CHENNAI: The city corporation plans to introduce special learning techniques in its schools at the primary level. These techniques designed by Higher Order of Thinking Skills (iHOTS) for English and Math are currently being used in some top private schools in the city.
Teachers from corporation-run schools attended a two-day training programme at the Ripon Buildings on Monday and Tuesday. A team from iHOTS familiarised them with these techniques, which include phonetics and the nine-bead abacus system for arithmetic.
A top official in the Education Department who attended the training programme said that the techniques would give students a stronger grounding in Math and English from a tender age. “We were really impressed with the techniques which were displayed. There is a lot of potential in the methods and the feedback from the teachers is mostly positive,” the official said, explaining the learning techniques will debut in around 10 schools in the city.
According to senior officials, the courses which range between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 will be free for corporation schools. “They have agreed to give us links to these courses and teachers can play them on the smart classes,” said the senior official.
iHOTS courses include a series of videos, explainers and review tests for each class. For Math, it correlates units which are predominantly taught separately such as Geometry and calculating the area of closed shapes. For English, the courses delve into origins and grammar conjugations.
However, it is the introduction of phonetic symbols and acclimatising students to sounds that has interested officials in the education department and academicians.
“There is no correlation between spelling and sound in most words,” said Franklin Daniel, a senior English professor at Madras Christian College, explaining that it is of “paramount importance that students are taught the sounds in the English language for proper pronunciation.” Currently, phonetic symbols are usually taught in the higher secondary level in most schools.