Myself Jeena, a 2nd year Engineering student at LBS Institute of Technology for Women, Poojapura and also an Insight Volunteer for the past 2 years. We at Insight believe in adopting government schools and developing the quality of education of the students there along with their personality through mentored support and learning. I'm a committed and dedicated volunteer working for the better of the society along with my personal skills. I love bringing up ideas for the betterment of society and also facing and dealing the challenges along with it. Persistence, dedication and multi-tasking is not new to me, but through my volunteering activities I'm able to utilize it to the maximum. I have planned and organized the online mode of Project Ganitham (a program to improve the understanding of mathematical fundamentals in school students of grade 8th, 9th and 10th) along with my Insight team. Was charged with the position of Core Corrdinator 2.0 and led 10 colleges with 500+ volunteers across the state. We were able to lend our support to 2500+ school students who feared maths.
VOLUNTEERING FOR ME
Volunteering is a fun activity where you can improve your skills, mental health, connections and at the same time serve the society. Volunteering is something one can do with just a heart to help and a few minutes from your daily life. Volunteering should definitely be a part of one's life.
I have been volunteering in Insight for the past 2.5 years. I became part of Insight in my first year at college when we had an orientation session about Insight and it's activities. I was deeply moved by their activities and experiences. I immediately felt the younger Jeena in me saying that this was the opportunity I was waiting for since childhood. Social Service was of my interest since childhood due to the moral education classes in school, to be really frank. However, being a gulf student, I had very limited opportunities in front of me. My motivation to join Insight was definitely the orientation given.
I began my story in 2019 during the first year at my college. I was highly inspired and motivated into the activities of Insight during the orientation session given at college. I immediately got my name registered and waited patiently for 2 months for them to call me into their activities. I volunteered for a few programs like story telling completion for kids and also took sessions on "How to face exams" in schools. I was enjoying my training and volunteering activities in Insight including the offline wind up of Project Ganitham phase 1. That was when the Covid pandemic and Lockdown took turns. All my activities were brought to halt. That was when me and Gokul s (a coordinator and volunteer of Insight) started planning for an online mode of Project Ganitham. It was a huge task for us since we had no idea on how to start. We had a 3-month-long preparation and planning phase, where we made the PPT's, training materials for the volunteers etc. We finally began our project in the month of October (2020) with 12 colleges and 500+ volunteers across the state. I was the Core Coordinator, and coordinating and managing this huge number of volunteers was one of the biggest achievements in terms of social service and personal development as well. We took classes for 2500+ students from 50 different schools across the state in a complete online mode. The training for the volunteers were also done by Insight volunteers through G-meet. 1 volunteer was assigned to 5 students to ensure personal attention. At the end of the classes, a survey conducted revealed that 90% of the students who feared maths, no longer does! Currently, we are running Project Ganitham 3.0 with 15+ colleges across the state and 800+ volunteers. We have included some extracurricular actvities as well to develop their communication and leadership skills, apart from just learning maths as in the previous 2 years.
Insight for Innovation
MISSION & VISION
Insight was established to improve the quality of education across schools and colleges through support and volunteering. In Project Ganitham we focus on improving the understanding of mathematical fundamentals in school students of grade 8th, 9th and 10th along with their communication and leadership skills. While working with students, we have found that almost 65% of students are not thorough with basics of maths which
stops them from pursuing maths in higher classes, which in turn stops
Then to fields like electronics, electrical, architecture etc. The program is
driven by college students. School students are made to revise the arithmetic fundamentals like Integers, Fractions, Decimals and Algebra which their performance on academic mathematics improves by around 30%
This is an ongoing program designed for teaching basics of maths to 8,9th and 10th standard students. While working with students we have found that almost 65% of students are not thorough with basics of maths which stops them from pursuing maths in higher classes, which in turn stops them in fields like electronics, electrical, architecture etc. The program is driven by college students, where colleges adopt schools. We have run this program at almost 50 schools across Kerala. This was an extremely beneficial
program. 90% of the students, who hated maths before our project, developed an interest in it after our project. The phase 1 of Project Ganitham (2019) was in an offline mode with colleges and schools from Trivandrum district only. However, after the covid pandemic and lockdown, we have colleges and schools from all over Kerala. Presently we have 15 colleges with 800+ volunteers and 2500+ school students are benefited through this project. We connect to the NSS units of colleges and interested volunteers get registered. A training session on how to take classes, interaction with students, student activity handling etc are provided to the volunteers from our side. After 3 hours of training, a selection process is done in which volunteers are classified into teaching and non teaching(mentors). Meanwhile, the marketing team of colleges approaches schools for students. After the required number of students have been achieved, an orientation session explaining about our project and it's impacts in them are given to the students. Later, a test is conducted to understand their present level of understanding in mathematics. Students are grouped in teams of 5 or 10 and 1-2 volunteers are assigned to them. Weekly of 4-5 classes (1-1.5 hours each) are conducted, with around 15 minutes every day for the non-academic activities as well. Daily monitoring of homework and collection of feedbacks and suggestions are done by the non-teaching mentors. At the end of the project, a test similar to their initial one is conducted, and their improvement is noted.
