The Odisha Chapter Begins 

Stepping into Odisha is an ambitious outreach for Ganitha Kalika Andolana (GKA). Balangir and Rayagada, the programme’s terrain, are two backward districts where learning indicators are not so strong.

Setting the course for GKA’s Odisha chapter was the Master Resource Persons’ (MRPs) training that Akshara conducted for 50 teachers from the two districts. They gathered in sylvan Chikkaballapur outside Bangalore, determined to pursue the training as a teaching-learning opportunity.

They are GKA’s MRPs who, as master disseminators, will cascade the training in batches to the 4600 teachers of Balangir and Rayagada. Surya Narayan Mishra, Deputy Director, Planning and Training, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), hand-picked them from amongst the best and brightest in the districts. They are Mathematics teachers, youngish, enterprising, motivated, and with an open mind. Most of them have a BSc and quite a few an MSc with Mathematics as their specialisation.

Akshara’s Master Trainer those five intensive days was a seasoned veteran – her speciality, Mathematics, training, engagement. The teachers were near-perfect trainees, diligent as students. By Day 2, they had a deeper sense of the value chain they could create in their classrooms when they took GKA to 1,98,000 children.

The training content contained the GKA sweep. The CRA Cycle – C for concrete, the teaching-learning materials (TLMs); R for representational, procedural clarity; A for abstract, the ultimate conclusions of Mathematics. The 5E Model of Learning – Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate. Group Learning Strategies, and concepts in the class 1-5 Mathematics syllabus.

The days went by in camaraderie, unlearning and learning, and a spirit of inquiry.In their feedback forms, teachers marked a vigorous Yes for parameters like: usefulness and effectiveness of the GKA TLM kit; group learning; and training content and design.

They felt they were privileged to be a select group that had mastered GKA’s teaching concepts and understood the importance of the Andolan, or movement, they could unleash and were ready to hit the ground as soon as they reached Odisha.

– Lakshmi Mohan