating and exploring. Mathematics is communicating effectively. Using numbers, symbols and words. Mathematics is the ability to reason. To see the differences and similarities which exist between objects. “Mathematics is not isolated skills and procedures.” “Mathematics is everywhere, and most of what we see is a combination of different concepts. A lot of mathematics relates to other subjects like science, art and music.1” for children, mathematics is an integral component of living and learning. It relates to things they do in the real world every day. It helps them count change at the vegetable shop or add up numbers on their mark sheet; it helps them read time from the dial of a clock or keep track of cricket scores. It helps them with the pluses and the minuses, what has been earned and what has been lost. Mathematics is all about finding correct solutions to problems. accuracy is key. It cannot be one more or one less. for, mathematics is never known to go wrong.

**the Need for a reMedial MatheMatics PrograMMe
**

studies and assessments like aseR2 and KsQao3 conducted in schools reveal that there is a definite gap between school textbook content and the actual learning that happens in the classroom. A lot of teachers say that children find mathematics one of the most difficult subjects to learn. Children say that it is uninteresting and tough to understand. learning outcomes are poor. std. IV and std. V children still struggle with basic mathematical operations. Hence, there is a definite need for intervention. Our objective at Akshara Foundation was to identify a remedial programme, or a model, which would help children learn basic mathematical concepts quickly and effectively. We needed a curriculum that was complete and we needed to implement it with maximum effect within a stipulated time frame, so that children could catch up quickly.

NCTM, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Annual Status of Education Report. 3 Karnataka School Quality Assessment Organisation.

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a coMPlete PrograMMe

Many factors determined our choice of a model. It had to be a programme that would bridge the gap between learning and understanding. It had to be in line with school content and it had to be simple enough for easy delivery of instruction to children. Extensive research into available material clarified our needs and objectives and led us to identifying nagu nagutha Ganitha or “Joyful Mathematics” as our remedial mathematics programme.

**Nagu Nagutha gaNitha (NNg) – a NeW Way
**

nnG is a basic mathematics programme for children in lower primary classes. The methodology was researched, developed and designed by Dr. T. Padmini, emeritus Professor of education, University of Mysore. The programme was succesfully tried and tested in government primary schools in Mysore by volunteers of Pratham Mysore. In 2005-2006, it was launched as an arithmetic skill programme in 15 schools and in 2006-2007 it was implemented in 36 schools. nnG was devised as a sixty-session module. The programme is designed for std. II to std. V, but can also be a supplementary programme for std. I. The model is open-ended, allowing freedom for imagination and creativity. The child studies at his or her own pace and there is sufficient room for learning hands-on with the given material, through games, puzzles and activities. nnG is an activity based method, which does not in any way deviate from the syllabus prescribed for the class. Concepts are taught using concrete tools like the counting board and number grids, focusing on children and helping them see, do, learn, and hence, comprehend mathematics. It signals a shift from convention and encourages the child to explore different ways to arrive at a solution. Thus, learning and progress inevitably happen. nnG started with the aim that every child would discover mathematics in a new way. A subject no longer difficult or scary, but fun to learn. Mathematics was taught by playing games, by skipping, jumping and singing……

“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.” ~ Doris Lessing

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the methodology

the coNcePt

Dr. Padmini talks about the concept and methodology.

“nnG is a mathematics programme for building number concepts among lower primary school children. The approach is based on sequential thinking strategies – Concrete, Representational and abstract levels, in that order. The programme covers a wide range of mathematical concepts and operations focusing on both Quantitative literacy and Quantitative Thinking.”

thinking strategies

• Thinking strategies can be taught for developing arithmetic skills. • strategic instruction becomes a valuable ‘tool of the mind’ promoting mental arithmetic. • Thinking strategies allow ‘divergent thinking,’ that is, finding different ways to solve a single problem, and reduce rote learning. • Thinking strategies allow ‘individual progression’ with respect to pace of learning among differently-able dchildren.

**for abstract thinking experiences
**

The aural testing method for mental math reduces the burden of reading sums. Group aural testing for 5 to 10 minutes in each nnG session not only ensures mental math skill but also triggers children’s interest in solving problems faster, with a competitive spirit in the group.

Principles

• emphasise ‘reversible thinking’ at every stage through ‘counting on’ and ‘counting back’ the numerals in all the three modes of thinking. • adopt strategy. ‘Reach ten or multiples of ten,’ in both forward and backward counting to solve different arithmetic tasks, first with counting beads and later with the aid of the Number Grid and finally without any external aid, thus enabling the child to carry out Mental Mathematics. • Integrate the four basic operations of arithmetic . addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as inverse operational strategies without isolating them, as is usually considered in textbooks. for example, 4+3=7; 7-3=4 are learnt together as inverse operations. • Involve children in Quantitative Reasoning activities with ‘hands on’ experiences for concepts of money, time, measurement and shapes. nnG provides everyday experiences for all the three modes of thinking for selected concepts and operations through a variety of activities, and children emerge competent and confident in mathematical skills. Learning mathematics is a joyful experience for every child through NNG, if its approach, plan and principles are adopted carefully and with concerted effort.

**the Basic Plan
**

NNG is organized as a twelve-week programme, five days a week, ninety minutes a day, with a series of mathematical activities, tasks and games through which experiences are provided for all the three modes of thinking. Planned sessions in groups of 10 to 15 children provide for activity-oriented learning with a team spirit.

**for concrete experiences
**

The Padmini Counting board (PCb) provides learning through counting beads up to five-digit numeracy skills.

**for representational experiences
**

A variety of Number Grids provides identification of number gradation, number patterns etc. a number Grid used as an aid or a reference card to perform different arithmetical tasks helps children to develop representational thinking by absorbing into visual memory the number patterns made available in the grid.

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**floW chart – exPlaiNiNg Methodology
**

PRe - TesT nnG (a 60 session package) PosT -TesT

THInKInG sTRaTeGIes

Concrete Thinking CT

Representational Thinking RT

abstract Thinking aT

PaDIMInI CoUnTInG boaRD (PCb)

PRInT MaTeRIal

MenTal MaTH

Different shaped bead counting

number Chart, Chips, symbols, number Grids, flash cards, etc.

