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Home is where the smart is

There have been many studies conducted, particularly in the United Kingdom, that suggest that primary-aged children who are taught at home learn more than those in schools. These national literacy project assessments suggested that 80.4% of home educated children were at the same level in their studies as the top 16% of school educated children. If that belief indeed holds true, then Amandeep Kaur Sardesai may rightly be on to something. Having spent time teaching in England, after completing her Master’s Degree in Bioinformatics from Brunel University in London, Amandeep also taught in a school in Rajkot, before starting her method of learning in in Panjim, five years ago.
In the current scheme of things, Amandeep’s days are spent across two areas. In the mornings, she handles a home-schooling programme, where students are trained at the Cambridge Board level (IGCSE/IB Board), from Class 8-12. Her evenings, on the other hand, are spent in the administering of education on the tuition front, albeit in a more ‘practical format’, as she likes to term the process. “I believe in using a more practical style, be it with the aid of PowerPoint presentations, videos, or animation. My focus group is in the bracket of 14-18 years, and I find that they are more receptive to these mediums,” she says.And while home-schooling has been lauded as well as criticised over the years, Amandeep believes that it has undeniable merits that could outweigh those of a regular school set-up. “I find that in a school, everyone is treated the same. There is no scope for special attention for those who need it. A teacher is faced with handling multiple students at once. What happens when a particular student doesn’t have the required amount of interest in a given subject and only focuses on those that he/she has an interest in? There is a default need to focus on those subjects. With the subjective pace of home-schooling, one can cater to these needs. There are different activities that can be undertaken to increase the scope for learning,” she shares.
The examination pressure is a beast of a different nature, with Amandeep pointing out, “IGCSE/IB Board exams are needed to be given only in Class 10 and 12, at a school/centre in Bengaluru or Mumbai. As such, there is a level of relief afforded to the students who appear at this level.”Home-schooling, as a concept, has been contested over the years. However, if it yields results and it helps the youth that could shape the future get to where they want to be, then surely, there has to be merit to it. After all, every student will approach the same subject in a different light, and Amandeep’s methods seem to be shining just the light that they may need. [H]

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