By Alifiya Khan
Balbharati is working on a project to create “Talking Books” for Class I and II, to make learning a fun and interactive process. The books which are being made in collaboration with Balchitravani are expected to roll out by August-end.
“The first skills that a child acquires is to listen and observe. They start speaking and reading much later. That’s why we thought of coming up with audio-visual content as this is the medium to reach to students the fastest. It would make the process of learning easy. This is the basic idea behind Talking Books,” said C Borkar, director of Balbharati.
To begin with, languages and arithmetic are being taken up for the project. “The subject experts are working on the content along with Balchitravani on producing the audio-visual material,” said Borkar.
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In languages, basic letters, poems and short stories are being developed into the audio-visual medium while in arithmetic, the concepts of addition, subtraction are will be developed from a fresh perspective.
Emphasising that learning would become easier if the content addressed the children in a friendly manner, Borkar said that experts were being consulted who had worked on similar projects earlier.
He added that there is one more aspect to the project: to get authors who wrote original poems or mathematicians who wrote chapters in books. “Take a poem for example. Everyone is singing it in their own tune but no one knows what rhythm the author had in mind. That is why we are getting most authors to record it for us. Besides we are trying to make it as interactive and even fun as possible for children as they would connect to it better if they find it like story telling for example,” he said.
Asked how the material will be made available to schools, Borkar said schools that are equipped with audio-visual equipment can take CDs which will be available for sale.
He clarified that the project of Talking Books is different from the recent announcement of state education minister Vinod Tawade of creating E-Balbharati that will put books online and lighten the weight of school bags. “The policy meeting on E-books is yet to take place and the work will soon roll out after we have formulated an action plan. Meanwhile, the talking book is a concept to make learning more interactive and away from the bookish method of teaching that currently persists,” said Borkar.