Here’s what our facilitator Prashant has to say about conducting the QShala program:
A few weeks ago, I started working with an organization called Walnut Knowledge Solutions to conduct their ‘QShala Sessions’ in Delhi. I felt that it gave me the perfect opportunity to work with kids and also take part in quizzing them, which is so much fun. I was asked to conduct sessions, and while one of the schools assigned to me was a Private Institution the other was a Government school.
I know what you must be thinking right now – the inequality which lies between them, the difference in facilities etc. However, today I want to talk about something else, about what I saw in those kids during the session.
While the students at the Private school were asking question pertaining to ‘Dan Brown’ & ‘Which country won the football cup?’, the government school children, on the contrary were posing more fundamental questions like ‘what is the brand of my mobile?’ or ‘Who is the owner of Apple?’.
However, what I realized was, everyone has questions and it gets exciting when you give them a platform to open up and let them ask any questions they have.
While I addressed a few doubts I had about the session,‘Where are we going with this?’ and ‘Is real learning happening in this place?’I soon realized that ‘Sometimes, we should give space to learning and let it create its own path and direction.’
I understand it’s quite difficult for teachers to create a bond with students because they have an objective to achieve, a syllabus to cover – hence it becomes more difficult to connect.
Nonetheless, I found that teachers at the Private school had done quite a good job. All the kids were quite confident to ask me questions and interrupt me when they didn’t understand something.
On the other hand, students in the Government school were shy and they thought I was there to conduct a boring assessment or lesson; however, we created an entertaining atmosphere by dividing them into teams and awarding points for their answers.
It was a matter of time before everyone volunteered an answer. Interestingly, these kids were a fan of cars and knew a great deal about all the cars running on Delhi roads.
While, both the schools were poles apart with respect to infrastructure and facilities available, the wonderful advantage of quizzing is – you can give a similar experience to all participants, if you just have a projector and a good speaker, regardless of where it’s conducted.
If you are a teacher, you will understand how an unruly class can completely derail you from a constructive lesson.
I was quite lucky that at both schools all the students were politely raising their hands to answer, yet, due to sheer excitement, some children did get loud and noisy. I just had to interject, ‘If we keep talking about this, we may not finish all the other interesting questions’ for them to realize that they’ll miss out on something fun!
When I was a part of Teach for India, I loved the idea of employing quizzes to teach. I believe it’s a great way to communicate with students and build camaraderie among them. It competitively instills a curious mindset and most importantly builds a habit of trying. I hope you also try to teach few of your lessons through quizzing and see the magic of this mode of imparting knowledge.