Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great Teacher Resources for Afterschool

Tulika Books has some really good resource books for teachers - on story telling and art for now. Here is the link to the website.

Take a look around - especially at their books for children. They are wonderful - imaginative stories, great production, charming illustrations. The only 'problem' is that they are a little expensive. So while they may be great for the library in a school or afterschool center, making a personal collection may not be affordable to many.

If not HomeSchool - Atleast AfterSchool?

I see afterschool programmes in India as very different in purpose from the ones in the western world. There the focus seems to be on 'keeping kids out of trouble' and to some extent on enrichment. Here, I think afterschool can have more 'radical' leanings - providing learning in a non-hierarchical, non-competitive, non-instructive, non-passive mode. Ok - I'll make that positive - egalitarian, cooperative, constructive and active. Sounds better?

Alternative education and homeschooling seem to be slowly taking root in India as well. Here is an article from Tehelka on homeschooling in India. But this route is not for everybody. While many parents may sincerely appreciate the need for alternative ways to engage with learning, they may not be 'radical' enough to break free from the system. Here is where afterschool programmes can play a role.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Afterschool Today...Make Children's Day Happy for ALL Children!

A day celebrating childhood! Your children will have a great day at school - with games, plays, competitions, and maybe sweet treats! How about a differently pitched programme for afterschool?

As children, they do have a responsibility for other children not as privileged as they are. How about a gentle reminder of this reality afterschool? After all, children's day is not just about feeling smug about yourself - it is about making sure that every child gets a safe, nurturing childhood.

Here are a few resources that can help:

UNICEF has a collection of good online games - children can learn about (and take action - though virtual) issues such as sanitation, water supply, fund raising for development, etc. Here is the link.

For a detailed report on the profile of children in India (health, nutrition, education,...) from the Government of India, click here.

Wishing a truly happy children's day for all children.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lies, damned lies and... for Afterschool

One of my (many, many) dream projects is to take statistics on human development and make math 'problems'. While I will do so some day, you can have a dig at it right away!

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) publishes the Human Development Reports. Here is the link to the statistics in the latest HDR 2007-2008. Pick up the data and use it in your afterschool math programme. Let children browse, compare, stare, gasp... and yes, make graphs.

This is one session that is bound to make an impact - who can be flippant about numbers which say the life expectancy in Zambia is 40 years while in Japan it is 82?