Step into one of their classes and you are likely to find high school students meddling with a skipping rope to understand complex mathematical or engineering problems.
Students in the Jed-i Explore class are seated in groups that are called Mega, Kilo, Giga and brainstorm and get a “kick” in solving the problems. What Bhargava Desai, a class ten student who has attended the programme says will make you realise why this programme is a “class apart”. He says that it is in this programme that getting confused is encouraged. “We are allowed to discuss in groups and explore things better. I learnt concepts such as modular arithmetic in a jiffy,” he said. One of his takeaways from the programme, he says is that he has learnt to compare things in life to mathematics and compare mathematics to life.
In fact, V. Vinay, Chairman of Jed-i says that the purpose of the programme is to “uncoach the child” and provides parents an alternative to coaching. Speaking of what prompted him to start this programme, he says. “One of my friends’ daughter got admitted to an IIT coaching class in class eight and my immediate question was, Why would you do that? Only to realise that there are no alternatives.”
He says that the purpose of the programme is to provide children a playground for exploration and to experience the joy of problem solving as well as mathematical thinking along with programming and a glimpse of what hands-on engineering is all about. Mr. Vinay who was a former professor of Computer Science at the Indian Institute of Science founded Jed-i which has focused on addressing engineering education over the last five years and has helped 2000 students annually. His programme for high school students has been a recent addition and started in October in order to help students break away from the cycle of marks, tests and exams. He says that his programme is open to children whose parents can see beyond marks and competition.
The foundation programme which is held for 80 students in two batches consists of eight sessions that are spread over the weekends and some students opt for a year long programme. Those who wish to get more details can log on to http://explore.jed-i.in or call on 96867 00188.