Monday, June 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Where kids are assessed through project 
work, not exams
Deepkamal Kaur

Prabhjot Kaur, Class VII

Pratibha, Class IV

Parul, Class V

Ashima Arora, Class VII

UNLIKE other schools of Ludhiana, there are no examinations for the students of Ryan International School, Urban Estate, till they reach in Class V. Evaluation of performance of students is based on project works as the authorities believe in cultivation of all three dimensions of mind, body and spirit and not on cramming for examination purpose. Assessment of the students is done on the basis of classroom performance and simple strategic testing at short intervals. However, for students of Class V onwards, performances and improvement in performance are recognised and rewarded.

The school aims at making education more participative and enjoyable and believes that most of the schools have a system of torture as children are overburdened with a vast curriculum and loads of homework. However, at Ryan, home assignments are oriented towards honing individual talents as they include suggested books for reading, physical and sports development, general knowledge, civic responsibilities and talent cultivation. Talents are channelled into creative fields such as oratory, dramatics and media communications. All kinds of facilities are then given for grooming the potential of such children.

Within one year of its inception, the school has over 900 students on roll and a qualified and experienced team of teachers, who not only simply impart knowledge and facts but arouse their studentsí curiosity and interest, enabling them to pursue things for its innate value. The school complex, spread over an areas of four acres on the Chandigarh Road, has spacious classrooms and playrooms that have been tastefully decorated for the little ones. Various sports facilities such as swimming pool, badminton lawn, basket ball and volley ball courts and skating rink are coming up.

Stress is being laid on cultural activities such as drama and dance. The school recently held its first annual day function for which artistes from Russia, Poland and Kazakhstan were in the school to train students in foreign arts. Yoanna Ponikiewska from Poland trained the students in Krakowiak dance, a traditional folk dance from South Poland, and Gulnar Kazbekova from Kazakhistan helped the students learn traditional Kazakh folk dance Atatolgay, Russian dance Kostoroma.

A special counselling session for parents of newly admitted students to Montessori was also held in April when the new academic session started. Mr George Judan, a professor of management from Pune, had been especially invited to address the parents. Later in the evening a graduation ceremony was also held for the passout students of Ryan Montessori. All students dressed in gowns with hoods received certificates from Ms Grace Pinto, Director of the Ryan International Schools chain.

The school has also been holding counselling sessions for middle class students educating them about adolescence-related issues. A Open House is yet another forum where the parents are made aware of strengths and shortcomings of their children and at the same time getting positive suggestions from them on how to improve academic and overall performances. Besides, professionals on various subjects are invited to help them select career taking into consideration their academic performance, interests and aspirations.



Low absenteeism indicates greater interest 

Ravinder Kaur A majority of students of Ryan International School, Chandigarh Road, have had full attendance throughout their first year in the school, said Ms Ravinder Kaur, Headmistress of the school. This regularity and low absenteeism clearly indicates that the students were taking great interest in their studies as learning has been made more enjoyable for them, she believes.

The headmistress pointed out that a new approach of education had been initiated successfully for the pre-primary and primary sections. Elaborating the methods, Ms Ravinder said alphabets and numbers were taught using phonetics, songs and multimedia techniques. Children were taken on outings to nearby fun spots for enjoyment. Role play, experimentation and projects were some of the methods used to enhance learning skills in students. Various clubs on nature, sports, science, literacy and fine arts had been formed to ensure all-round development of students, she said.

Formal education had been introduced using the NCERT syllabi, said the headmistress. Art, craft, club activities, music, computers and dance, however, were added in the curriculum. In Class VI, a third language was introduced when the child could learn sanskrit, a modern Indian language or a foreign language.

Talking about the plans for the second session, she said the foreign exchange programmes were likely wherein the students got a chance to interact with students from foreign countries. This could help in mutual learning of customs, cultures and languages. She said exchange of ideas and teaching methods were relevant to education, so that future citizens could be able to face the challenges of an international interface.


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