After a year of uncertainty the grey clouds have finally lifted from the OLPC program at Our Lady of Merces High School, Merces, Goa. We had a good visit to the school this morning – July 2nd 2012. The new principal Loretta Colaco, who has joined the school very recently, was very supportive. But the best part was the big smiles on all the primary teachers’ faces – the confusion and disappointment from last year’s Medium of Instruction fiasco is clearly behind them They are among the many schools who have adopted English as the medium of instruction (changing over from the local language Konkani) and the new Chief Minister of Goa Mr. Manohar Parrikar has assured them that the government grant would continue even with this change. So all is well that ends well. We have our fingers crossed
And YES – they have included 2 XO classes per week for Classes 3 & 4; in fact the first XO class for Class 3 had already taken place the previous Saturday – 30th June 2012. Wonderful news indeed. We suggested having a Teachers’ Update Training and the teachers readily agreed, and in fact quite enthusiastically suggested doing it on the coming Saturday itself – 7th July 2012. The immediate plan therefore is to do a 2-hour teachers’ training this Saturday between 11 am and 1 pm – an update to introduce the teachers to the new activities that are now available in Sugar, those that our research indicates would work well with the curriculum that the schools in Goa follow. This would be followed by us using one of the scheduled XO classes next week to conduct a session with the children using activities that haven’t been used in the regular XO classes as yet. These sessions would be for the Class 4 students – on 7th and 9th July 2012.