Project to cost over Rs. 6 lakh

Five more high schools run by Chennai Corporation will get math labs soon. A resolution in this regard was passed on Tuesday at the Corporation Council Meeting. In March this year, a math lab was introduced at Chennai High School on V.P. Koil Street, on a pilot basis. Students at the school seem to have taken a liking to it already. Corporation-run schools in Kodungaiyur, Sharma Nagar, Kilpauk, Nammalwarpet, and S.N. Chetty Street are among those set to get the math labs. These NIIT-supported labs will come up at cost of Rs. 6.06 lakh, with each lab costing Rs. 1,21,330.

“The first topic we dealt with was triangles, and since it was an interactive session, we learnt a lot,” said K. Lavanya, a class VIII student of Chennai High School on V.P. Koil Street. The primary aid in the math lab is the software developed by NIIT N-Guru which has activities designed for each chapter. Two periods are allotted each week for practice in the math lab and it is used by students from classes VI-X, said Nalina Kumari, headmistress of the school.

The math lab at the school has one computer in the centre of the room which is connected to a large projector, and is used by the teacher to conduct classes. Students can work in groups of three or four at the other four terminals, said Ms. Nalina. Language, however, seems to be a hurdle. While Tamil is the medium of instruction for the students, the software is in English. “The teachers do a demo, and the students follow. Since they have been trained adequately, it has not been a problem so far,” said Ms. Nalina.

The lab also has manipulatives which come in different shapes, and can be used as learning aids to understand concepts in algebra and mensuration among other topics.

In 2010, math labs were opened at the Chennai Higher Secondary School, Tiruvottiyur, and Chennai Girls Higher Secondary School in Saidapet. “The labs set up in these schools were based on hand tools unlike the new one which is predominantly software-based,” an official said.

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