March 2013 – In keeping with the tradition of contemporary pedagogy at Ekya, the latest upgrade has been made in the Computer Science curriculum. It has been entirely remodeled to reflect practical skills and learning. Primary school children now learn designing, problem solving, and decision making; using Scratch, Fluxtime and Logo. In addition, essential skills such as keyboarding, internet research, document creation, data tabulation, presentation technique and etiquette, are being taught. The Middle school syllabus focuses on design and coding, and tools that cater to students’ limitless imaginations. There is special attention on teaching coding fundamentals with QBasic and Visual Basic. Students are also trained in animation using Flash; designing web pages using HTML and Dreamweaver; and editing images using Photoshop.
Along with changes in the curriculum, the Reading Program, an Ekya initiative, is gaining momentum. It aims to promote and improve reading skills by employing unique incentive systems. The libraries at both campuses have added over 1000 books each, over the summer. This program features dedicated reading teachers who are undergoing a series of specialised workshops on reading, and the art of storytelling. Each grade has a recommended text that they will study together. Grade 8 is reading Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, while Grade 5 is journeying with R K Narayan in Swami and Friends.
Ekya has introduced Mathematics, English, and Computer Science portfolios for its students. They are encouraging a shift from rote learning, by emphasising active-learning, using worksheets and varied methodologies. The newly developed English curriculum focuses on grammar and the core skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It is being implemented at both Ekya schools, and CMR National Public School. Teachers have already undergone sessions of professional development in instructional practice. Everyone is eager to be involved in this creative and rigorous program.
The Ekya Learning Centre houses Ekya’s curriculum developers and teacher educators. They are planning to expand their team with additions from top education schools around the world including Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia. Along with this Ekya is collaborating with Malia Hollowell from Seattle, from the education blog Playdough to Plato, to help build the early childhood literacy program.
The Ekya schools are progressing well under the sound guidance of Ms. Tristha Ramamurthy, Executive Director Ekya Schools. Ms Ramamurthy is also the Vice President of the CMR Group of Institutions in Bangalore, India. With a Bachelors degree in Business Management from Singapore Management University; and a Masters degree in Education from the Stanford University School of Education, USA; she is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education from Kings College London.