Cards used in novel teaching method have been translated from Tamil to four other languages to meet the needs of govt. schools
Friday afternoon was activity time at the first-floor classroom of a Chennai Corporation Telugu-medium school on V.K. Pillai Street. Students from classes I-IV huddled in groups and got busy with their activity-based learning (ABL) cards. Only, the cards were not in their medium of instruction.
To deal with this gap, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) officials have now translated such cards from Tamil into four languages for students in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Urdu-medium government schools across the State. According to a senior official, the translation has been completed and the cards will soon be distributed.
Activity-based Learning, a teaching methodology that is employed in classes I-IV in government schools, looks at making classrooms more participatory, and gives room for children to complete activities based on various subjects at their own pace. Under the methodology, a child reaches a milestone in the subject as she completes a range of activities through ABL cards.
Since cards in other languages were not available so far, teachers used charts and various teaching aids to follow the ABL method, an SSA official said.
Teachers such as K. Shyamala Kumari, who handles primary classes at the school on V.K. Pillai Street, are looking forward to the translated cards. While the classroom has ABL cards in English (Corporation schools have cards in Tamil and English), Ms. Shyamala largely uses charts and teaching aids as well as some Telugu cards sourced from Andhra Pradesh. “I have also made flash cards based on the syllabus to teach the students,” she said.
According to an SSA official, most of the work on Urdu cards is being done in Vellore district. The Malayalam cards are being made in Kanyakumari district, Telugu cards in Tiruvallur district and Kannada cards in Krishnagiri and Erode districts.
The ABL methodology was introduced towards the end of 2002, and in January 2003, it was started on a pilot basis in 13 Chennai Corporation schools. By 2007-08, it was implemented in 37,486 schools across the State.
In 2012, it came to be called Simplified Activity-based Learning and the cards were revised to suit the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation System introduced in 2012 and also the Samacheer Kalvi Syllabus. “We reduced the number of cards and milestones in each subject, because children were finding it difficult to complete all the activities. The new symbols are also more illustrative,” an official said.
There are 310 Urdu-medium schools, 394 Telugu-medium schools, 76 Malayalam-medium and 74 Kannada-medium schools in Tamil Nadu.
Work on translating the cards into English has also been complete, an official said.
The head of a Corporation school however, still has reservations about the methodology. “The number of activities has been reduced and students finish it in no time. CCE has further simplified learning and this may not be beneficial for students in the long run,” she said.