Games, Puzzles and Problem solving activities

a uNique Model

nnG keeps theory to the bare minimum. It employs a tactile strategy which allows children to experience mathematics. The curriculum has vibrant stimuli that nudge children’s minds into thinking and encourage learning responses.

“This is a concrete programme. It can be touched. You are putting capacity into children in a way that is indelible.” ~ Shabana Akhtar, teacher, Government Urdu Higher Primary School, Hegde Nagar, Bangalore

This was evident in primary schools where teachers said children were energized to learn mathematics. They looked on the kit and the novel method of learning as a kind of adventure, teachers said. Teachers asked them questions and children were usually ready with the answers, which they shouted out with enthusiasm. There was optimism about mathematics on children’s faces. Reasoning, the mind’s logical progression, problemsolving, cognitive development – these cornerstones of mathematical operations were anchored. every thinking skill was backed by material that explained it. Concepts and operations were simplified through activities. NNG was a fun-filled way of learning.

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a creative Kit

The PCb is tradition reinvented, fashioned out of the age-old pallanguzhi played in south India with counters of tamarind seeds, cowrie shells or small stones. Pallanguzhi is a home-grown variant of mancala, a family of board games played predominantly in asia and africa. said to have originated in ethiopia nearly 1,300 years ago, anthropologists call it a universal game of pure intellectual and mathematical skill. In India, pallanguzhi traditionally has two players engaged in keen, quick-witted rivalry. Anyone above the age of five can play it. The idea of the pallanguzhi came to Dr. Padmini during her work with children with visual impairment in Mysore. The PCb has counting strips, counting chips, number chips and symbol chips. each counting strip has 5 cases (cups) in it. Counting strips can be arranged in different ways - in rows or columns, to make suitable number lines. Counting chips are put one by one into the counting strip cases while counting numbers. These counting chips represent the place value of units, tens, hundreds, thousands and ten thousands. The plastic counting chip for each place value has been designed in a different colour and shape to impress the concept on children’s minds. number chips are used to name the numbers, and symbol chips to introduce basic arithmetic operations.

components of the math kit

• for tens, it is a circle, like a zero. • Hundred, because it is a three-digit number, is a triangular chip, its three sides instilling understanding in children. • Thousand is a four-digit number represented by a four-sided square. • Ten thousand, a five-digit number, is typified by a pentagon, a five-sided image.

**the PcB’s main principle is count and learn.
**

• It provides ample opportunity for different kinds of arrangements to teach number concepts from 0 to 99,999. • Using this, children learn counting and number skills without writing. • They learn arithmetic operations orally, fostering mental mathematics.

Padmini counting Board (PcB)

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nnG uses number Grids which are a little bigger than the size of postcards. each card is bright, with an attractive finish and numbers are marked horizontally. They have number chips for the identification of numbers. • number Grids identify number gradations and number patterns. • They are aids or reference cards to perform different arithmetical tasks. • They help children develop representational thinking. one each of the number Grids is given to children. Together, a workbook and the grids make a complete package. each supports the other and they are a mandatory combination when nnG is taken in class.

“Once I got to know about NNG I felt instantaneously that it’s going to be the best way possible to teach children the basics of mathematics. It is going to make an impression on the child least interested in mathematics. No child will ever after forget his or her number work. This is learning that will last a lifetime.” ~ Tabassum Sultana, Cluster Resource Person, S4 Block, Bangalore

**the kit also has the following:
**

• flash cards for basic functions and to play quizzes and games to solve the mathematical problems of daily life situations. • for demonstration are a measuring tape and a specially designed clock with rotating needles, with the 60 minutes of the hour clearly marked. • look-alike currency notes and coins give children an idea of money and how to deal with it – count, calculate and manage the change. • a set of cutouts of triangles, squares and rectangles of different sizes is provided for shape identification and square construction. Together, they involve children in Quantitative Reasoning activities, helping them feel, touch, understand and experience the concepts of money, time, measurement and shapes. The programme’s kit has the entire spectrum of mathematical activity, capturing everything that needs to be taught in the subject for the age and level children are at. It is a practical pathfinder in mathematics. The kit promotes suppleness of the mind and agile, on-the-spot thinking, its final aim the mathematical development of children.

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**implementing the programme
**

the KarNataKa learNiNg PartNershiP

“Performance in the field of education is one of the most disappointing aspects of India’s developmental strategy. Out of approximately 200 million children in the age group 6-14 years, only 120 million are in schools and net attendance in the primary level is only 66% of enrolment. This is completely unacceptable and the Tenth Plan should aim at a radical transformation in this situation. Education for all must be one of the primary objectives of the Tenth Plan.4”

Background

In Karnataka, nearly 98% of children are enrolled in schools; yet only 47.2% graduate from primary school5. according to the aseR survey, approximately a third of rural Indian children in std. IV and std. V can do a long division problem. only a third can do a basic two-digit subtraction problem6. This performance or the lack of it has been a serious concern within the Karnataka state Government and civil society. The learning performance of children in government schools needed to improve and it was against this background that akshara foundation and the Karnataka state education Department started a dialogue on what corrective actions could and should be taken.

**setting up the Karnataka learning Partnership
**

In april 2006, akshara foundation and the Government of Karnataka signed a Memorandum of Understanding and the Karnataka Learning Partnership was formed. The objective of this public-private partnership was to work jointly to improve learning outcomes among primary school children in Karnataka. The first initiative was the city wide reading programme that was implemented in all government primary schools in bangalore. a similar programme to boost children’s mathematical skills was conducted in 834 schools in the city.

**the responsibilities of akshara foundation were:
**

• Develop and produce the Teaching learning Material (TlM) for the programmes in consultation with DseRT. • Do capacity building and train teachers, CRPs and beos. • Create the technology backbone for the programme for data capture, analysis and display. • Monitor the programme and track assessments.

**the main responsibilities of the government through the education department were :
**

• Provide the teachers for the implementation of the programme. • Monitor implementation through CRPs and beos. • engage as a partner to initiate change in the existing government school system. • Conduct an independent evaluation and validate the programme through the District Institute of education and Training (DIeT).

Tenth Five Year Plan ( 2002-2007) Volume 1 – Dimension and Strategies, Planning Commission, GOI, New Delhi, 2002. Selected Educational Statistics, MHRD, GOI, New Delhi. 6 Annual Status of Education Report, (Mumbai: Pratham Resource Centre, 2007), 44.