LENGTH OF SERVICE
Project Ganitham started in 2019 October and is running up to date. I have spent around 250+ for planning, coordinating and volunteering in total. Around 300 volunteers from 5 different colleges in Trivandrum was included in the phase 1 project. Schools included were Kalady Govt school, St John's, Poojapura UP school, Pettah govt Boys school etc
The Second was in 2020 in a complete online mode. We spreaded our wings to 10 different colleges with 500+ volunteers and 2500+ students. Each volunteer spent a minimum of 3 hours for training and 6 hours for volunteering. Project Ganitham 3.0 is the currently running project, with around 800 volunteers
ROLE IN PROJECT
It was me and Gokul ( a coordinator and volunteer of Insight) who proposed the idea of an online mode of Project Ganitham. I started off the initial preparations like planning , organizing and preparation of training and teaching material with the help pf my team. I then contacted the NSS units of different colleges, many of which rejected declined the offer too. Finally we were good to start with 10 colleges and around 500 volunteers. I was in charge of communicating with the college coordinators . This was definitely one of my biggest opportunity to improve my communication and leadership skills. Learning new things also part of the project. I mastered in Time Management due to this project, as managing academics and volunteering services was a new task to me at first. Constant support and guidance from my team and Hema Ma'am ( Founder of Insight) improved my inter-personal communication skills, something that I was lacking behind in. Facing challenges and rejections from school, moulded me into a better person ready to face the challenges of life. In Project Ganitham 3.0, I had put forward a propasal to include non-academic personality development classes for the kids as well . This main reason why I wanted Something like this definitely goes back to the development I had last year due to the exposure I had. I want all the volunteers and students too to have the same development as in me and be a better social human.
IMPACT OF PROJECT
Impacts of Project Include;
● Revising the basics and getting hold of fundamentals the student's mathematical
Knowledge by 30%.This will help students to better understand the fundamental
Concepts of mathematics of 9th and 10th standards.
● 70% of students who were afraid of mathematics have started to like mathematics
after this fundamental refresher course.
● Since we are targeting a volunteer to student ratio of 1:5, students will be getting
Individual attention and encouragement which will boost up their confidence.
● We have also formulated a teaching methodology which is very simple and easily
understandable by students.
● As we are standardizing the teaching methodology the effectiveness of the program
will be high.
● The training we provide to volunteers for the program includes basic
communication skills and exposure to how students think. This training helps the
volunteers to think from different perspectives and modulate their teaching in
accordance to their students. We are also providing training of teaching to
volunteers before engaging them in a classroom
● Volunteers who are mainly college students will also be benefited from the
program,as they will be having practical exposure to work with a team, improve
coordination and leadership skills. They also will be developing their interpersonal
skills through this program
The additional feature this year which includes non-academic activities for school students, improves their soft skills along with their Mathematical understandings. Activities like Habit Bingo, which monitors their daily activities right from folding their bedsheet in the morning to cleaning their plates, reading newspaper etc , builds up their character too
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
GOAL 4: Quality Education
Core Co-ordinator of Project Ganitham 2.0- Planned and executed project ganitham in a complete online mode. Coordinated 500+ volunteers
Got an opportunity with RJ Maheen in Club FM to share about Project Ganitham and other Insight Activities.
Our team and it's activities Got featured in New Indian Express.
Developing Project Ganitham as well as an english communication program is definitely my dream. Our activities are restricted to within Kerala, and we would be highly happy to extend our helping hands to students in need all over the country.
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