Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: "When I hear, I forget; when I see, I remember; when I do, I understand."

This slogan more or less sums up the essence of the activity based learning programme introduced by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) last year. Making children learn through activities, this method refutes the conventional practice of relying on textbooks for teaching concepts. Instead, basics of arithmetic, language and science are taught with the help of pictures, working models, and songs.

Programmed learning

A huge success among classes one and two, the programme will be extended to classes three and four from this academic year, N.Kaliappan, Assistant District Project Co-ordinator said. The project would be implemented in classes three and four throughout the State, he added.

Also known as `programmed learning,' this was not an examination oriented teaching method. "The emphasis is on total personality development," he said. The children's performance would be continuously evaluated by their mentors and only if the child is thorough with one phase, it moves to the other.

The class is also divided into groups, as this would promote peer group learning. The lessons are also split into units. Through this method, the teacher could also identify the way each child responds to the various stimuli.

Mental faculties

"The teacher is merely a facilitator here. The child is given the space to develop its own mental faculties," Mr.Kaliappan said. More than Rs.3,000 was required per school for supplying the educational materials.

These would be distributed to 1,837 schools in the district. The total cost of the project was Rs. 63 lakh. A three-day training camp for block resource teachers was started on Tuesday at Perks Matriculation Higher Secondary School. Over 318 teachers from Coimbatore and the Nilgiris districts attended the camp. More than 12 trainers from Chennai are conducting the course.