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Report card on CCE: Needs improvement

The Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board has adopted a new system of evaluating the learning curve of a child, starting this year. With positive and negative feedback pouring in from all corners, Merlin Francis takes a closer look at this model.

Source: timesofindia.com

The record pass percentage of 81.82 in the SSLC exam this year is largely credited to the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation model. The CCE, as it is better known, was adopted by the Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board this year. But how has it fared? Not everyone gives it a thumbs-up. Experts hail it as a great idea whose implementation is the niggling issue.

Maya Menon, educationist, says, “The idea of CCE is excellent and was supposed to keep track of whether the child is learning. Formative assessment is important. However the way in which the DPI (Department of Public Instruction) implemented it this year leaves much to be desired.”

For instance, most teachers are not trained how to assess the child, she says. “Without being trained in the essence and spirit of CCE, we do not know if the improved pass percentage reflects actual learning at all. When done in an objective way, CCE keeps track of the child’s learning and takes action when improvement is required. However, fudging marks or simply giving high marks to the students does not indicate learning at all and is not beneficial to the child’s learning in the long run,” she said.

Niranjan Aradhya, Fellow for Child and Law, feels teachers need to be sensitized on CCE. “Teachers are used to the final examination model and focus on that. But this is an evaluation model and not examination. Evaluation is when you assess something, find out where the problem is and improve on it,” he said, adding this is when classroom transaction also improves and the child is not victimized for failure.

Anantha Narayana BC, principal of Good Shepherd School, says internal assessments are often misused. “No specific parameters are used while gauging these 20 marks and teachers are partial towards many students. They give full marks without thinking much. Children on the other hand are not very co-operative when these assessments are conducted.”

The teachers cannot be blamed entirely, he says. “There are so many students to assess and they end up throwing marks due to lack of time,” he says. “To a certain extent, it is unfair. Students sometimes get the marks they don’t deserve.” He claims this has lead to an overall improvement in performance this time as gaining 20 marks is comparatively simple.

MA Khan, principal of KK English School, believes achievement of children has drastically come down this year though the pass percentage has increased. “The DPI was not clear with most things. We got to know about the internal assessment in September when most children were focusing on their project,” he said. However, CCE is beneficial in that hidden talents of students are unleashed, like public speaking and drawing, he says.

Mohammad Mohsin, Commissioner, department of public instruction, says schools could not randomly give marks to students and had to maintain a record of how the child fared and where he or she had improved. “Regular, surprise and random inspections were done by our committee who even gave suggestions to the schools,” he says. The process will continue this year and complaints and suggestions are welcome, he says.

(With inputs from Alisha Deshmukh and Varuna Jeethender)

What is CCE:
Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation model was introduced first by the CBSE. It looks at a two-pronged way of assessing children: formative and summative. Formative tests comprise the student’s work at class and home, the student’s performance in oral tests and quizzes and the quality of the projects or assignments submitted by the child. Summative tests are the regular three-hour long exams conducted by the school and board. Twenty per cent of marks will be based on internal assessment, which will be the average of formative assessment done at four different levels, and 80% on board exams.

And the winners of our #MathinIndia Meme Contest are:

A couple of months ago, we highlighted the situation of #MathinIndia with some Bollywood-inspired memes.
Little did we expect what came next.

We were bombarded by spontaneous responses from many people, each giving us their own take of our posters or with a meme of their own.
Naturally, this inspired us to open it out as a CONTEST for one and all.

1

It goes without saying that we were flooded by many interesting memes. Which was the cause of a big problem – choosing the best.
After a lot of debates over many a coffee, we have our winners!

We finally used not three or five, but SEVEN of the most interesting entries we received for our next set of posters! :)

1.
helen

2.
hawa hawai

3.
thakur

4.
jhakaas

5.
mala

6.
bulawa

7.
munnabhai

CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS!
We will touch base with each of you separately.

A big thank you to all those who participated. You not only made our cause huge, but also made it fun and exciting.

IF YOU missed out on making it to the top seven, fret not.
WE WOULD LOVE TO POSTERIZE YOUR MEME as a special gesture, for your personal use. All in the name of Math. Just reach out to us at sushmita@akshara.org.in

Continue spreading the word about our #MathinIndia Campaign. May the power of Math be far greater than the fear of it.  

Pic credits: All images have been sourced from public online sources ( seeyourinterest.comcomputerhackinglovers.wordpress.commrandmrs55.com, sridevikapoor.com, chitramala.inpixshark.comyoutube.com) solely for non-commercial and social good purpose. 

AKSHARA FOUNDATION TURNS 15.

Dear Akshara Supporter,

15 years! Yes, we at Akshara Foundation just celebrated our 15th anniversary and so far it has been an incredible journey. What began as a small effort in the year 2000 by two people, gathered momentum over the years and has now fully accelerated into a movement, with 112 employees to ensure every child in school and learning well.