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Once the agreement was inked, teams that included Education Department officials, school teachers and personnel from akshara foundation set to work to complete the task of getting bangalore’s children to read and learn mathematics within a time frame. The Karnataka learning Partnership was supported by sarva shiksha abhiyan (ssa), which sponsors (1) innovative methods of teaching and (2) remedial methods of teaching. This public-private collaboration, which is the driving force of the Karnataka Learning Partnership, has become a joint venture in the truest sense.

traiNiNg teachers

nnG started in June 2007 with a two-day training session for 2400 government school teachers across five Educational Blocks in bangalore south District. They were trained in 44 training centres by 130 Master Resource Persons (MRPs). Teachers were trained in the methodology using the kit, and by the end of the training they were a happy lot, thoroughly impressed by the kit and its many components.

**startiNg With a Pilot
**

The idea of nnG had to be piloted to test its effectiveness and acceptance. akshara foundation held a 30-day pilot in a few selected schools in two educational blocks in bangalore, n1 and s4. Government school teachers implemented the pilot. There was a principle behind the pilot and many factors it sought to establish. • Would the methodology find acceptance in government schools? • The kit had to be tested for wider dissemination. • Teachers had been trained by akshara foundation, but were they geared for the programme, for its actual implementation on a larger scale? • What was the feedback from teachers? • What were the issues that the programme would face while scaling up? • Would children like the programme? What would their learning responses be? • Was the programme easy to implement?

“This programme is solid. Children will grasp numbers with smiles on their faces. There are things that facilitate daily life in this kit. You know, children will come to school if schools offer them something of interest. We will definitely do whatever it takes to make this programme a success.” ~ Asma Parveen, MRP, Government Urdu Higher Primary School,Vijnapura, Bangalore

**results aNd outcoMes
**

the pre-test and post-test results

assessments were conducted in 3 main competencies: • numeration – includes number concepts and place value • four operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division • Mental math – to be able to mentally comprehend and write the answer.

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**NNg Pilot NuMBers
**

a 30-day pilot held at select schools in January 2007. location

Bangalore

No. of schools

14

**No. of centres and No. of teachers
**

16

children / centres

20

total No.of children

320

Pilot results competencies

Pre-test Post-test

Numeration

four operations

Mental math

loCaTIon

number Concepts

Pre-test Post-test

CoMPeTenCIes

Increase In %

Post-test

four operations

Pre-test Post-test

Increase in %

Mental Math

Pre-test Post-test

Increase in %

bangalore

38

72

34

18

58

40

27

84

57

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coNclusioN

Based on the results of the pilot, we arrived at the following conclusions:

1. activity based learning increases progress, since it helps children understand and comprehend mathematics. 2. Importance has to be given to mental math, since it is used in real life situations. 3. an environment where teachers and students learn together as a group increases the comfort level of children and math is no longer seen as a scary or difficult subject. 4. once the child comprehends math, concepts get grounded better. 5. Repeated practice through a variety of methods using grids, workbooks and puzzles/games reinforces concepts better. The pilot yielded affirmative answers and positive reinforcement of the belief that nnG was a programme that would have the desired results in schools. a good beginning had been made and akshara foundation, in partnership with the government, launched nnG as a larger pilot in the academic year 2007-’08 in 834 government primary schools across bangalore.

Children said they liked addition and subtraction with the Number Grids, and all the other functions they could learn from them. They liked the idea of their teachers teaching them this new way using the mathematics kit.

“This is a very nice programme. Ten days into the programme and children have already improved. We help them do their workbooks. But they eventually do the sums there individually, on their own. Children are happy with this programme, and yet they clamour for more. ‘Give us more. We want to do more of NNG,’ they say.” ~K. Rajanna, teacher, S. Janardhan Government Higher Primary School, Guruppanpalya, Bangalore

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**eNrolMeNt iNto NNg
**

Teachers identified the children who needed the remedial support of NNG in their classes. Selection was left to teachers, since they knew their children best. They knew their children’s strengths and weaknesses and this determined the selection process. • Teachers enrolled 35,768 children in bangalore into the programme.

eNrolMeNt

Total enrolled block anekal south 1 south 2 south 3 south 4 std. II III IV V Total 8,607 8,059 3,812 6,862 8,428 9,485 9,302 8,703 8,278 35,768 Total Present for both Tests 6,137 5,562 3,538 5,339 6,266 6,881 7,068 6,678 6,215 26,842

enrolment by standard

enrolment by gender

enrolment by Medium of instruction

enrolment by Block

**NNg – the Process
**

Children from std.II and III formed level one, and children from std. IV and V comprised of level two. nnG began with the foundation of number concepts and progressed gradually, covering the four basic operations of mathematics and going up to fractions and decimals for level two children. a 20th day pre-test and a 60th day post-test tracked children’s progress in each competency. • This programme was implemented by 1933 government school teachers.

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**a tyPical NNg class
**

a test for the Mind

std. III at the Government Urdu Higher Primary school in new Guruppanpalya, s3 block, bangalore, was in a cramped space where children jostled together. Zeenatunissa, its class teacher, handed out the 1 to 50 Number Grid to children. Children repeated the numbers 1 to 50, and then their voices shot up in uncontrolled crescendo. Zeenatunissa said the numbers from 1 to 10 and from 10 to 1, from 11 to 20 and from 20 to 11, emphasising reversible thinking, counting on and counting back. Children repeated with gusto, not faltering or waning even in reverse order. They went on intrepidly from 21 to 30, on their own. Zeenatunissa put children to some quick, simple tests. Did they know the multiples of ten? What came after 1, 11, 21, ---, ---? Children said the correct numbers, 31 and 41. It was mental math that was expected of children, without the support of the Number Grid, and they performed well. She showed them place value chips, which they identified. 10s, 100s, 1000s. Did they know how to write them as well? They chorused in affirmation. They recognised the numbers when their teacher put the red beads into PCb cups. Zeenatunissa took them on a slightly more difficult journey, the PCB providing for learning through counting beads up to five digit numeracy skills. She put beads and place value chips for 514. Children identified it instantaneously. she then put the place value chip for 1000 next to it. What was the number? It caught children off-guard. They were left pondering, while Suhail came up with a prompt answer. 1514. The terrain got tougher still. Zeenatunissa put the place value chip for 10,000 there, next to this configuration of values. Children were unable to answer, but, again, Suhail did. 11,514, he said, without hesitation.

a coMParative study

Teachers across bangalorae spoke to akshara foundation, drawing comparisons between nnG and regular mathematics classes.

teachers oN NNg

coNteNt, curriculuM, Methodology Children are able to visualize everything clearly. They sense the subject better. They understand concepts better because they learn using concrete tools. everything in mathematics is demonstrated through material. Children can visually experience the subject. They can touch, feel, understand. Teachers are able to identify children who do not understand their concepts. everything is like a game. Play and learn. no chance of rote learning. Children have to understand.

teachers oN regular MatheMatics classeses

Concrete tools not always used.

