All Present and Accounted for
A teacher in Bhatahat village in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur has found a way to tackle absenteeism in her class. With the help of a performance tracker she finds out why some students are reluctant to come to class, and then takes measures to help them.
Pratyaksh Srivastava 9 Sep 2023 11:48 AM GMT
Bhatahat, Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh)
When she joined school in class one, Soni Nishad, was often to be found with her nose pressed to the window of her classroom looking in from outside. If the teacher spotted her, she would flee to the bathroom and hide there. There was something that prevented her from entering the classroom and sitting with her classmates. She would miss classes every other day.
“When I inspected the performance tracker, I realised that she was struggling in almost every subject,” Manorama Rai, an assistant teacher at the Primary School, Bhatahat in Gorakhpur, told Gaon Connection.
Rai, who has 21 students in her class, has been teaching at the school since 2014. She said the performance tracker provided to her as part of the ‘teacher guides’ under the NIPUN programme (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy, launched in 2021 by the Union Ministry of Education) helped her quantify the progress made by her students.
“The performance tracker gives me a clear picture of where each student stands academically. I can help students like Aradhya better thanks to the tracker,” she said.
According to Rai, the tracker helps the teachers to introspect and reconsider their style of teaching.
“When I scroll through the pages of the tracker, I realise that some students need to be approached differently. For example, teaching addition or subtraction on the blackboard is less effective than using real life examples to teach them the same mathematical concepts,” the teacher explained.
Nishad received special attention from Rai for about four months and now she is coming to school regularly.
Also Read: Spreading smiles in the classroom
“I like it here now… I used to think that lessons were difficult but now I like to participate in the classroom activities. The skits and poem recitations are fun,” Nishad told Gaon Connection.
Looking into loopholes
The tracker helps pinpoint problem areas such as absenteeism, more accurately, said Rai. “Children take off for days on end to visit their grandparents or uncles and aunts, and do not come to school for months. It is all there in my tracker. This helps me approach the parents and impress upon them how so many classes missed can cost children their future,” she said.
Aradhya’s mother Gudiya Devi saw the sense in that. “Now, Soni doesn’t want to spend days away from school. She now takes her lessons seriously and respects Manorama madam a lot,” she said.
Reading the tracker
The performance tracker is a big register where the teacher makes regular entries.
“The register has a column-wise distribution of lessons against the names of the students. Whenever a student excels in a particular subject’s lesson, I place a tick mark on the column which indicates that my task as teacher has been accomplished for that lesson,” Rai explained.
Rai said that the tracker clearly establishes what each student’s struggle is. This forces her to think of ways to help them tackle the problem areas.
For example, Sonu Nishad was stumped when it came to subtractions in mathematics. “I had tracked his performance in the tracker and I realised he needed some extra time with me. We sat together for a few hours of remedial classes and now he has cracked the problem,” the teacher smiled. There are also markers for handwriting in the big tracker.
“Ma’am told me to practise writing everyday. She now praises me for my handwriting,” Avantika, a class three student, told Gaon Connection.