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Vedic Maths finds more takers during the lockdown

Niveditha D (left) and Nanditha D with their father P Devaraj   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Siblings Nanditha D, 15, and Niveditha D, 11, recently led online sessions on Vedic Maths for students of classes VI-X, of their school, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Kottayam district of Kerala. Prior to it, they had presented a paper and held a workshop on the subject at an online conference organised by the Institute for the Advancement of Vedic Mathematics, based in the UK.

During lockdown in 2020, from March to May, they took classes via Skype for over 300 students. In 2021, around 1,000 students had registered for their online sessions. A month ago, they launched a YouTube channel, Maths Made Easy by Nanditha and Niveditha. The inspiration came from their father, P Devaraj, an automobile engineer and Vedic Maths teacher. “When we started our sessions it was meant to help a few of our friends. We didn’t expect it to go this far,” says Nanditha.

Muthuselvi Prabhu 

Muthuselvi Prabhu    | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Meanwhile, in Chennai, Muthuselvi Prabhu, “works round the clock”, teaching Vedic Maths to students from the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and West Asia on a one-to-one basis; she also has training sessions for teachers in India.

Indore-based 50-year-old Ravi Asrani, is busy on weekends with students joining from across India and abroad for his Vedic Maths classes. Trainers such as Delhi-based Saurabh Jain and Kota-based Rekha Gupta too have many students attending their sessions these days.

Teachers are happy to observe that there has been an increase in the number of people learning Vedic Maths over the last few months. The subject got a boost when learning went digital during the lockdown.

Saurabh Jain from Delhi

Saurabh Jain from Delhi   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The subject consists of 16 sutras or formulae and 13 sub-sutras to solve mathematical problems. While some saw it as a new subject to explore while at home, for most, it was to get over the fear of mathematics. “It is an age-old fear! Several parents, on their part, make it worse by constantly reminding their children about it. So when you come across a technique that promises an easy way of doing calculations, it was natural for many people to try it. For parents, it was also about keeping their children engaged during the lockdown,” says Devaraj.

More awareness about the subject

Saurabh, who calls himself a “maths magician”, points out that not many people were aware of Vedic Maths until schooling shifted to the digital mode. “Earlier there were live classes once a week and the fee was high. But that scenario has changed now,” says Saurabh, adding, “We try to make it entertaining.”

For instance, instead of paying ₹3,500 per month for just three or four classes, they need to pay between ₹100-₹500 per hour for an online class. Devaraj adds that he charges ₹1,800 for a three-week, 15-hour class.

Rekha Gupta from Kota, Rajasthan

Rekha Gupta from Kota, Rajasthan   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Rekha says that learning the subject has become affordable and students have easy access to best teachers. She takes classes for four or five batches with 12-15 students each on a daily basis. “I have been teaching Abacus and Vedic Maths for 15 years now. While online teaching may not give the desired result in the case of Abacus, it works in the case of Vedic Maths. That was probably one reason why many got hooked to it when learning became digital. It is all about making mathematics fun to learn, with what many call ‘tricks’,” she says.

Muthuselvi says that the interest is more among students who live abroad. “Here, in India, we have mark-based evaluation and so we stick to the syllabus whereas in many countries all they look at is the students’ understanding of the concepts of mathematics,” she adds.

Student becomes master

There has also been a rise in the number of people training to become Vedic Maths teachers. Vidhya Vikram from Coimbatore, for instance, has trained over 3,200 people from across the country since September 2020. “While 50% of these trainers are Maths teachers, the rest comprise college students, retired professionals exploring new careers, women looking for flexible career options, parents, grandparents…. I have trained those in the age group of 23 to 78,” says Vidhya.

Vidhya Vikram

Vidhya Vikram   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

She adds that but for the pandemic and the lockdown, she herself would not have explored online teaching. “When I had live classes, only Maths teachers attended the sessions, that too very few. Now I have a webinar-based training model, where I give a demonstration and take it to more people. Over 50,000 people have attended the webinars,” she says.

A flipside is that those with elementary knowledge in Vedic Maths are also conducting classes. “Some of my students who have completed only their first-level sessions are now trainers. While I take ₹500 for 12 one-hour classes, they charge ₹2,000 or more,” adds Ravi.

Ravi Asrani from Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Ravi Asrani from Indore, Madhya Pradesh   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Meanwhile, mathematicians continue to be divided in their opinion over the origin and efficacy of Vedic Maths. However, according to Devaraj, “We never say that it is the only way to solve a problem. What we trainers stress on is that it is a creative, systematic way of approaching mathematics and not just a bag of tricks. ”

Nanditha seconds it, saying: “The first thing that we tell those who attend our sessions is that Maths is not a monster. Make it your best friend and Vedic Maths can help you in that.”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:18:44 AM |

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