Raipur: In Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Kanker district, children in over 100 government schools, which are suffering from a lack of teachers, are now learning basic mathematics through an innovative method of video lectures in Hindi.
The brainchild of Kanker Collector Shammi Abidi, the video lecture database titled 'Setu' (bridge) is currently being used for running a remedial course in mathematics for class IX students and for weekly training of primary and middle school maths teachers who do not have the subject background.
The district falls in the under-developed Bastar region where government schools suffer tremendously from lack of teachers. To add to the woes, skilled teachers from outside are reluctant to come to the conflict-ridden zone and the locals lack the training.
Understanding the problems it posed for the future generations, Abidi took it upon herself to do something to change the situation.
"The remedial course for maths is being run in more than 100 high schools where a significant improvement has been observed in the learning level of the students," she claimed.
"Such an initiative in a systematic and effective manner is being taken arguably for the first time in Hindi medium government schools of the country," the IAS officer said.
The course was started in the current academic session and shall be completed by the middle of this month, she said.
"Video lectures were developed with the help of screen-casting technology, similar to the technique used in video lectures of an internationally known academy," she said.
The Bastar region faces a problem of lack of teachers particularly for mathematics and science.
However, after launching of 'Vidya Mitan' project by the government, the problem was solved to a great extent but still interior pockets are devoid of teachers, she said.
The video lectures concept was introduced to address the problem so that students from these areas could get some kind of guidance, she said.
On how the method conceptualised, Abidi said during a review exercise in December last year, they came to know that the students of class IX and X are unable to carry out basic mathematical calculations.
Lack of skill was also found among teachers as a large number of maths teachers at the primary and upper primary level are from the arts background....