This March newsletter focusses on the successful introduction of the web based e-learning programme ‘Khan Academy’ in our Nav-Jeevan school. Kiran and Roger, daughter and son-in-law of our spiritual mother NJS Iris Wilkinson, are from Michigan USA and visited us the past three months. They worked as volunteers in our project. Never before have the children been so excited about an education programme. The marks for arithmetic and mathematics went up in the recent months.
Khan Academy is a free mathematics programme ranging from primary school arithmetic to university mathematics. The children do the exercises on the computer and the computer gives them feedback. The students get extra help by means of short videos about how problems can be tackled. The children learn according to their own level and can work at their own pace. One student may be busy multiplying numbers while an other student is working on an algebra sum in the same class room. The students are so eager to work with the Khan Academy website that they completely ignore the bell for the break and lunch. You can also find them behind the computers on Saturdays and Sundays.
If no computer is available the students make assignments on the blackboard until it’s their turn to work with the Khan Academy website on a computer.
Many students reach an astounding mathematics level. Students like 6th form students Anil Jadav and Jashwant Singh and 5th form student Rahul Shipley (10 years old) work on a secondary school mathematics and algebra level.
Khan Academy awards virtual badges to students who score points. Also students who score on an average level or under the average work hard with the Khan Academy website. Before returning to America Kiran and Roger treated the students who had scored more than 100.000 Khan Academy points to a movie and a meal.
Having read this newsletter you may think ‘Excellent, they have everything under control’. However, this isn’t true. Each month we struggle to feed the hungry mouths of all the children. It doesn’t matter whether they are mathematical talents or students with other talents or no talents at all. All the children are equally important to us and they have one thing in common, they can’t survive on their own and they do need your support and help.
Our target for 2013, apart from feeding all these mouths, is finishing the construction of two large dormitories and giving the children extra computers so they can quench their thirst for knowledge.
Some of the Nav Jeevan children have an e-mail address and they would love to get in touch with children of their own age from Holland. Do you have a son or daughter who would like to exchange messages in simple English with a child with a different cultural background? Please send us an e-mail with information like boy/girl, age, hobbies, e-mail address, etc. We will try and match your son/daughter with one of our children in Nagpur.
On behalf of the children we would like to thank you for your support in the past months.
Annelies van de Ven
President Nav-Jeevan Foundation