THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the past three years, a group of over 600 volunteers comprising college students and working professionals have been on a mission to dispel the fear of mathematics among high-school students and to motivate them to take up the subject for higher studies. The initiative named ‘Project Ganitham’, that has helped around 2,500 students, mostly in government schools, is now ready for its third phase.
Launched by non-profit organisation Insight for Innovation, ‘Project Ganitham’ was born from the realisation that one of the primary reasons for the fear of mathematics among schoolchildren was the lack of understanding of basic concepts. A survey by the organisation found that up to 65% of Class 10 students in government schools were not strong in basic arithmetic.
Insight for Innovation called upon people to volunteer for the mission, and the response was overwhelming. “Besides providing proper orientation, we also hold various volunteer engagement activities to develop the overall personality of the participants,” said Hema Gopalakrishnan, founding member of Insight.
Classes of one hour each are held every week and the timing is decided based on the convenience of the students. The modules involve Integers, Decimals, Fractions and Algebra. A new topic, ‘Lines and Angles’, has also been introduced this year. “The instruction is carried out as per properly-designed syllabus and study materials.
Homework questions too are included for students to get more practice. Sundays have been set apart as activity day during which personality and communication skill development activities are conducted by mentors,” said Vaishnavy S R, an advocate and a core team member of Insight.
The first phase of ‘Project Ganitham’ was launched in September 2019 covering 20 schools. Over 800 students benefited from the project. During the second phase, it was extended to 50 more schools, with over 1,500 students as beneficiaries. Owing to the pandemic, the second phase was converted to the virtual mode with classes held on Google Meet and Zoom.
“After attending the sessions, I realised that many tough portions in maths could be easily understood if we are thorough with the basics,” said Afsana NS, a Class 10 student of GTHS, Idinjar. The third phase, to be rolled out online by mid-October, would cover seven more schools besides the existing 70. Over 10,000 students have benefited from various activities of Insight for Innovation.