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Students fail to crack the code - Survey conducted by gilli danda mentors in Dhanbad exposes weak base in math

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  • Published 18.11.11

When it comes to crunching numbers, students in the upper primary level of government schools of Dhanbad have a lot of catching-up to do, especially in logical mathematics.

This has come to the fore in a survey conducted by a group of eight youngsters, who spurned lucrative MNC jobs to float a society that teaches math to students through games like gilli danda and lattu. Whizmantra Educational Solutions, which is already teaching the students of five Nirsa villages — Pandra, Shanpur, Khas Nirsa, Poddardih and Baizan — under the banner of Adhrit Education Initiative, tested 120 children of Classes V to VIII.

The questions were based on four core competencies — numeracy, arithmetic, logical mathematics and mental ability. But the result came as a shock for Abhishek Chakraborty, an alumnus of De Nobili School-CFRI who formed Whizmantra, and his friends as the students could not score more than 50 per cent in any of the four subjects. Worse, the average in logical mathematics was less than three per cent. Most skipped questions related to fraction and geometry.

Prashant Pathak, an IIT-Roorkee alumnus and team member, said the students had to answer a total of 112 questions — 15 in numeracy, 30 in arithmetic, 36 in logical mathematics and 31 in mental mathematics. “The performance in logical mathematics was particularly disheartening as Class V and VI students secured only per cent each while Class VI and VII students got four and three per cent, respectively,” he added.

Chakraborty said the survey, which was conducted in the last week of October, highlighted the fact that supplementary teaching was needed. “We are planning to extend our mathematics teaching programme to other villages. We will start teaching the students of Madandih village from November 21,” he added.

Pathak said they had already trained 12 volunteers to impart teaching to the students of six Nirsa villages. Classes are being conducted six days a week.