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Tamil Nadu News Papers - Education - TNIUS Coimbatore

English ‘Anna’ enthrals corporation schoolkids

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The Times of India              03.08.2013

English ‘Anna’ enthrals corporation schoolkids

CHENNAI: The class with 100 students was as silent as it is on a Sunday. After Craig Jenkins brought alive tale after tale, it was entertainment that no television could provide.

Language had little role on Friday when Jenkins, a UK national doing a masters in Southasian studies, enthralled students of Classes 4 and 5. He used mostly gestures, facial expressions, some English and a smattering of Tamil to tell stories that brought a world of fantasy into the classroom at the Chennai Corporation Primary School.

And Jenkins used Kollywood in good measure. When he sang "Singam singam he's Doraisingam," the children didn't need another word to identify the 'rabbit and lion' story. Not only did they sing and act along, some of them went ahead of the storyteller to finish the tale. Sridevi, a student, began guiding her friends to answer along. "The first few words I learned in Tamil were animal names because those are storytelling essentials and children can relate to them," said Jenkins, who was drawn to storytelling because of his interest in Indian epics.

Most of his stories are based on Indian fables and epics such as the Panchatantra, Ramayana and Mahabharata, but he weaves popular lines from trending movies and songs into the tales he spins. "The story is the same but the method of storytelling is different. It's interesting to narrate folktales in India with the masala as people can connect to them. A rendition of the same in the UK could get me credits but people may not understand."

Jenkins is not new to the country. He has been visiting India, Kancheepuram in particular, since 2007 for storytelling and also to learn Therukoothu. "I am a student of Kattaikkuttu Sangam in Kancheepuram through which I've visited and performed in nearby villages," said Jenkins. He said performing for children from villages is a challenge but it is close to his heart as they may have never had an opportunity to be entertained. "They call me the Anna (brother) of storytelling," he said.

The storytelling event was organised by Spring and Zoom, an after-school reading and language development centre in K K Nagar. The organisation has conducted events for school students as well as teachers. "The participation has been limited as the teachers are not able to bring their children to our centre. So we wanted to go to them instead. This is our first programme in a corporation school and we hope for many more," said Gargi Advaithi of Spring and Zoom.


Corporation distributes books to its kids

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The Hindu              24.07.2013

Corporation distributes books to its kids

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER:Students showing their books at a function in Madurai on Tuesday.— Photo: S. James
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER:Students showing their books at a function in Madurai on Tuesday.— Photo: S. James

Even as many schools lacked space for library, the Madurai Corporation on Tuesday distributed library books to its schools to develop the reading habit among students.

Nearly 3,600 books worth Rs.2,40,000 were distributed, which were received by headmasters and headmistresses of 24 corporation schools across the city. Each school got around 150 books.

Addressing the event, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa said that the purpose of bringing students and teachers together from different schools was to ensure a wider reach of the benefits of reading books.

“I appeal to all students to make the best use of these books that have been given to their schools. It is extremely beneficial when books like these are available at schools so that students learn more,” he said.

Corporation Commissioner R. Nanthagopal also stressed the importance of reading and hoped that it would open multiple doors of opportunities for the students.

While the students and Principals of the Corporation schools agreed that the books were a welcome addition to their classrooms, a few of them also spoke about the lack of fully functional libraries in the schools.

“There is no library in our school since there is no space or a designated librarian,” said the headmistress of a corporation school.

“Most private schools have separate reading rooms equipped with bookcases and furniture and infrastructure like this for our schools will be useful,” she added.

Of the 66 corporation schools in Madurai, only one school has a fully functional library that was inaugurated last year. However, Education Committee Chairperson Suganthi Ashok, told The Hindu that plans were under way to convert a school on South Veli Street into a library.

“There are hardly a couple of primary students in the school. We will make sure that they are enrolled in another school. There is a plan to convert the space into a library for students of all corporation schools in the city,” she said and added that another school in Narimedu had been identified for the same.

A few schools, however, which had the space for reading rooms, had a different story to tell. “We have rooms with bookshelves that we use as a library. Teachers are assigned to lend books to students either before or after school hours,” said Vasantha Pazhanirajan, headmistress of the Bharathiar Corporation Higher Secondary School.

When asked about the loss of interest in reading due to excessive pressure on students to perform well in academics, Ms Vasantha said “We make it a point to tell students during the daily prayer to read and encourage them to borrow books.”


AIF to assist Corpn. schools to improve performance in examinations

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The Hindu                 09.07.2013

AIF to assist Corpn. schools to improve performance in examinations

Staff Reporter

As many as 300 students in Class X to be covered in the pilot project

The American Indian Foundation (AIF), a non-profit organisation that is implementing a ‘Digital Equaliser’ (DE) Programme in Coimbatore Corporation Schools, has been roped in to help the Corporation school students improve their performance in Class X board examinations.

Addressing a meeting of Corporation school headmasters here on Monday, Corporation Commissioner G. Latha said that the foundation could help the schools and provide training to Class X students who secure last five ranks. This training would cover a total of 300 students.

The objective should be to increase the pass percentage in Class X board examinations from 90 per cent last time to cent per cent. Such initiatives cannot succeed without the cooperation of the school teachers, she added.

V. Alexander, zonal coordinator (DE programme) of foundation, said that these students would be covered under a pilot project, ‘Bright Brain Classroom.’

Under this, he said that students would be trained in developing concentration and mind power. It would teach them an easy way of understanding academic concepts and help create interest in the subjects. The training would also focus on increasing these students’ intelligence quotient and help them overcome distraction, he added.

Speaking later, Mayor S.M. Velusamy said that the initiative’s objective was to bring the quality of Corporation schools on a par or even better than private schools.

Digital story telling

Earlier, Corporation school students who had undergone summer training in digital story telling gave a presentation on their projects.

While two Class X students from the Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School, Ranganathapuram - M.Vidya Priya and B. Deepashree – gave a presentation on unhygienic conditions of food preparation in roadside shops, another two Class X students from the Corporation Higher Secondary School, Peelamedu - S. Logesh and A. Durga Prasanth – gave a video presentation on water conservation and how to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases. The best projects were given awards during the meeting.

Cash award

a team from the Corporation Higher Secondary School, North Coimbatore, has won a cash award of RS. 20,000 in the fifth edition of the annual student DE content, which is conducted at the national level by the AIF.

The team, comprising eight students from classes VI to IX, had prepared an herbal garden project and researched on areas such as the quantity of red soil, fertilisers, herbal seeds and irrigation system required for the garden.

The Coimbatore students’ projects were evaluated by the teachers of the Chennai Corporation School. It had shared the first place with another school from Chennai. A total of 46 Corporation schools in Tamil Nadu had taken part. Around 1,500 Corporation/Government schools had taken part in the event nationally.


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