Mathematics is a subject which some students find very easy like a game and at the same time some students find it very difficult to solve simple calculations also. Often, it is found that some students face difficulty with the subject and gradually loose interest in the subject. Where teaching the subject also brings some challenges.
Arithmetic, in most state board schools, is taught by the paper-and-pen method. However, the scene with Maharashtra Board may change as the board is contemplating a move to adopt some of Singapore’s teaching and learning methods.
Teaching methods which were traditional at the Maharashtra Board may change. Here is how they are taught solving mathematical problems-
- Primary school children in the island nation solve mathematical problems in a concrete, pictorial and abstract process.
- First, they get hands-on training with chips and dice,
- Then they move to a pictorial representation of mathematical concepts and in
- The third step to numbers and symbols for solving problems.
Maharashtra Board seems to be impressed by this and decides to use the methods in their teaching system as well.
For this, Minister of state for education Fauzia Khan and other officials of the state education department were in Singapore recently to study the country’s education system.
“Their education system lays emphasis on building and strengthening the fundamentals of mathematics and language at the primary level. They make sure that students learn through experience. The stress is on creativity and physical education.”-says Khan (Source: TOI)
The state education department issued a government resolution on March 5, stating that 20 officials will be sent to Singapore in two batches to see how primary education is imparted there.
Physical Education: “Here, physical education often means taking students to the playground. I was impressed with the teacher recruitment process too. They recruit candidates and train them to teach. We have teachers with degrees who are recruited to teach in schools,”-she added. A 40-minute physical education sessions are planned minute-by-minute.
Well, changes in the teaching system rarely affects the policy decision. She said adopting some techniques may not even need policy decisions. “The structure of a physical education class can be replicated and may not need any permission from the government. However, decisions like teachers’ training and creativity classes, will need government intervention,” Khan said.
Best Education System–
“Government officials who go to Singapore will see one of the best education systems. As of now, the emphasis is not on adopt a particular education system, but to expose them to other systems.”- says School education secretary Ashwini Bhide.
Education experts said a conducive environment in consultation with principals and teachers was necessary for any change.