Children cannot experience mathematics. There are only methods, no activities. because of the large number of children in each class it is harder to identify those who need extra support. activity based methods not always used in class. Multiplication tables are learnt by heart by children, without understanding.

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coNteNt, curriculuM, Methodology basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are all learnt together. nnG complements the syllabus. It works together with the textbook. It is easy to teach children nnG. It is possible to give slow-learning children individual attention. nnG is conducted for one and a half hours every day. It is concentrated attention. The traditional method teaches basic operations separately, sometimes leading to confusion in children’s minds. no individual attention is possible.

a typical mathematics period is only for about 45 minutes. It is not enough.

Materials/Kit nnG is exciting. We use beads, cards, the counting board. Children identify numbers, they recognize what they are doing. They create their own experiments in mathematics and learn. anchors memory through attractive material. The numbers in the number Grid are horizontal. That is much easier. The kit is provided to us and that is very useful. Children often find the workbook easier than the syllabus-prescribed textbook. class ParticiPatioN nnG elicits equal participation from both sides – teachers and children. Children show quick improvement. Peer learning is possible. The teacher-child relationship has become closer. The current approach is more teacher-centric. Improvement takes time. It is a slow process. not possible. It is a formal interaction. Math unfortunately becomes a hard and dry subject taught only through numbers. We use only a blackboard and chalk. 2+1=3, 4+5=9. It is not always possible to make children understand. Children understand at that moment and forget it the next. It does not stay in their memory. In conventional teaching too we use a number Grid, but the numbers are in a vertical arrangement. We have to make teaching aids ourselves. We don’t have the time for it. The textbook is sometimes a bit difficult.

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**assessment and evaluation
**

the Process

Children who required remedial intervention in mathematics were identified by teachers and enrolled into the programme. Once enrolled, the first 20 sessions took them through the basic concepts and familiarized them with the math kit. They were then assessed in the four math competencies. a similar test in the four competencies was given at the end of 60 sessions. a comparative analysis of the 20th and 60th day testing was conducted to study the impact of the programme. A ‘profile’ of five score bands representing the Mastery level per competency and the composite score for each student was developed. This was available on the website for comparisons and study, with details of students, centres, clusters and blocks. based on the results, it was possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme. The ‘Degree of Remediation’ achieved by every child, or in other words, the ‘number of jumps’ a child had achieved on completion of this programme was the measure of success achieved. again, on this website, the results could be viewed according to the centre, the school, the cluster and the block. for example, on completion of the programme, it was possible to assess the percentage of students who had moved from Rung 1 (0-20%) to Rung 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively, and this was specified both by individual competency and on the basis of the composite score. a detailed explanation of the assessment process, and measurement of programme impact is given in the Results section at the end of this report. DIeT teamed with akshara foundation to hold a similar assessment by their own evaluators in 193 centres. DIeT’s official endorsement is significant when scaling up of NNG begins. DIeT also got feedback from teachers through a questionnaire they circulated. They have handed over to akshara foundation a report on the evaluation and validation of the programme. akshara foundation also hired a market research agency to hold random audits in 15% of the 1933 centres. This independent evaluation by an external agency confirmed consistency in testing results across the city.

“Once they have learnt it through this programme, children will never forget what mathematics is. It will develop concentration, reasoning, critical thinking.” ~ Shahwar Begum, teacher, Government Urdu Higher Primary School, Islampura, Bangalore

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**tracKiNg the Progress of childreN
**

akshara foundation tracked the progress of four children in std. IV at the Government Kannada Model Primary school, Karithimmanahalli, s2. They are: • • • • Ismail sherif Madhukumar s. Divya Pavithra

The teachers at their nnG centres were: • shubha Devi, class teacher of std. V • Venkatlakshmamma, class teacher of std. IV • Hemavathy, class teacher of std. IV.

**We present the progress made by s.divya
**

S.Divya of Std. IV A had been indifferent to mathematics, brushing it aside as a tedious subject, her face a blank, her performance below par during a mathematics period, said her teachers. but nnG had stirred a dormant spark. To their surprise they found her metamorphose into an intelligent young girl with a mathematical bent of mind. Divya would work on the PCb in creative ways, devising sums for herself in addition and subtraction as early as the 20th day of the programme. It was a challenge to her, trying out different combinations with the place value counting chips, working alone or with her team, intent on the PCb, being methodical and accurate. Soon, she was instructing other children in her group. She still used her fingers to count, her face reflecting her counting process, but her number skills had improved remarkably in a month. Divya enjoyed the representational experience of the Number Grids, identifying random three and fourdigit numbers, counting in multiples of ten, counting forward and backward, vertically and horizontally. she extended her frontiers of learning with each day’s nnG session, Venkatlakshmamma said, till she could read up to 10,000. she eventually became the only student in her group who could successfully attempt single-digit division. Multiplication from 1 to 10 from number Grid 12 was easy for her. The clock which caused pangs of anxiety in most children in her group left Divya unfazed. The initial two weeks were tough, grappling with the hour and the minute hands. later, she could easily read time. With the hour hand poised on 3 and the minute hand on 7, could she tell the time? 3.35, she said, with a slight smile. she similarly understood the concept of money. shubha Devi tested her competence with questions of her own. Divya’s answers were correct and replete with confidence. but one question had her confused. a notebook cost Rs. 10. she bought 3 pens for Rs. 5 each. What was more, the cost of the book or the pens? The book, Divya said. shubha Devi took her through the process step by step to facilitate understanding, and Divya was determined to do the next round well. What was half of 20? Half of 100? Her answers were quick. Which number would she divide 100 by to get 50? There was a moment’s hesitation before the correct answer came, accompanied by a sweet smile of accomplishment. Divya was happy doing nnG, Hemavathy said. by the time the programme concluded she had earned a reputation in class and among her teachers as a student who could do mathematics well.