Through the ups and downs (and there have been enough of both) and over the years we have been able to impact the lives of over 10,00,000 children in government primary schools in the state of Karnataka with our library, Math and English programmes.

In doing so your support and collective belief that Akshara Foundation could and would reach new milestones has been a beacon of hope and a challenge we constantly strive to pursue with relentless zeal.

We are proud to have adhered to our core values and uncompromising resolve towards the cause. Winning the Namma Bengaluru Award further tells us that we now have a greater responsibility to change and shape the lives of many more children. We assure that in the days to come we will deliver more on this promise.

Thank you for being with us all these years. We absolutely could not have come this far without you nor can we take this extraordinary journey ahead without your help. Keep holding us to high standards as we continue our journey with real generosity of spirit, cause and action.

Sincerely,

Ashok Kamath                                                               Kanchan Bannerjee

Chairman                                                                         Managing Trustee

THUMBS UP

At Akshara Foundation we are poised at a very interesting juncture – holding on to our core values while looking at newer ways to pursue our mission. The last three months have been spinning around like a carousel on speed with more than one reason for us to celebrate creativity, achievement, talent, service to society and passion towards the cause. Here are some special mentions…we are ever so proud to share.
Namma Bengaluru Award
namma bengaluru Akshara Foundation won the prestigious Namma Bengaluru Award 2014 in the Citizen Group category. The award acknowledged our contribution to generate sustainable and impactful improvements to the city and its residents.
HP’s Most Impactful Project
HP Social Award HP asked its employees to vote for the volunteer projects that made the biggest impact. Based on more than 16,000 votes, three projects from Bulgaria, Costa Rica and India were chosen as candidates for the Most Impactful Project award. Akshara Foundation won the Social Media Vote at HP’s Most Impactful Project contest. The award is worth USD 10000, and we won an additional USD 10000 for being nominated as one of the finalists.  
Padma Shri for T.V. Mohandas Pai
Padma Sree The man behind India’s largest school mid-day meal programme and the member of Akshara Foundation’s board of trustees, T. V. Mohandas Pai was conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award. A recognition well conferred and well deserved.  
Grammy for Ricky Kej
Ricky Ricky Kej – Bengaluru based musician who also composed our much loved math song won the 57th Grammy awards for his work in album Winds of Samsara. A proud moment for all of us. Congratulations Ricky. You can listen to the math song here

THE READING CORNER

The 8th of March this year was a sunny day with temperatures rising way above comfort zones. Perfect to stay indoors and cozy up with a book and a cold lemonade. IMG_20150308_084244 Akshara Foundation swooped in with just the answer. Since it was time for the next edition of Sunday Soul Santhe, we thought, what better than a cozy reading corner for kids to plonk and chill, away from the heat. IMG_20150308_092247 The main objective however, was to spread the word about Akshara Foundation in general and our classroom libraries at government schools in particular. Sunday Soul Santhe is a quarterly flea market that sees throngs of people come together and encourage small business owners with their art, be it crafty creations, good food or great music. IMG_20150308_092607 And so, that was how the Reading Corner came to be. We set up a yellow and white-hued cozy little reading space complete with beds and bolsters, where kids could just get lost in our re-creation of the classroom library. And they did just that. While getting kids to warm up to the corner initially was tough, we soon realized that was because of growling tummies. Post lunch, the corner was pretty much the most sought-after attraction at the Santhe. IMG_20150308_131137 While a couple of boys were seen begging their folks to let them just chill in the reading corner, another came back as promised after getting his face painted. Once they were in, no one wanted to leave! Each one aptly found a reading position befitting a perfectly lazy afternoon. And that was the last their parents heard them grumble at the Santhe. soul santhe collage Irrespective of our age, this is precisely what books do to each and every one of us, right? They take us into a completely different world.  A world no one should be deprived of or kept away from. And that’s exactly what Akshara aims at doing with the classroom library – giving children their right to imagination and innovation, at every stage of their childhood.

#MathinIndia

Did you know that only 25.3% of children in Std III can do two digit subtraction or that the percentage of children in Std II who still cannot recognize numbers up to 9 has increased over time, from 11.3% in 2009 to 19.5% in 2014.

The numbers revealed by Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014, released in January, this year, clearly state that Math learning levels in the country continue to be a serious and major source of concern.

Well, this was big news that went nearly unnoticed. To draw attention to this and remove the bite out of Math, we have meme-fied the big news and piggy backed on the cultural phenomena that is Bollywood.

We have couched the common fears surrounding Math with catchy dialogues by much loved Bollywood characters hoping to engage a wider and bigger audience into the conversation around the education of our children.

