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Updated: August 15, 2009 10:12 IST

State’s model lab makes math learning a pleasure

Meera Srinivasan
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Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu with students. Photo: K V Srinivasan
The Hindu Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu with students. Photo: K V Srinivasan

The Pythagoras theorem and algebraic equations have just got more interesting for students of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School at Ashok Nagar here.

The School Education Department inaugurated the State’s model mathematics laboratory at this school on Monday.

School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the laboratory sought to make mathematics learning a pleasure. “We often see students finding it difficult to tackle their math anxiety. When they understand concepts easily, this fear will vanish,” he said.

The laboratory has a range of models, blocks, beads and other apparatuses designed to explain mathematical concepts.

The model mathematics laboratory, set up at a cost of about Rs.1 lakh, has nearly 80 models, covering more than 275 mathematical concepts dealt with in the syllabus of Class VI to X.

The learning material and models have been developed by mathematics teachers of government schools, in collaboration with the Ramanujan Museum & Math Education Centre.

200 more labs

“We will set up such labs in 200 government schools across the State this academic year. As many as 400 resource persons are being trained. Later, they will train other math teachers. We have also given teachers a special guide to help them take students through the lab sessions,” Mr. Thennarasu said.

Speaking on the scope of such laboratories, he said besides giving students a practical and hands-on feel of the subject, the labs provided opportunities to evaluate students’ understanding of concepts.

“We could look at a practical component to examination evaluation at a later stage,” the Minister said.

School Education Secretary M. Kutralingam said the idea was Mr. Thennarasu’s.

“It was even brought up for discussion at a meeting with the Chief Minister. Great care has been taken to make it a valuable addition to classroom teaching and learning,” he said.

The laboratory seems to have brought cheer to teachers handling the subject, as well.

“Till now, we had just our textbook and maybe, a geometry box. Now we have so many aids to make concepts simpler for the students,” said Christy Arokkiya Mary, a mathematics teacher.

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