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**coMPletiNg NNg iN sixty days
**

nnG was extended by 15 days, given the time constraints expressed by teachers. but there were schools that completed the programme in the time frame of 60 days. Teachers who finished it viewed it with a sense of accomplishment and as a proud achievement.

a sense of determination

at the Government Kannada Model Primary school, attiguppe, s2 block, bangalore, Jacintha lobo, the class teacher of std. II, said she took only 55 days for the programme. Her determination saw her through, she said. Finding time for NNG in a day’s work was difficult, but she kept aside 1 - 2.30 pm every afternoon for it. she said the kit was so useful it built its own momentum. Children were enthusiastic.

**time Management skills
**

V. anasuya, class teacher of std. III, had initial misgivings too. she was convinced nnG was going to be a burden. but she came up with time management skills, remembering that her training had emphasised the need for innovation and adaptation. In her class, the third period in the morning was reserved for mathematics – 40 minutes. she borrowed 20 minutes from another period and used a whole hour for nnG. she combined the class syllabus with the programme and took them in tandem, teaching both together.

**a strategy that Worked
**

bharathi, the class teacher of std. V, felt happy and proud she had finished NNG in 60 days. She had covered all the portions. The adjustments in time it called for were tough. From Std. V to Std. VII, there are different teachers for different subjects. Bharathi’s time for nnG was between 3 and 4.30 pm, a time slot usually allotted to arts and Physical Training. she requested those teachers for their time, persuading them to cooperate. Her strategy worked.

a Personal victory

The Government Kannada lower Primary school, Gurukar Ram nayak Galli, s2 block, bangalore, is far from bangalore’s urban gloss. The school is located in crumbling premises in an overcrowded alley in the city. It has 21 children altogether, of whom 15 were in the nnG programme. They completed the programme in 60 days. savitha, the class teacher of std. IV and std. V, said she would seat the children close to her during the programme, all 6 of them, though only 4 were in nnG. she could not bring herself to leave two children out of the programme. Children were happy with the material. They felt inspired to learn, and savitha felt inspired to teach. Their curiosity to know and their newfound excitement for the subject goaded Savitha onwards. If a day went by without the programme, children pestered her saying, “Miss, please let us do nnG.” Time was always in short supply, so nnG was taken after 3.30 pm, once school closed for the day. savitha felt it was a personal victory for her that she had completed the programme.

“My motto is that children should always do well. It motivated me to finish the programme in sixty days.” ~ M. Gayatri, teacher, Government Kannada Lower Primary School, Gurukar Ram Nayak Galli, Bangalore

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**feedback from government officials
**

Akshara Foundation spoke to a cross-section of government officials for their feedback while NNg was going on.

some of them are: • Padmavathy Block Educational Officer (BEO), South 3, Bangalore South • M. Gopalakrishna, beo, south 2, bangalore south • Ramesh block Resource Coordinator (bRC), south 1, bangalore south • Rajalakshmi block Resource Person (bRP), south 1, bangalore south • Jyothamma bRP, south 1, bangalore south

What do you have to say about nnG? Padmavathy: It is really helpful for children. They get to do more drill work. It is easy to understand concepts with this programme. Without concepts you cannot learn math. What I noticed is that children are interested in the programme. It is attractive, it makes it easier for children to learn mathematics. Children have always found math difficult. Their minds are not attuned to the subject. This programme touches their minds. The fear of the subject goes away. Basic mathematics is so essential for children in their day-to-day activities. This mathematics programme is really useful for teachers. If they adopt new methods in teaching, the subject becomes easier for children, they learn a new methodology to solve a problem. M. gopalakrishna: NNG is a programme for a tough subject. Math gets simplified for children. I think it is a good programme. It is a help to children. ramesh: This programme is helpful to teachers in their regular teaching. It improves the learning of children. a workbook is given to children in private schools to retain learning. The same thing is being done by nnG. The programme gives importance to understanding. only when a child understands can he or she write it down. rajalakshmi: Children are saying it is a good programme. They say the subject has been made interesting. Each and every child participates actively in class. There is total involvement. Teachers are also participating. Jyothamma: It is joyful learning and it is effective. Children are learning well. This programme makes the teacher’s job easier. They get more material, they are more relaxed. They get confused about preparing the TlM for math. They have no time either. This is instant material.

18

This programme has activities, puzzles, games, not just sums and problems. Multiplication, for example, should be taught through activities like this. Higher levels of activities for higher classes. Different activities address higher competencies. Children learn, teachers too do not get bored. Government schools never get a workbook, only a notebook and the blackboard. a workbook is so important for practice.

Do you think this programme was needed? Padmavathy: Yes, definitely. Children need this. Math is difficult for them; they don’t make up their minds to learn. This is easy. M. gopalakrishna: some schools needed it, not all schools. schools where there are backward children need this programme or schools where they have been identified as backward. ramesh: Yes, it is needed for all children at the primary level. Math is a difficult subject. NNG is a supplement to the subject. Jyothamma: When the reading programme was going on we used to think a math programme is necessary. now it is happening.

Is there any change you would like introduced?

Padmavathy: I want more teaching learning material. all children are unable to use it at the same time, as things stand now. We have more than 70 or 80 children in each class. What about the children who are not in the programme? The remaining students? They too feel like learning from the kit. They feel they are left out. We have not got enough material. We want more material. If the strength of a class is more than 70 or 80 children you can’t teach with nnG. The programme can only handle small groups. ramesh: The duration should be increased. Continue nnG, conduct the programme throughout the year, or else children might forget the learning. nnG should be there in classrooms as long as we teach math. rajalakshmi: We need a mathematics kit for ourselves to understand the programme. Jyothamma: CRPs say they should also have kits, so that they can understand the programme better. They should know what to say when they are asked questions. CRPs should also be involved in the training programme. We should be able to keep the math kit after the programme is over. We should have low cost, no-cost material. Teachers are scared to use the kit when they are told they have to return it, for fear that they might ruin it. There should be a written survey, a feedback form that teachers could fill out about their impressions. It would be helpful to know what they think. If we could do nnG after school hours, the pressure on time would ease. The programme should be continuous.