So let’s take stock, break/kick the shibboleths surrounding Math and build up  #MathinIndia. One Bollywood-inspired meme at a time. Enjoy!

math1 math2 math3 A big shout out to one and all to tweet it, post it, plus it, pin it and share it. Help us spread the word. As Carol Bellamy, former global executive director of Unicef said, “Education is far too important to be left only to educationists”.  

Disclaimer: All images have been sourced from public online sources solely for non-commercial and social good purpose. 

MAKKALA HABBA

 It was a day that made everything about it festive and brought a smile on your face, right from the confetti-coloured dhurries lacing the floor to the waving greens and gorgeous sun. Yes. It was the perfect day to celebrate the happy shrieks and riot of expressions exploding all around – the kids that revolve around our life and work.
The pre-school field team at Akshara Foundation recently organised a Makkala Habba, which literally means Children’s Festival. It was held at the Haragadde Anganwadi Centre, part of the Anekal ICDS project.
Children, their mothers and workers from three anganwadi centres formed the core of this celebration. In addition, we were joined by the Panchayat president, CDPO , health workers and the Head Master of the nearby government school, taking it to a whole new level.
The day-long festivities included sports activities for teachers and mothers & a cultural programme for the kids. This was followed by a Lego bricks competition for mother-children duo teams that brought out the best of the creativity.
It was the perfect occasion to bring community mothers, local leaders and the education department together and stress on the importance of pre-school education.
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Coverage by Vijaya Vani
makkala habba1
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makkala habba2
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makkala habba4
makkala habba3
1
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The winning mother-daughter duo
- Bhagya Kumar

CELEBRATING OUR VOLUNTEERS

October 2014 was an overwhelming month for all of us at Akshara. It was the month we held 38 holiday camps for 2800 children across Hoskote. Aptly titled ‘OUR CHILDREN, OUR PRIDE’, These 3-day camps comprised of village walks, games, singing and drawing competitions, a Spelling Bee, clay modeling etc. Needless to say, they were a big hit with the children. Such a large-scale event would not have been possible without the untiring help we got from over 235 volunteers. So on the 24th of January, Akshara recognized these volunteers with a ceremony befitting their efforts. cSmt. Pavithra Devi, the Block Resource Coordinator from the Education Department was the chief guest. She was joined on stage by our head of Operations and Community Development Shankar Narayan from Akshara Foundation and one of the teachers from GKLPS Pethhalli. bIt goes without saying that the highlight for the day was a splendid dance that the children put up. Decked in multi coloured ethnic clothes, flowers and blushed cheeks, they were a complete riot. Not to forget, the smiles on their faces were proof enough of how much they enjoyed performing on stage. IMG_20150124_114638525 While a thank you speech by our guests said it all, our volunteers were also given a memento and certificate, followed by a grandiose lunch. aAnd the best part of our day was their parting words: “We are all comingback and helping Akshara again, when the need arises.” It is precisely these kind of relationships that Akshara cherishes and values.   Below is detailed report of the event, written by our very own Srikanth Bhat. article image  

- SRIKANTH BHAT

At these anganwadis, mothers are in-charge.

As part of the Malur, Dharwad and Bengaluru ICDS project spearheaded by our pre-school team, as many as 251 women now have a new role – that of Wellness Moms. In this role, these women as mothers, raise community involvement and conduct authentic assessment that captures the learning and growing process and social and emotional well being of pre-schoolers in anganwadis, as it happens.
 
We at Akshara Foundation have put them – the mothers, at the helm of assessing their child’s development and also rally for more community involvement in monitoring and assessing the working of anganwadis. To do this more effectively, our preschool resource team has equipped the mothers with a 62- indicator development tool. 
 
A comprehensive tool – the 62 indicators span from general awareness, cognitive development, language, fine motor to social, creative and emotional domains.
 
A series of trainings and workshops and tiding over resistence by the anganwadi teachers, these mothers are already out visiting various anganwadis to determine the wellness of their children and if the anganwadis are performing satisfactorily. 
 
To a great extent they have been able to accomplish the stated intent.  The mothers are now being accompanied and assisted by young girls and SHG members, clearly indicating that more members from the community are getting involved. Not only do they feel that this idea makes a ton of sense but is also being executed and delivered in a way that’s both compelling and result oriented.
 
The highly motivated mothers are making full use of our teaching and learning material (TLM) for assessment and are warming up to the idea of adopting such accountability measures based on the scores gathered from the 62 –indicator development tool.
 
An initiative worth pursuing, though not simple – is what most mothers feel are and they want to show what such support interventions that ensure accountability and improvement mean to them and their children in anganwadis.
 
Cheers to the mommy power/wellness mommy!
 
Download the 62-indicator development tool here
- Authored by writer@educationjams