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Godhra Maths Workshop

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  • Sadbhav Mission
    Friends,Two days ago I have returned from Godhra after participating in our twoday Maths workshop. Here is my report. We had been trying to organize this event
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2005
      Two days ago I have returned from Godhra after participating in our two
      day Maths workshop. Here is my report. We had been trying to organize 
      this event for the last four months but due to the demise of one key
      associate Mr. Thakar, Principal, Technical High School, retiremement of
      Mr. Mam ji, Principal, Iqbal High School, and clashes with local events
      and exams this got pulled to March 2-3. On March 12, board exams for 
      class X begin, to be followed by other exams, hence we could not reach the
      target of attracting 1000 students. 
      Kindly send me your suggestions.
      Best regards
      Vipin Tripathi
                      Mathematics Workshop Held in Godhra
                                 V. K. Tripathi
      Sadbhav Mission, in collaboration with Rationalist and Humanist Society,
      Godhra, organized their second Two-Day Mathematics Workshop in Godhra
      nn March 2 and 3, 2005. The first workshop was held in November 2004
      in which 1000 class X students and 22 teachers had participated. The
      present workshop was bit subdued, with only 290 class IX students and 
      five teachers. 
      The objectives were: 1) to bring the children of different communities
      together, 2) to develop confidence in them about basic mathematical
      operations, decimals, trigonometric functions, height & distance
      problems. and electrical circuits, 3) to generate awareness about 
      problems of the masses in the district, viz. education, employment and 
      Dr. Sujaat Vali played the leading role in mobilizing students and
      teachers from Union Iqbal High School, Navrachna High School, 
      Govt. Technical High School, Iqbal Girls High School, and M.E.T. High
      School. Dr. A.K. Sharma, from IIT Delhi, also visited these schools 
      three days prior to the workshop. He and Mr. Yaqoob Khan, an engineer from
      Valsaad, revived contacts with Govt Arts and Science College. This time,
      however, college students were busy preparing for exams hence their
      cooperation in the workshop could not be obtained. Mr. Mukund Bhai 
      Sindhav with his continued efforts to promote scientific thinking provided
      a conducive atmosphere. Mr. Anwar Kurkur and his friend translated the
      Sadbhav Mission booklet "Mathematics ke Saral Qaide" into Gujrati, typed
      set it and made copies. Mr. Feroze Khan (Lara Hospital) assisted them in
      various arrangements.
      Navrachna High School provided the venue for the workshop, making six of
      their class rooms and assembly hall available to us. Mr. Suleman Daulti,
      administrator of the school extended his full cooperation. So did the
      principal of Technical High School Mr. Ashwin K. Shukla. IIT Delhi 
      friends Dr. Anamika Sharma, Pawan Kumar, Naveen Kumar, Vivek Sajal, Vishwabandhu
      Pathak, Ashok Kumar, Gagan Kumar, Anuraj and Deepti Pachauri helped
      develop tutorial sheets and demonstration experiments. 
      The students were divided into six groups. Two brilliant colleagues
      Mr. Salim J. Shaikh and Mr. Kasim H. Dolti from the last workshop, three
      new friends Mr. Altaf Sujela, Mr. Sahal Saiyed and Mr. R.F. Shikari from
      different schools and I took the classes turn by turn. The First three
      hours we discussed multiplications and divisions by 10, 100, 100, 
      decimals and their graphical representation, expressing km-m, Rs.-Paise, kg-gm in
      decimals, quantities with milli, kilo, mega and their applications. The
      first tutorial sheet provided tremendous enthusiasm. Most students 
      solved 40 problems in 20-35 minutes. After a break we discussed addition,
      subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root followed by 
      second tutorial sheet. However, by this time students were tired, hence we 
      initiated discussion on masses in different countries of the world. That
      enthused lot of interest. 
      Next day we began trigonometry with several practical examples of 
      periodic events like rising of the sun, weather cycle, elections, heart beats 
      with different periods of repition and then introduced trigonometric
      functions and utility of tan theta in estimating heights of distant
      objects. It proved fascinating. The angle measuring deviices (each
      comprinsing two card board rods joined at one end and a protractor) 
      proved very exciting. This was followed by discussion on science topics, viz.,
      basic principles of an engine, heat conversion into work, gears etc. for
      technical high school students. For others we continued with practical
      applications of mathematics. Electrical circuits were discussed with 
      only a small group as others had not studied these yet in their schools. 
      Towards the end we had a one and a half hour session on social issues: Sufi-saint
      movement, mass movement for freedom, prejudice, superstition and 
      scientific temper. 
      It was a heartening experience. Students participated in every activity
      with great enthusiasm. Their inquisitiveness and interest to learn about
      the world were deep. Most of these children come from very modest
      backgrounds and may not continue education beyond tenth grade. That
      thought pained us deeply. We felt we were far far short of what we could
      have done to them. 
      Regarding maths background, we realized that it can be improved through 
      a sustained effort. 2-day exposure must generate more excitement and 
      clarity on some key concepts. We must prepare few more tutorial sheets and give
      them to regular mathematics teachers in these schools and motivate them 
      to use them in their classes. A network of volunteers is essential to 
      correct the tutorial sheets solved by the students. Mr. Shaikh Aiyub and
      Mrs. Boutwala, Mr. Ashwin Shukla, and Mr. Yashwant Shrama extended their
      support to build such a network. It was also felt that teaching
      mathematics continuously for seven hours each day becomes too tiring for
      students. In between we should have lectures and structured discussions 
      on social science. Prof. Bhanot, Dr. Waghela and Mr. Y. Sharma offered to
      give such lectures. Prof. Bhanot also suggested that The students who 
      have failed in Xth in Mathematics, we should organize six month tutions for
      them for one hour per day. It should be possible to find a retired 
      teacher to teach three batches of 20 students each (one hour per batch for five
      days week) for Rs. 3000 per month. With him at the core we can mobilize
      college students and teachers to voluntarily teach them a few other
      subjects few times a week. We liked the suggestion and would be working 
      to implement it.
      On Dr. Vali's suggestion we have decided to hold a one day meeting of
      activists and like minded people in May 2005 to build the network and
      chalk out our program for the year. I plan to utilise that
      opportunity to visit Panderwada help initiate teaching program for
      out of school children facilitating their admissions in regular schools.
      We tried several teachers to teach there for three hours daily, but they
      backed out due unforeseen fears.
      1) Booklets:                Rs. 2100
      2) Writing pads and pens:        900
      3) Refreshments                 3000
      4) Honorarium                   2000     
      5) Tutorial Sheets/ demons.     1000     
             Total                    9000      
      Dr. Bindu Desai had made a very generous contribution of US $ 500
      (Rs. 21,500) last year. We utilized Rs. 10,000 of it in the first
      workshop, 3000 in Sadbhav Mission Patrika and rest in this workshop. 
      From other friends we have received Rs. 20,000 in the last one year. All that
      has been utilized in Sadbhav Mission Patrika (4 issues, each costing
      Rs. 8000, including postage).

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