As schools come up with ‘innovative’ projects in the name of homework, shopping for project-makers is slowly becoming a trend among city parents. Some schools allege that parents not only prefer completing their child’s homework, but often outsource school projects to ‘professional project makers’. However, parents blame schools for assigning ‘difficult’ and ‘age-inappropriate’ homework and projects to children (in the name of competition), which the kids are unable to finish on their own, a a result of which parents have to pitch in or seek external help.
These days, very little explaining is done in the classroom. Teachers underline paragraphs in textbooks and ask children to find answers to questions from that paragraph or read it.
Here’s one example cited by a busy parent: “Last year, my daughter couldn’t complete her work on time. The school asked her to complete the work in just two days which is unfair to a 10-year-old. My husband had to take two days off from work to complete the assignments and also explain the same to my daughter,” says mom of a class VI student in Mumbai.
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Another example where parents had to help complete their son’s homework. “My son studies in Class II. We have to turn to Google as there are many questions asked by the school to which we do not know the answers – especially in science and general knowledge assignments. His homework includes questions on seven wonders of the world, countries and their capitals. These are questions a class II students cannot answer easily. We have to complete the project for him,” says a chartered accountant by profession and parent of a seven-year-old boy.
And the story is the same in most schools, who are competing among themselves to prove that their kids are smarter, and as a result give projects/assignments that are not age-appropriate.
Nowadays school students have to complete projects in every subject; parents, who’re unable to devote time, are now seeking professional help to help their kids complete their school projects.
Most education boards give marks in each subject for internal projects. Students nowadays have to secure at least 90% to get admission in top city colleges. So the demand for good project work guides has gone up.
School project work involves research and then summarising the findings.
As project guides/assistants, we help students in compiling matter and different forms of presentations for their school projects. He help them design, manage and assess their school projects.
Once the assignment/project is completed, students only have to write it in their own handwriting.
We ensure that different projects are completed on time for submission.
School projects available at nominal price
Gone are the days when schools focused more on theory. With activity-based learning included in the school curriculum, from models of windmills, volcanoes to climates and seasons, children have a new way of learning. However, unlike earlier, when parents would help their wards in doing homework, nowadays they are turning to the shops that sell readymade projects to relieve themselves of the burden.
“How can a Class 5 student make a windmill model? It is not that easy for a parent either,” says K Dhanapal, a parent, who bought a windmill model for his daughter from a shop for Rs250. “Activity-based learning system involves parents and shopkeepers more than the students,” he added.
Also Read: Checkout these schools projects.
According to R Manimohan, chairman of Students Welfare Association of Parents (SWAP) in Coimbatore, the very purpose of activity-based learning is defeated as students are not engaged. “Such activities should be done in classrooms and not outside. It will be more beneficial if it is done as a group activity,” he said.
Many stationery shops have now started selling activity-based projects after seeing several shops abuzz with orders. Parents say that the models demanded by schools are complex projects and can be done only by a professional. All such models are available in a shop for anywhere between Rs250 and Rs500.
“Initially we sold ready-made models to the parents but now we have started making these models only on order basis,” K M V Vimal Raj, proprietor of Malarvizhi Nilayam situated in Five Corner area here. Even the business cards of several shops say they “sell project models.”
C Rajagopal, a parent and president of parents’ welfare association of a city school said that they have planned to represent this issue to the school management. “We feel that activity-based learning method is not practised in its true sense. Specific guidelines need to be given to the teachers,” he said adding that such projects and models should be done in the class.
According to artist V Jeevananthan, on many occasions models made and sold at the shops are the ones that are displayed at science exhibitions held in schools. “Activity-based learning has become a burden not only on the students but also on the parents,” he added. “This system should not be practised in the old-school method,” says Jeevananthan.
Reacting to the trend of ready-made projects available in the market, head of few institutions in the city feel these are initial hiccups. “The challenge before us is to change it in due course of time,” says H Haja Sheriff, principal, CMS Matriculation Higher Secondary School. He adds that as the system is in its formative years, it is equal responsibility of the teachers and parents to successfully implement the system. “We believe that all stakeholders will get accustomed to this system in a year,” he added.