Looking back exactly ism a year from now, I was tilled wh skeptic, when told that the first ,,tandard kids will a follow a newmethodology Montessori, more of learning which included continuing with worksheet based than text books and most of all NO EXAMS!!!. I was not sure how the new curriculum which was a combination of CBSE with Montessori would work. Should I make my son as the "scapegoat" for something the school wanted to try out? Being used to examination as a way of evaluation, I was worried more about what will not work if my child is not exposed to exams — How would I know if my son understood what is taught in the class, How would I know what percentile does he stand among his peers and whether children in other schools will have an edge over him. I was not alone — there were many other concerned parents who had doubts if the new system would work. With so many confusing thoughts in mind, I was even ready to talk to the management in changing to the much used methodology of learning. The on school management did share a few details the new approach. This helped to clarify the initial doubts and queries in my mind. Once I got over the initial anxiety and having been familiarized with different methodologies oflearning, I got on to the mode of "Let's try and check if this new method will work".
When my son finished his UKG, I was particularly worried about his lack of interest in reading books though he was open to listening to someone else read it aloud for him. I decided to have an open discussion with the Management on this and they were very open to hear me out and promised to look into it.
After the first two months, I began to realize some positive changes that this methodology had on my son. He started to link alphabets to words and words to sentences. The practice of giving a book every week to read kindled the interest in reading and accelerated his reading skills.
I could see the interest level and the confidence of my son increasing when exposed to reading new words. I could sense that he was enjoying learning and seems to look at "Learning is fun" rather than just as a routine academic activity.With activity based learning, he was able to understand concepts better. With the absence of scheduled, time tabledexams, there was more time available lor learning and anygiven topic was being covered in several ways. There was a lotmore probing questions asked by my son and I could gradually sense the increase in quality of questions asked which stemmed from the level of learning that has been exposed to. Many concepts have been introduced early with more depth in learning like timeline, internal organs, different currencies, solar system etc. I also realized that a lot of time is spent on ensuring that the fundamentals of learning is well established rather than going all around but not getting the basics right.
From a personality and holistic development, I am very happy to see thejoy of sharing and learning in my son. It gives me immense joy to see him appreciate his friends and feel happy when they win a prize or get a pat on their back from their teacher. Finally, as a parent, l would like to see my son groom as an individual who respects and empathizes others in addition to the knowledge and skilldevelopment.
I would request the school to continue their rigour inproviding a holistic learning to kids. I would also use this opportunity to appreciate the school for trying in new techniques forthe benefit of kids.
Of course, I am still worried about the lack of time—tables, scheduled exams for my son and what hurdles would he face once he is exposed to it. But I am also more confident now that he would handle it when the time comes and that the right education that the school is imparting would help the children handle any challenges that life would throw at them and make them ready to face newer challenges in life — writing exams are just one ofthem.
Mrs Saritha Punji
Parent Of Aswanth