CSpathshala Team and Rotary Club of Pimpri organised a Principal’s Meet on 27th June 2018 with participation of Principals, Management and Teachers from 10 schools in PCMC, Faculty from the Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, Rotarians and Anns. The meet began with a Welcome by the Rotary President Mr. Bimal Rawat, and Rotarian Vibha Zutshi, a CSpathshala overview and a status update by Vipul Shah.
CSpathshala team has worked towards collecting regular feedback to support schools and address the challenges faced through classroom sessions, school visits, workshops & calls.
The objective of this meet was to provide a platform to schools to share their experiences on CSpathshala curriculum implementation and any challenges faced. The teachers experience sharing session included Mr. Hrishikesh Deshmukh, Christeria School, Ms. Seetha Ramdas, Vice Principal, GGIS and Ms. Neha Joshi, Kalmadi High School, Aundh.
Mr. Hrishikesh shared how the well designed the CSpathshala curriculum and the online resources helped Christeria school implement the curriculum for Grades 1 to 8. Teaching computing without the use of computers using real life examples helped children think logically. Teaching programming using games and puzzles was fun. Scratch Programming taught to 8th and 9th standard students with a primary goal to improve student’s basic concepts of computational thinking. Students participated in Google India “Learn to Code” contest. The school also conducted Interclass Programming Competition awarded the best team and best programmer.
Ms. Seetha spoke about the existing ICT curriculum in schools which focuses on history of computers, hardware and software, boring content and rote learning. GGIS felt the need to change the curriculum and the opportune moment came when Rotary connected them to CSpathshala. Their journey began with hosting the CSpathshala Awareness Workshop in March 2017 and adoption of CSpathshala curriculum across Grades 1 to 8 in April 2017. Teachers equipped on CSpathshala curriculum through training programs, classroom sessions and feedback visits along with the Teaching aids made the roll out smooth and children enjoyed the lessons. Challenges faced were no printed textbooks and parents queries of how to they prepare the children for the exams as they were not accustomed to accessing online curriculum. Teachers helped parents with the website and cleared their doubts on “Why no MS Office”. The school gives out printed copies of the worksheets with a summary of the lessons added. Seetha also shared the keen interest of students to explore and learn changed the role of the teachers to “facilitators”.
Ms. Neha Joshi shared the transition from the first year of sampling some lessons to adoption of the CSpathshala curriculum for Grades 1 to 5 for 2018-19. Curriculum focus on science versus technology has helped children develop a step by step approach to solve problems and helped improve logical thinking. Real life examples and worksheets make difficult concepts easy for children especially for those who have a fear of Maths find the same concepts easy to comprehend. Challenges faced by their school were “Why Computational Thinking curriculum and Why no text books?”. This was addressed by the school through parent orientation sessions, providing links to access the online curriculum and parents attending the classroom sessions conducted by CSpathshala.
The Principals panel discussions was moderated by Venkatesh R had Principals: Ms. Mukherjee, Christeria School, Ms. Bharti Bhagwani, GGIS and Ms. Ritu Mendiratta, The Stepping Stone School sharing their views. The discussions began with how they adopted the CSpathshala curriculum. Ms. Bharti shared that they changed over completely to the CSpathshala curriculum in 2017-18 and after receiving excellent feedback moved on towards a systematic implementation by the Principal and Vice Principal planning the lessons with the teachers, attending classroom sessions and monitoring implementation. Ms. Ritu started with a blended approach to adoption of the complete curriculum with a systematic plan accompanied by supporting the teachers in implementation. Ms. Mukherjee shared that they plan to adopt the complete curriculum. Ms. Ritu shared that initially the lessons had to be chosen carefully as they had an existing curriculum to avoid any additional burden on the students.
All the Principals agreed that they could explore blending the CSpathshala curriculum with Maths, with Ms. Ritu sharing an example of how easily the children were able to comprehend GCD when taught using the CSpathshala curriculum. As the curriculum is pen and paper based the children from the lower economic strata are also able to cope up.
The Principals shared the need for such platforms: workshops, meets which would help increase experience sharing amongst the teachers. The challenges that the Principals shared was the high iteration of teachers and hence the responsibility of training the new teachers lies with the Principals and the existing teachers. Also the Principals shared that the teachers are not tuned into sharing their doubts/difficulties on online forums.
All Principals concluded that the systematic implementation of the CSpathshala curriculum with support provided by the school management would help children develop problem solving and logical reasoning skills which prepare them for the future!