Bangalore in the areas of Mathematics and Science
Bangalore, Karnataka, India – Business Wire India
The five-year Mathematics and Science Curriculum Enhancement Project, a collaboration between the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and Parikrma Humanity Foundation, had a significant impact on education in Bangalore.
Led by Singapore International Volunteers (SIVs) from the education sector, the project aimed to enhance the Mathematics and Science curriculum in Bangalore. The SIVs trained about 160 Indian educators through workshops, equipping them with new skills to create more engaging lessons for their students.
A core group of 46 Indian educators were selected as Master Trainers, who subsequently trained other teachers in their communities. Collectively, about 58,700 educators and students in Karnataka benefitted from this collaboration, ensuring improved access to quality education for children in the community.
Earlier in June, the SIF conducted a project evaluation to measure and analyse the impact of the project. Key findings included:
• Effective implementation of tools and everyday objects as teaching aids
The educators are now well-versed in using educational tools and everyday objects to better aid their students’ understanding of abstract concepts. Examples included using a tangram set to form triangles in mathematics lessons and using real flowers to introduce plant parts in science lessons.
• Greater focus on process skills
The focus of teaching in schools has shifted to hone how students arrive at their answers instead of the memorisation of facts. This is supported by lessons planned based on the 5E Model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate), and complemented by science experiments and outdoor activities. These approaches engaged students more effectively and encouraged greater inquisitiveness in them.
• Improved development of critical thinking skills
Beyond finding the right answers, students are guided to explore and analyse different solutions to each problem to develop critical thinking skills.
• Enhanced activity-based learning in groups
Where passive learning in silos was the norm previously, students are now engaged through learning in groups. Through group discussions, students practice communication, collaboration and reasoning skills, and collective decision-making, which are core 21st-century competencies.
At the project’s closing ceremony on 5 June, Mr Edgar Pang, Consul-General of the Republic of Singapore in Chennai, said: “This project between the SIF and Parikrma Humanity Foundation is a great example of how lives can be improved when people come together and join hands. I look forward to more of such collaborations between the peoples of Singapore and India across the various sectors.”
Ms Shukla Bose, Founder-CEO, Parikrma Humanity Foundation said: “We are pleased to have worked with the SIF on this initiative. The training-of-trainers approach has ensured that the benefits to our teachers and students will extend well beyond the project. The approach has certainly moved the needle in raising teaching standards here.”
Dr Prem Mario, Principal at Parikrma Junior College said: “We learnt to use objects found in everyday life as interactive props to facilitate mathematics lessons, alongside other teaching techniques like mind-mapping and storytelling. After incorporating them in our classes, our students have been able to understand new concepts better and are more engaged during lessons now.”
He added: “The Singapore volunteers have been very warm and approachable every time we met. Despite travel restrictions during the recent pandemic, we kept in touch virtually and picked up like old friends when we reconnected in person.”
SIV team leader Ms Peggy Foo, former lecturer at Singapore’s National Institute of Early Childhood Development, said: “It was a humbling experience and a privilege to share our insights with the teachers in Bangalore. Their eagerness to learn has been very inspiring. This project has also challenged me to think about how we can better bring the joy of learning to our students and encourage them to be more inquisitive.”
The Mathematics and Science Curriculum Enhancement Project aligns with the Karnataka state government’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring inclusive and quality education for all, including increasing the supply of qualified teachers by 2030 through international cooperation for teacher training.
The initiative also marks a significant milestone for the SIF as it commemorates 28 years of their work in India. Over the years, the SIF has collaborated with various partners from the government, corporate and non-government sectors, in states like Maharashtra, New Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Through their endeavours in education, healthcare, arts, environment, and livelihood, the SIF fosters connections among people and communities, facilitating collaborations that bring about positive change.
About the Singapore International Foundation
The Singapore International Foundation makes friends for a better world. We build enduring relationships between Singaporeans and world communities and harness these friendships to enrich lives and effect positive change. Our work is anchored in the belief that cross-cultural interactions provide insights that strengthen understanding. These exchanges inspire action and enable collaborations for good. Our programmes bring people together to share ideas, skills and experiences in areas such as healthcare, education, arts and culture, as well as livelihood and business. We do this because we believe we all can, and should, do our part to build a better world, one we envision as peaceful, inclusive and offering opportunities for all. Find out more at www.sif.org.sg
About the Parikrma Humanity Foundation
Parikrma Humanity Foundation was started in 2003 to provide completely free, high-quality Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to the most marginalised and at-risk children from Bangalore’s slums. It has since grown into four K-12 schools and one junior college catering to 2,000 children from 100 urban slums and four orphanages.
Parikrma follows an end-to-end model, where children enter kindergarten at age five and are nurtured until they graduate at age 18 and land a job. The 360-degree development framework covers all aspects of a child’s life – including nutrition (three wholesome meals), comprehensive healthcare and family care programmes to ensure stable home environments.
Parikrma students have consistently outperformed peers at Government schools. More than 800 Parikrma alumni are pursuing a variety of courses in college, including Engineering, Dentistry, Law, Commerce and Hotel Management. 100% of alumni have graduated and are well-placed in jobs, breaking through the circle of poverty once and for all.
Since its inception, Parikrma has been providing equal education that can transform the lives of underserved children. Parikrma has now adopted five government schools and is implementing the Parikrma Way™ to impact hundreds of students and teachers in these schools. It was awarded Number 1 Social Impact School in India (2019-2020: EducationWorld).
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The Singapore International Foundation (SIF), in partnership with Parikrma Humanity Foundation, concluded the five-year Mathematics and Science Curriculum Enhancement Project in a closing ceremony and a symposium held in Bangalore, India. Attendees included (back row, left) guest-of-honour Mr Edgar Pang, Consul-General of the Republic of Singapore in Chennai, Mr Basil Ting, Vice-Consul of the Republic of Singapore in Chennai, Mr Ritesh Kumar Singh I.A.S, Principal Secretary of Education and Literacy, Department of Primary and Secondary Education, Government of Karnataka and (front row, centre) Ms Shukla Bose, Founder-CEO, Parikrma Humanity Foundation.
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