Fun with Math - Chinnara Ganitha
In the area of child education, Biocon Foundation has collaborated with Pratima Rao, a prominent educationist and Macmillan India (http://macmillanindia.com/), a leading educational publisher to inculcate a love for math and self-reliance in learning through innovative mathematics text books - ‘Chinnara Ganita’.
The Chinnara Ganitha program was launched in 2006 and initially targeted children in 1st and 2nd standard in government schools. Our books are being received with much enthusiasm by children attending primary school in rural districts of Karnataka. The project covered 11,000 children in Grade 1 & 2 in its first year and 15,000 children from Grade 1 to 4 in the second year. By the academic year 2008-09, the program grew to include students from the 1st to the 7th std and reached over 50,000 students in 500 schools. In 2011-12, this self-learning module reached over 70,000 children in 900 schools in 5 districts.
In order to ensure that the books are used by the children, a dedicated Biocon Foundation team visits schools regularly. Continual interaction with the school teachers and children is necessary to ensure that the children benefit from this program.
The books are evaluated every year through group and individual discussions with teachers and students during field visits. If necessary we modify the books to make them more useful to the students. Both teachers and students feel that the book has helped strengthen their mental math abilities. We have included worked out examples at the beginning of each new concept, and the books now comprise both concept specific exercises as well as activity pages.
Through the Chinnara Ganitha camps, the Foundation team has been able to evaluate the extent of penetration and effectiveness of the project. The idea behind these camps is to provide a forum through which the team could interact with the children and teachers in different schools and get a better understanding of issues faced by them while provide solutions to the same. The camps also allow employees from Biocon to become involved in the project as they were able to volunteer their time to teach and assist these children.