Huddled together, students of the Malleswaram Corporation School and a few parents were intently listening to the explanation on air pressure. A little away was another group trying to understand the science behind eclipses.
On Friday, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) launched the initiative where students can learn about scientific concepts hands-on. The civic authority tied up with Agastya Foundation which has provided the mobile laboratory. This lab will visit each of the 33 BBMP high schools in the city.
Shilpa Nayak, a Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) student, was clearly thrilled at this sort of practical learning. “By looking at these models, we learn much quicker and understand the concepts better. This mobile lab will certainly help us score better in our exams,” she said.
Many BBMP schools don't have fully-equipped science labs and this tells on their performance. The pass percentage of BBMP schools in 2009-10 SSLC examinations was just 37. To improve the percentage this academic year, the BBMP has tied up with Akshaya Patra Foundation to provide workbooks for all SSLC subjects.
At the launch of these initiatives on Friday, BBMP's Education Standing Committee Chairperson B.V. Ganesh said seven high school principals were due for retirement and urged BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah to postpone or extend their retirement till the end of the academic year.
Mr. Siddaiah urged students to keep up their morale. “There are shortcomings in our schools compared to private schools. However, we're making efforts to remove them.” Stating that even he had studied in a Kannada medium government school, he said that scores of corporation school students had achieved much.
On the occasion, seven students who had secured high marks in the SSLC examination were given Rs. 5,000 each. Malleswaram MLA C.N. Ashwathnarayana, Leader of Opposition in the BBMP Council M. Nagaraj, Gayathrinagar councillor Chetana Gowda, vice-president of Akshaya Patra Foundation Chanchalapati Das, and members of the Standing Committee were present.