19

Is it a burden to teachers? Padmavathy: no one has told me so. It is not a burden at all. M. gopalakrishna: In some schools teachers are scarce. There are vacancies, there are no teachers. There are big problems in such schools. also, there are so many programmes. Teachers have to do this as well. It is not a problem if there is enough staff. I am not being negative. I am saying this in a positive way. You take 40 schools, only a few will say they are really interested. It is teachers who have to implement. You have to coordinate with them. I am not the one doing the programme. I can give you full support. ramesh: no burden. This programme is necessary, but math is a regular subject, with almost six hours a week devoted to it. Akshara Foundation has made a timetable for nnG. It is in this context teachers say this is extra work. I feel one teacher should look after the entire programme. Jyothamma: It is not a burden on teachers, but there is extra pressure on teachers to finish the curriculum, and extra programmes like NNG take away their time. They need positive reinforcements and support from higher-ups in the education Department. Is it taking too much time away from the syllabus? Padmavathy: I don’t think so. The kit teaches what is being taught in the text book. The programme does not stand apart from the text book. The important thing is that children get to learn the concepts, taught by a different methodology. ramesh: nnG is state-syllabus-oriented. nothing extra is being taught. The state’s prescribed syllabus has been followed.

20

**challenges of the programme
**

at akshara foundation there was recognition of the fact that a programme of this nature would encounter the occasional problem. but every little roadblock was seen as a challenge. It had to be examined, a strategy deployed, to take the journey forward.

**tWo crucial issues
**

• How can akshara foundation keep the learning that has happened in 60 days intact through the year, or even the next two months? How can it ensure that concepts once grounded stay firmly in place? How can it vouch for the endurance of the programme? • The methods of nnG are unconventional. Mathematics is wholesome, spontaneous fun - that is its message. but the system is orthodox. finally, at the end of their term or academic year, children will be assessed through examinations and written answer papers. There will then be no number Grids, no games or counting boards, no extraneous support systems, only the learning retained in their minds. How will children fare then?

**soMe of the challeNges faced
**

implementing NNg

• How best could teachers implement nnG with children without dilution in content ? • all school hours were packed with the syllabus, teachers said. There was no time. Teachers were struggling with different programmes. They said they should not be forced to do NNG at a particular time. They would find a time slot suited to their convenience.

grouping children

• To identify children’s initial competency and assess them accordingly was a challenge. • How would children be grouped? Mathematics is not level-based progression and is not measured in a linear way. Children might add 4 + 4 or multiply 4 by 2 but might not know how to add 12 + 6. Grey areas would exist laterally.

a Burden

• Many teachers felt that they had so much work as it is, the maths programme was additional pressure on them. • There was one school of opinion among teachers that, with this programme too in class, children would suffer from a “mathematics overload.”

class Management

• Class management was an issue in most schools. Children who were not in the programme felt left out. It was a problem keeping them occupied during the tenure of the programme. Teachers did try innovative measures to keep them engaged. • some teachers voiced their concern about segregating children. They said that those who were in the nnG programme would go forward while those who were not, would lag behind.

teacher shortage

• It was noticed that some schools faced an acute shortage of teachers. There was therefore not enough staff for the programme.

teachers’ requests

• an unusual challenge came up when teachers in a school in Kambipura in Kengeri asked for material, though it had no nnG centres; all its children were well-versed in mathematics and did not get enrolled in the programme. But teachers realized the significance of the NNG kit and requested for it. • There were teachers who felt that akshara’s volunteers should conduct nnG in schools.

21

lack of time

• Teachers complained that they were not able to compress all the activities of the programme in one and a half hours.

results

35,768 children from bangalore south participated in nnG. of this number, 30,638 completed the programme in Kannada and 5130 children completed the programme in Urdu. 8926 children were absent for either one or both the tests. Therefore, further analysis will focus only on children who were present for both the pre and the post-tests - 26,842.

overvieW of assessMeNt

once enrolled, the children went through 20 sessions to familiarize themselves with the basic concepts and the new tools in the math kit. after completing 20 sessions, the children were given a pre-test where they were assessed in the four math competencies of the programme. The main objective of this testing was to measure the children at their ‘entry level.’ a similar test in the four competencies was given at the end of 60 sessions (‘post-test’) to measure impact relative to the entry level. The same kind of test was used both for pre and post-tests to analyze the effectiveness of the programme.

assessMeNt coMPeteNcies

The tests were conducted in four competencies, namely 1. Numeracy – number concepts and place value 2. four operations - addition, subtraction, Multiplication, Division 3. quantitative reasoning – shapes, Money, Calendar, Time 4. Mental Math - Mentally comprehend mathematics

Modes of assessMeNt

The tests in numeracy and four operations were paper and pencil tests, while the tests in Quantitative Reasoning and Mental Math were aural testing, wherein the teacher read out the question and the children listened, comprehended, and wrote the answer in the given paper. all the children were tested in the four given competencies, and the marks per competency varied from class to class, at the class– appropriate level.

22

diagNostic testiNg

The assessment was designed as a diagnostic test and covered a narrow range of content - ‘mastery of competencies’ which were considered essential/basic to learn the higher order concepts. It was not a general ‘achievement’ test that mainly appraised the overall performance of the whole class, covering a wide range of content. Diagnostic testing analysed the problems and deficiencies in student learning, which in turn helped the teacher choose the appropriate content and thinking strategies in the remedial programme. Thus the testing provided an ‘error analysis’ aiming at suitable remediation. each competency was tested and marked individually at the class appropriate level. an overall ‘composite’, or total score, was also computed. The percentage scores were then divided into 5 ‘Rungs’ (level in Hierarchy) as follows: Rung Rung Rung Rung Rung 1 2 3 4 5 – – – – – Mastery Mastery Mastery Mastery Mastery level level level level level – – – – – 1-20% 21-40% 41-60% 61-80% 81-100%

For each child, there was also a “jump in rungs” – the number of rungs the child had moved (if any). for example, a child who began at Rung 1 on the 20th day and moved to Rung 3 on the 60th day had “jumped” 2 rungs.

