Teaching students the British way

The three teachers from Banford Academy, Manchester in London, are at Canara Higher Primary School, Urva, for a week’s time as a part of the study exchange programme. The programme helped the teachers to exchange the best of their teaching techniques, writes Akshatha M

As youthful and energetic Nicola Rennie and Gemma Whalen from London displayed chocolates and told the children that they will be taught the easy methods of Maths problem solving using chocolates, the otherwise reluctant students showed all enthusiasm to learn Maths. Stressing on fun and activity filled, interactive teaching methodology, the teachers duo revealed a glimpse of how maths learning can be made an enriching experience.

The three teachers namely Cherie Rivero (principal), Nicola and Gemma from Banford Academy, Rochdale in Manchster have come to Canara Higher Primary School, Urva on February 11, as a part of the study exchange programme sponsored by the British Council. The two schools have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to carry out various projects under the study exchange programme for a period of four years. 

During their second visit to Mangalore (the first visit was in 2010) they determined to share the best of teaching methods of their school with the teachers and students of Canara school in order to make the study exchange programme fruitful. 

Speaking to City Herald, Canara Higher Primary School Head Mistress Lalana Shenoy said that both the schools are working on five different projects namely, what makes your country the best, benefits of organic farming, wants and needs of the children, managing non-biodegradable wastes and the housing system in India and in England. 

“The students have been entrusted with the responsibility of researching and completing the projects by May. These projects will help the children to understand each other’s nation. The children in our school have already completed three projects and are on the verge of completing the remaining two,” she informed.

Ask Cherie what is that in the Indian education system which has inspired her the most and there comes the reply, “value education!” Cherie is all praises for the value education and sense of patriotism among the Indian children. “When I visited Canara school in 2010, I was quite impressed with the children’s sense of patriotism which in fact promoted me to fix a pole with national flag in front of our school yard soon after I returned to London. The way the children maintain the queue, by tying their hands on their back was another disciplined practise that I implemented in my school,” she says.

However, she feels the lack of Information and Communication Technology usage in the classroom teaching in India as one of the major drawbacks of the education system here.

Informing about how the study exchange programme has brought changes in the teaching method practised in Canara school, Lalana Shenoy said that gradually the teachers in her school have changed their teaching method from teachers centred to that of child centred system.

 “Unlike earlier, the teachers now are stressing on interactive and activity filled classes which is a lesson we learnt in Banford Academy. We are trying our best to introduce knowledge based system of education over the exam based education system. The change is slowly taking place and the result will be visible in next two years,” she said.

Learning experience

The three teachers who have come from London for a week’s stay say that they had a nice time in Mangalore. The teachers and the children in Canara school exposed them to the diverse culture, tradition, festivals, costumes, dance forms and cuisines of India. Awed by the Lambani dance, they too vestured the Lambani costume and danced to the tune. 

They were also taken to a meditation session, a session on Vedic maths and for a trip around the nearby districts. Inspired by the simplicity of Vedic maths, Cherie said that they are carrying a few books on Vedic maths back to their homeland.

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