5-Day SCERT Math Workshop On CBL Question Bank Concludes

Participants of the workshop posing for a group photo. Photo Credit: SCERT

Crux of the NEP 2020 is to wean students off the rote learning: Official

By Farooq Shah

SRINAGAR- A five-day workshop on review and finalisation of competency-based items of Mathematics question bank for Class 8, organised by the Education Research Survey and Analysis (ERSA) Division of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Kashmir, concluded here on Monday, December 13.

Around two dozen subject experts drawn from all the ten districts of the valley prepared some 320 items over a period of four days and presented them for a review on the final day of the workshop.

Academic officer Ghulam Hassan Reshi, while outlining the objectives of the workshop, said the new education policy aka NEP 2020 envisages a more practical and professional approach is followed where first of all predefined, real life based, application-oriented competencies are duly defined.

“Competency-based learning (CBL) ensures attainment of competencies through precise measurable learning outcomes in behavioural terms,” Reshi said. “CBL transcends well beyond the accumulation of knowledge from textbooks and tests to enable students to practice acquired competencies in their daily life.”

Reshi said the ERSA Division of the SCERT conducted similar workshops in the past and the workshop in question is a continual process.

“The crux of the NEP 2020 is to wean a student off the rote learning,” Reshi said. “CBL is contrary to the traditional learning approach which keeps increasing the content by following the inconsistent principle ‘greater the content, greater the achievement of students.”

Experts while lamenting on the lack of interest on the part of the students in picking mathematics as a subject of study, said unless the pedagogical processes envisaged in the NEP 2020 percolated down to the last man in the field namely a teacher, a defining change could not be expected any time soon.

One of the participants receiving a citation.

“Whatever we’ve learnt during the workshop here has to be passed on to the teacher in the field and translated into practice,” Gulzar Ahmad Dar, a lecturer said. “A proper framing of the Learning Outcomes (LOs) and linking them with pedagogical processes is crucial to the success of CBL.”

Another lecturer, Muzaffar Ahmad Dar, said the Math phobia was prevalent among the students to a varying degree ranging from mild to severe, especially among the girl students.

“Mathematics constitutes the backbone of every subject especially Physics and sadly there is a strange fear among the students to take them up as career subjects,” Dar said.

Altaf Ahmad Mir castigated evaluators for not being gentle to the students who have opted for mathematics.

“We’ve adopted a weird yet a strict policy of evaluation without actually appreciating the overall mathematical acumen of the students,” Mir said. “Before evaluating a student, teachers must themselves grow a mathematical brain.”

Head ERSA Division, Dr Nazneen, while highlighting the importance of holding the workshop said Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organises our lives and prevents chaos.

“The purpose of teaching and learning mathematics is to develop a sense of understanding,” Dr Nazneen said. “When we understand, we can remember, transfer knowledge to new contexts, apply concepts to novel situations, look at problems from varied perspectives, and explain in ways that make sense to others.”

Dr Nazneen thanked the participants for their untiring commitment they exhibited over a period of five days.

“Kudos to all the participants who worked tirelessly and developed the items,” she said. “We’ll give it a booklet form and possibly upload it on our website for another round of a critical review by all the stakeholders involved.”

The end product, Dr Nazneen said, shall be distributed among all the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) for its onward transfer to the teachers in the field.

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