“Nagu Nagutha Ganitha makes children understand better. It makes explaining easier. For children this encounter with mathematics makes it real. It flows through their hands and into their minds.Their memory power rises, and the child least interested in mathematics feels inspired.” ~ Kamla, teacher, Government Kannada Higher Primary School, Ramsandra, Bangalore

23

**BlocK-Wise results
**

average assessment scores: By Block

20th Day 60th Day

**bloCK-WIse sCoRes 20th Day
**

anekal block Mean sD Rung 1 Rung 2 Rung 3 Rung 4 Rung 5 Total 61.0 21.8 284 878 1,608 2,132 1,235 6137 61.8 22.0 287 655 1,560 1,812 1,248 5562 68.3 20.7 86 320 755 1,198 1,179 3538 71.3 18.0 42 294 1,075 2,048 1,880 5339 67.9 20.8 161 534 1,362 2,237 1,972 6266 74.6 18.2 78 268 917 2,096 2,778 6137 75.8 16.8 30 199 719 2,148 2,466 5562 75.9 17.4 28 125 512 1,170 1,703 3538 76.3 15.9 22 139 701 2,082 2,395 5339 76.4 17.6 59 195 903 2,044 3,065 6266 south 1 south 2 south 3 south 4 anekal south 1

60th Day

south 2 south 3 south 4

• There was improvement in average score and an increase in the number of children at Rung 5 in all blocks. • The largest increase was in south 1 block, where the average score increased by 14.0 percentage points. • standard deviation (sD) had decreased in all blocks, showing that the spread of scores had decreased and scores had become more concentrated. • 20th day average scores were relatively high for remedial intervention. This could reflect on the student selection process, wherein the teachers identified and enrolled the children into the programme. Hence, it is possible that the group included some children who were already at high learning levels.

24

**staNdard-Wise results
**

average assessment scores: By standard

20th Day 60th Day

std.II

std.III

std.IV

std.V

ToTal

**sTanDaRD-WIse sCoRes 20 Day
**

th

60th Day

std. V 66.9 21.4 187 616 1,364 2,142 1,906 6215 ToTal 65.8 21.2 860 2681 6360 9427 7514 26842 std. II 79.3 16.3 44 168 680 2,167 3,822 6,881 std. III 74.5 17.3 47 243 1,252 2,583 2,943 7,068 std. IV 74.3 17.3 55 264 996 2,524 2,839 6,678 std. V 75.0 17.7 71 251 824 2,266 2,803 6,215 ToTal 75.8 17.3 217 926 3752 9540 12407 26842

std. II Mean sD Rung 1 Rung 2 Rung 3 Rung 4 Rung 5 Total 67.1 20.7 210 541 1,596 2,507 2,027 6881

std. III 64.2 21.1 229 791 1,882 2,385 1,781 7068

std. IV 65.2 21.4 234 733 1,518 2,393 1,800 6678

• std. II children showed the highest increase in scores from the 20th day to the 60th day as well as the highest overall score on the 60th day. • Higher classes showed smaller increases in performance.

25

distriButioN of scores

20th Day

60th Day

• The percentage of children in Rung 1, 2 and 3 decreased, and the percentage of children increased in Rung 4 and 5 on the 60th day.

**high and low scorers
**

• In this section, we focussed our progress measurement on the low scorers, children who scored in the 3 lower rungs, i.e. under 60%. • at the end of 60 sessions, the percentage of low scorers had shrunk from 37% to 18% of the total, and the high scorers had increased from 63% to 82%.

20th Day

60th Day

26

Progress of low scorers

• 73% of the children who were initially under 60% on the 20th day moved up to above 60% ( 37% to Rung 4 and 36% to Rung 5 ) by the end of the programme. • The percentage of children in Rung 1 and 2 decreased drastically, from 36% to 7%.

20th Day

60th Day

Jumps in rungs from 20th to 60th day (children scoring below 60% on 20th day)

• The largest percentage of children (36%) jumped 2 rungs • The next largest percentage of children jumped 1 rung (32%) • a small percentage (4%) of the children fell back7.

7

The small number of children who fell back in rungs may be an indication of a variety of problems: absence from school during NNG, copying, illness, etc. However, since the proportion is small, it can be considered negligible.

27

BlocK: aNeKal

enRolMenT: aneKal sTanDaRD

ClUsTeR anekal attibele bannarghatta bygadadenahalli Chikkahosahalli Dommasandra Haragadde II 157 159 162 197 230 189 212 III 213 195 177 176 199 219 185 IV 208 151 157 135 226 249 207 V 194 194 149 123 224 232 174 ToTal 772 699 645 631 879 889 778

Harappanahalli Hebgodi Huskur Sarjapura Total

263 203 209 235 2,216

248 156 186 213 2,167

217 183 178 207 2,118

223 179 191 223 2,106

951 721 764 878 8,607

2,470 children were absent for one or both tests average scores by standard: anekal

20th Day 60th Day

std.II

std.III

std.IV

std.V

28

Progress of low scorers: anekal

20th Day

60th Day

29

BlocK: south 1

enRolMenT: soUTH 1 sTanDaRD

ClUsTeR anchepalya basavanagudi Ganapathihalli Hosakerehalli Kaggalipura Karisandra Kengeri II 112 116 177 113 304 102 186 III 103 130 169 83 305 128 191 IV 107 125 121 107 221 83 169 V 98 138 141 84 170 122 158 ToTal 420 509 608 387 1,000 435 704

Mallathahalli Ramasandra srinagara Tavarekere Uttarahalli Vajarahalli Veerabhadranagara Total

81 211 96 119 198 228 160 2,203

73 200 95 117 189 206 147 2,136

41 191 108 100 185 198 156 1,912

59 170 74 99 185 168 142 1,808

254 772 373 435 757 800 605 8,059

2,497 children were absent for one or both tests.

average scores by standard: south 1

20th Day 60th Day

std.II

std.III

std.IV

std.V

30

Progress of low scorers : south 1

20th Day

60th Day

31

BlocK: south 2

enRolMenT: soUTH 2 sTanDaRD

ClUsTeR byatarayanapura Chamarajpet Hosahalli K P agrahara Kalasipalaya II 211 248 245 104 129 III 245 260 281 90 133 IV 223 275 266 106 115 V 216 254 201 101 109 ToTal 895 1,037 993 401 486

