This story is not about me but about Shalini, a class 3 student in one of the government primary schools in Chhattisgarh. I was conducting one of my regular school visits when I met her, bursting with exuberance and enthusiasm to show me how to do counting on Ganitmala, a tangible, three-dimensional number line developed by Sampark’s pedagogy department. This story resonates not only with Shalini but also Mohan, Phoolkumari, Ramesh and millions of other children whose classrooms have become more interactive and playful because of Sampark’s Math Kit.
I have seen children gathering around the kit and playing amongst themselves with play currency, counters, base 10 blocks, clock etc. They are not just learning the fundamentals but also solving difficult problems. It took me some time before I realized how the kit is actually making learning not just simple, but also effective.
Behind the smiles, there is an arduous journey. Dharamjaigrah is one the largest blocks in Chhattisgarh, and some schools are so deep within the forest that accessing them on a motorbike is difficult. At times, the negativity from block officials disappoints, but nonetheless, it is the spirit of teachers and the smiles on the faces of children which makes every disappointment fade away.
Till now, I have visited around 50 schools and have met teachers and children and shared their visions, aspirations and concerns. I have always believed that journey should be more exciting than the destination. However, with Sampark, the journey and destination of reaching 3 million smiles is equally exciting.
Spark Mukesh, Chhattisgarh