Karadi Path Program Launched – Oct 2022
By Rajaraman Krishnan, volunteer Asha Chennai
At Asha Chennai, we have been trying to find a way to significantly impact the English teaching that happens at our schools. We have been training our teachers in English. Every week our teachers participate in a spoken English session with a mentor and also work on an assignment once every couple of weeks. This is bringing gradual progress but the impact on the children whom they teach is still gradual.
We looked into the KaradiPath program in 2019. However before we could take that up, Corona struck and this got shelved. Their approach to teaching English, attempts to mimic the way mother tongue is taught to children – not as a subject but as a means of communication. Towards they use stories, music, activities etc. We felt that this holds much better potential than the traditional approaches.
We are piloting the Karadi Path training at 10 schools. If this works well, we will look at scaling this up to cover most of the schools we support over the next few years.
Click here to see more photos and videos of the KaradiPath training and sessions.
Details of the Methodology
The KaradiPath website has details about their methodology, the reasons behind it etc. Here I am going to talk more about how it relates to Asha and what we are doing. We are starting the program in the following 10 schools.
PUPS Ammambakkam PUMS Chinnammapet
PUPS Arkampattu PUPS Athivakkam
PUPS Ariyapakkam PUPS Kannigaiper
PUPS Thiruvalangadu PUMS Othappai
PUPS Sathurangapettai PUMS Ramanjeri
In each of these schools we are teaching level 1 this year to classes 2, 3 and 4. Level 2 and 3 will be done over the next couple of years by which time it would reach the steady state where we do level 1 for class 2, level 2 for class 3 and level 3 for class 4. Each level will have 72 sessions – each session taking about 40 mins. We started the Karadi Path program only by the beginning of term II at these schools. We will gradually catch up so that we can start the program at the beginning of the academic year in a couple of years. The reason for not teaching class 1 is that they are too young to be able to follow this along with the rest of them. The reason we didn’t select class 5 is because they will graduate and move to a different school (in the primary schools) and as we started late, we wouldn’t even be able to complete one level properly with them.
While one session can accommodate up to 40 children, in most of the schools we had broken the children into 2 groups of between 20 and 30 children per session. Thus in most school the teachers were doing the KaradiPath sessions for 2 schools. Each week the teacher will conduct 3 sessions of about 40 minutes each for every group.
Training on KaradiPath Magic SLL
A trainer from KaradiPath, Mr. Arockia, came to Thiruvallur to train our teachers on 24th September. We organised our training at PUPS Ammambakkam, one of our supported schools and a school where we were planning to launch KaradiPath program. This was attended by all our regular teachers, especially the 10 who were going to implement it in the 10 schools. It was also attended by several computer teachers who were interested to learn about the program.
Arockia walked the teachers through how the sessions should be implemented. The teachers also did demonstrations of all the sessions. The different parts within a session, focus, action path, music path and story path were all demonstrated both by Arockia and the teachers. This was done over a whole day providing time for the trainer to address all the teachers’ questions.
Start of the Sessions
As schools reopened for Term II on Oct 13th, we also started the KaradiPath program at all the school. The first session started on Oct 17th at all our schools. We created a WhatsApp group for the teachers to post photos and videos from their sessions. Trainer from KaradiPath is also there in this group.
The teachers are conducting 3 sessions a week for each group of children. All the selected schools have been extremely accommodating in providing our teachers the necessary space to conduct the program and sending these children from the appropriate classes to our teachers during the KaradiPath sessions. With many of the school buildings declared as unsafe and demolished, it has been a challenge at many schools to allocate a suitable classroom for our teachers to conduct these sessions. Each school has done its best in this regard. In one school with two buildings and 3 government teachers plus one Asha teacher, one of the two buildings is marked to be demolished. At this school alone we decided to stop the program and instead took up a new school where we are conducting sessions on all the days so as to catch up with the rest of the schools.
My Visit and Feedback from HMs
I also visited three of the schools implementing the session: Arkampattu, Kannigaiper and Ammambakkam. Our teachers were putting in good effort to implement this well. They had read up on the things required for that day’s session ahead of time and had come prepared. They had organised the laptop and other devices required to implement their session. On the whole the session went well and the children’s response was very good. In many of the schools, other government teachers were also watching our teachers implement this program.
I also talked to the HMs and other teachers at the schools regarding the KaradiPath sessions. They clearly saw the value of this program. Ability to speak English is valued very highly by the school teachers and parents. Therefore the support for this was very strong. I thanked the HMs for the support their schools were providing for conducting these sessions. They also thanked me in turn for implementing this in their school.