Total

937

1,009

985

881

3,812

274 children were absent for one or both tests.

average scores by standard: south 2

20th Day 60th Day

std.II

std.III

std.IV

std.V

32

Progress of low scorers : south 2

20th Day

60th Day

33

BlocK: south 3

enRolMenT: soUTH 3 sTanDaRD

ClUsTeR begur byrasandra Ejipura Gottigere Konanakunte Madivala Yellukunte II 247 194 223 225 243 267 461 III 208 182 234 210 221 267 478 IV 199 188 195 176 224 261 431 V 178 197 190 167 172 212 412 ToTal 832 761 842 778 860 1,007 1,782

Total

1,860

1,800

1,674

1,528

6,862

1,523 children were absent for one or both tests

average scores by standard: south 3

20th Day 60th Day

std.II

std.III

std.IV

std.V

34

Progress of low scorers : south 3

20th Day

60th Day

35

BlocK: south 4

enRolMenT: aneKal sTanDaRD

ClUsTeR Channasandra Doddakanahalli Hoodi Jeevan bheema nagar K R Pura Kylasanahalli Marathahalli II 163 218 244 309 282 232 192 III 152 226 257 260 296 179 160 IV 196 182 231 259 238 173 158 V 171 205 200 249 250 138 152 ToTal 682 831 932 1,077 1,066 722 662

Thanisandra Varanasi Varthur Total

255 128 246 2,269

248 178 234 2,190

212 161 204 2,014

191 160 239 1,955

906 627 923 8,428

2,162 children were absent for one or both tests.

average scores by standard: south 4

20th Day 60th Day

std.II

std.III

std.IV

std.V

Progress of low scorers : south 4

20th Day

60th Day

**education department, government of Karnataka
**

smt.yashodha Bopanna deputy director Public instruction (ddPi), Bangalore south Mr. syed Khalandar Principal-diet, Bangalore urban smt. rajeshwary deputy Project coordinator (dyPc), sarva shiksha abhiyan (ssa), Bangalore south shri. Narayan Block Educational Officer, south 1 shri. gopalakrishna Block Educational Officer, south 2 smt. Padmavathi Block Educational Officer, south 3 smt. Nagarathnamma Block Educational Officer, south 4 shri. Munireddy Block Educational Officer, anekal shri. ramesh Block resource coordinator, south 1 shri. t. Natarajan Block resource coordinator, south 2 shri. Narasimhamurthy Block resource coordinator, south 3 smt. adilakshmi Block resource coordinator, south 4 shri. gurumurthy Block resource coordinator, anekal smt. leelavathi, assitant Project coordinator, sarva shiksha abhiyan cluster resource Persons (crPs),Block resource Persons (BrPs), Master resource Persons (MrPs) and school teachers, Bangalore south

38

akshara foundation

resource team

shankar Narayan head of operations anandhi yagnaraman Programme head suman a.Nadkarni resource team Mahnoor Zamani resource team Manjunath resource team akhila Begum resource team Kouser Banu heena resource team

implementation team

south 1

raghavendra Prasad, coordinator shaziya Banu, erc Manager gayathri.d, erc Manager sumithra M, cluster volunteer lakshmamma h, cluster volunteer sarasvathi h, cluster volunteer Manjula s.v, cluster volunteer Kalavathi, cluster volunteer gowramma, cluster volunteer rehana, cluster volunteer sarver Jabeen, cluster volunteer apsari , cluster volunteer sharadha, cluster volunteer susheela, cluster volunteer sowmya {chikkathayamma}, cluster volunteer

39

south 2

h.rukmini, Block coordinator thara h.N, erc Manager Kouser Jahan, cluster volunteer ayesha B, cluster volunteer Naseem taj, cluster volunteer lakshmi devi B, cluster volunteer

south 3

venkatesh, Block coordinator suma ashok, erc Manager salma Khanum, cluster volunteer Nazahath Nazneen, cluster volunteer rizwana Banu, cluster volunteer saira Banu, cluster volunteer hemavathi K, cluster volunteer harini M.N, cluster volunteer

south 4

sunitha a.N, Block coordinator rajeshwari B.r, erc Manager Prema Bai, cluster volunteer arogya Mary, cluster volunteer anusuyamma, cluster volunteer ramya K.P, cluster volunteer ravi g, cluster volunteer Manjula M, cluster volunteer Zarina , cluster volunteer Meena Kumari, cluster volunteer gulzar Banu, cluster volunteer Jyothi v, cluster volunteer

aNeKal

Nalini B, Block coordinator Babu rajendra Prasad, erc Manager sandeep raj, cluster volunteer Manjula, cluster volunteer Bhagya, cluster volunteer shivanand, cluster volunteer somashekar, cluster volunteer Muniyallappa, cluster volunteer srinivasa Murthy, cluster volunteer Mahadevappa, cluster volunteer chandrappa, cluster volunteer Manjunath, cluster volunteer

40

Editor: Lakshmi Mohan Design and Layout: The Other Design Studio

42

Programme Report for Nagu Nagutha Ganitha, a remedial math programme conducted in government schools in Bangalore.

Programme Report for Nagu Nagutha Ganitha, a remedial math programme conducted in government schools in Bangalore.

- 5 Pillars Study of Malaysian MathematicsStudy of Malaysian Mathematics CurriculumCurriculum Study of Malaysian MathematicsStudy of Malaysian Mathematics CurriculumCurriculum Study of Malaysian MathematicsStudy of Malaysian Mathematics CurriculumCurriculum AB. RAZAK BIN SALLEHAB. RAZAK BIN SALLEH Mathematics DepartmentMathematics Department Emphases in Teaching and Learning The Mathematics curriculum is ordered in such a way so as to give flexibility to the teachers to create environment that is enjoyable, meaningful, useful and challenging for teaching and learning. The Mathematics curriculum is ordered in such a way so as to give flexibility to the teachers to create environment that is enjoyable, meaningful, useful and challenging for teaching and learning. On completion of a certain topic and in deciding to progress to another learning area or topic, the following need to be taken into accounts: On completion of a certain topic and in deciding to progressby Mones Rubini

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