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Science - a way of life: Ashram Shala Project MH

In an interview, noted cosmological scientist Carl Sagan said – “… we've arranged a society based on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology, and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces.”

The situation described above is applicable world over, but it seems to be rather fitting for developing nations like India – with large populations that are out of the reach of literacy and education and hence the ensuing debates on how scientific progress affects our lives.

Keeping this idea in mind, Eklavya has started a new project ‘Science – a way of life’ in collaboration with Tribal Development Department, Government of Maharashtra. The project would be initiated in around 400 Ashram Shalas in Maharashtra. Ashram Shalas are residential schools for students belonging to scheduled caste and schedule tribes. The Ashram Shalas would be located in Amravati, Thane, Nagpur and Nashik ATC.  A pilot has started in Dharni PO where intensive work would be done in the Ashram Shalas. The project was inaugurated on 8th November 2017 in Maharashtra in the presence of Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vishnu Sawra, Minister of Tribal Development Department, Maharashtra, Manisha Verma, Secretary, Tribal Development Department along with Arvind Sardana and Madhav Kelkar from Eklavya.

Our initiative is based on the age-old Chinese proverb:

I hear, I forget
I see, I remember
I do, I understand

In the current project we plan to bring about a lasting change in the nature of Science teaching and learning in the middle grades (5, 6, 7 and 8) – the foundational years during which Science is introduced as a separate subject. This will be ensured through a sustained plan of training and hand-holding of Science teachers, who will then make it possible for middle grade students to learn Science –

a)    by doing simple experiments,
b)    by exploring the natural environment around them, and
c)    by building on classroom processes that ensure cooperative peer learning.

The project aims to strengthen the core. Teacher training would be provided to teachers of around 400 Ashram Shalas which would include providing them with annotated books and conducting workshops for them. It also aims at organizing residential training programs for the teachers and making them familiar with the experiments of the course along with providing them science tool kits so that they can conduct the experiments with kids in school.

Along with the teachers, the project also aims at involving students at a major level by providing science tools kits to the students. The kits would be at the school premises and would be given to students to conduct experiments. A group of 4-5 students would be using one kit. Apart from this, students who are interested in the subject would be identified from the community and the school and youth scientists and child scientists would be made.

Science reading corners would be set up in each school where study material and experiment kits would be available for the students. Science Mela would also be organized as a part of the Bal Melas that currently take place at various school to develop interest of students. Science books would be translated in Marathi, so that it is easier for the students to understand the subject. Posters would be created to make the subject interesting for students and newsletters would also be provided to teachers and students for updating them and informing them about new experiments and activities.

School Management Committee would be set up which would include teachers and parents of the students so that they are a part of this entire process.

Residential Teacher’s Training Program, Date: 23rd December 2017 to 28th December 2017
Venue: Prabodhini, Amravati

Download Time Table of Residential Tracher's Training, December 2017    

Download Srote Calender 2018  

Photo Gallery of Residential Teacher's Training, December 2017        

Residential Teacher’s Training Program, Date: 17th April, 2018 to 24th April, 2018
Venue: Hotel Royale Heritage, Nashik

Download Section Wise Time Table of Residential Teacher's Training, April, 2018

Download Consolidated Wise Time Table of Residential Teacher's Training, April, 2018

Photo Gallery of Residential Teacher's Training, April, 2018

Related Links

Photo Gallery - Inaugration: Science, a way of life

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