Lightening children's load

She saw schoolchildren placing their bags in a rickshaw and pushing it. "Instead of carrying the children, the rickshaw is carrying their books,'' felt Pappu Jaya Venugopal and immediately decided to evolve a new method of teaching.

Dr. Jaya, then teaching in a school, worked on a programme to evolve a different type of teaching method and soon the Life Oriented Inquiry Centre (LOIC) programme had taken shape. That was in 1985.

Talking about the programme, she says video clippings have been extensively used and real things shown to pupils. The programmes give some guidelines, but it is for the schools and their teachers to make their own material.

The LOIC, which won four national awards from the NCERT, was accepted by the CBSE and nearly 1,000 schools all over the country started implementing the concept. It was received very well at the World Council for Curriculum Instruction.

Five years ago, she decided to improve upon the LOIC and develop a programme for children of pre-primary to third standard, which she named as Concept Learning Integrated Package (CLIP). "The child doesn't carry a bag or books. All aspects of learning are integrated with concepts in CLIP,'' Dr. Jaya, Director of the International Council for Educational Research and Training (ICERT) of Chennai, said.

The emphasis was on language skills and arts and on development skills, which would create higher levels of learning and create global learning standards. The programmes were learner-oriented and the print, video and multi-media had been extensively used. The child would be continuously evaluated and only given grades, but not marks, Dr. Jaya said while explaining the CLIP before she held a workshop for school teachers in the city.

Dr. Jaya brought out 20 CDs containing academic plan for 24 academic weeks. The programme had given excellent results when experimented at a school whose pupils have no access to computers at their homes.

Dr. Jaya, who had extensively toured the world and received several awards, is organising the CLIP workshops at several places in South India and other places. The entire course is recorded in a set of 96 CDs costing Rs. 12,000. It is being offered at a 20 per cent discount at the workshops.

By Narasimha Rao G. in Visakhapatnam

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