Visit to Vidyarambam Trust – Sirkali

 Last week, myself & RaviKumar visited villages near Sirkazhi to learn more
about the tutoring centre run by Vidyarambam Trust. Few months ago we had met its
Founder, Mr.Ranganathan and discussed various projects. We decided to visit the field
and learn more.

 The Kuravalur village centre is some 10-15 Kms from Sirkazhi village. The centre Coordinator Ms.Kavitha was  kind enough to lead the way. After some bumpy ride thorugh the rural roads we were happy to see children around.  The centre itself is a very humble place, being run in local primary school. Even on a weekend, we were surprised to see many children and Staff in full strength. The learning was happening in groups. Soon we learnt a lot about the whole process from the staff themselves !

Operation of the Centre:
(Centre Coordinator – Ms.Kavitha)

– The teacher ratio is usally 1:25 students(maximum)
– For primary school kids there are 2 groups –
    a) Students from Std1 to 3
    b) Students in Std 4 & Std 5.
    c) Spoken english for Std 6-8 – run on experimental basis
– The method is evolved through their home grown research.
  Teaching method looks like another type of montessori methods.
  The children seem to be learning them with enthusiasm.
– Basic language & math skill is the focus of the centre. Idea
  is to make fundamentals very strong & they seem to be doing a
  thorough job.
– We threw up a lot of queries which Students eagerly answered.
  Even small kids were good with Alphabets & numbers. 
– All the material have been prepared by Vidyarambam Trust.

Selection & monitoring process:
– Usually village panchayat & local schools are sought for support.
– Selection of Academically weak students & training them is a unique
  process of Vidyarambam Trust.
– Then thorugh a screening process they select children with low
  fundamnetal knowledge. A small test/interaction is conducted.
– Once children are selected a basic test is conducted to assess
  the fundamentals & are compared for further progress.
  We went through the evaluation sheets used to track progress.
– Tutors selected are usually local village women who have completed
  8th or 10th, then trained for teaching methods. Most of them we met
  were educated married women who willing to take this job.

Overall we have a good picture of the teaching methods and its running.
Future India also is looking forward to join hands with Vidyarambam
on this effort adn spread the tutoring method widely to help primary
school children.
 
Mr.Ranganathan also had evinced interest if were ready to take this forward
without changing anything in the teaching methods. Since the methods
are proven we do not see any issues here.
 
More updates will follow soon ! Stay tuned !

Photos : https://picasaweb.google.com/futureindiaphotos/VidyarambamSirkazhiVisit#

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