Teaching School Children - WP/Pil/Kandawala Navodya School
General Sir John Kotalawala Defence University launches several social service projects in order to strengthen inter-personnel relationships and to develop positive attitudes among citizens. One such significant service rendered by the university is the educational programme conducted with the intention of uplifting the standard of education and extra mural activities of the students of WP/Pil/Kandawala Navodya School which is situated within the proximity of the University.
Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Major General MP Peiris, identifying the necessities of the school, had discussions in 2010, with the Principal and the staff of the school after which he came to a conclusion that the University would extend a helping hand to the school by providing possible facilities. Accordingly, the Vice Chancellor decided to hold seminars and supplementary classes for the students sitting the G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examination, to provide the service of the Physical Training Instructors, library material, medical facilities to the students at an emergency, to provide the indoor and outdoor stadium and the swimming pool of the University and any other physical or human resources at the request of the school.
Hence the academic staff of the University conducted seminars for the students who were to sit the examination last year (2012) for three selected subjects Science, Mathematics and English. The Deputy Vice Chancellor (academic) Prof. RLW Koggalage took the lead of organizing this with the support from major Hettiarachchi. To conduct lectures professor Koggalage and the lecturers Mr. US Rahubadda, Mr. NS Rathnayaka, Ms. P jayasooriya, Ms. MTN Wijethunge, Maj. AU Kuruppu, Mr. WPLK Wijethunge, Mr DGN Jayarathne, of the Kotelawala Defence University voluntarily took tremendous efforts beside their busy schedule. Initially it was planned for 3 days. However, due to the success of the seminars, and the due to the request of all students who participated, it was extended to another day.
A three day Seminar for three important core subjects; Science, Mathematics and English Language was conducted by the ‘General Sir John Kotelawela Defence University’ for the G.C.E. O/L students of Kandawela Navodya Maha Vidyalaya, with the objective of upgrading the G.C.E. O/L Examination results. The seminar was a fruitful result of the proposal put forward by the Vice Chancellor of the University. It was conducted as a social service rendered by the university for needy students.
The first day of the scheduled three days was allocated for the subject of Mathematics. The seminar was started at 8.00 am and continued untill 2.30 p m. The morning session was conducted by Professor Ravindra Koggalage, who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academics of the University. Model papers issued by the Ministry of Education were discussed at the seminar which enabled to strengthen students’ confidence in facing the examination. The students enthusiastically participated in the seminar and raised many questions to verify doubtful areas in the subject. The next two sessions for the day were handled by the lecturers D.G. N. Jayarathna, N.S. Rathnayake and U.S.Rahubadda.
The students’ response and feedbacks were at a high degree. There was a demand to continue the seminar for another day and the lecturers agreed to continue the seminar for a fourth day.
It was the subject of Science that was discussed on the second day. Forty students participated in the seminar. Participants were given six model question papers comprising of 10 questions each, in accordance with the G.C.E. O/L Science syllabus, prior to the commencement. In the Biology lesson, the topics of Bio-diversity, Human Blood Circulatory System and the Metabolic System were discussed. Basics of flora and fauna and bio-diversity too, were discussed. Classifications of Kingdom Animalia; Invertebrata and Vertibrata (Coelenterate, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Amphibia, Reptilia, Avas, Mammalia) were discussed. Classifications of Kingdom Plantae (Bryophyta, Pterophyta, Lycophyta, Flowering plants, Aflowering plants, Monocotaledonae, Dicotaledanae) too were handled in the session. Human Blood Circulatory System; morphology, percentages and functions of human blood cells, parts and functions of human heart were discussed with reference to diagrams. Urea, uric acid, sweat formation and excretion were discussed in relation to Human Metabolic System.
In the component of Chemistry, Basic theories of acid-base reactions, Oxidation and Reduction, concepts of Basics of Electro Chemistry: Electro Chemical Cells, Electromotive force, Electrodes, Eelectrode potential, Electrolytes, Electroplating were discussed in relation to the O/L syllabus.
Questions on Physics were taken into discussion in the third session and the topic of ‘Theories on Waves’ were discussed, drawing special focus on sound and EM waves which appear in the O/L syllabus. Further, the basic mechanics (distance, speed, velocity, acceleration, distance time graphs and velocity time graphs) and basic mains electricity(power transmission, domestic electrical circuits) and some questions on light (reflection, refraction, total internal reflection) also were discussed.
Students participated actively and came out with positive feedbacks.
The third day of the programme was scheduled for the subject of English Language and it was carried out successfully by two lecturers from the Department of Languages of the University.
The third day of the programme was devided into three sessions with the expectation of introducing the format of the English Language paper and marks allocated for each question, related grammar components and practicing model papers one and two. The first session was handled by Major AU Kuruppu. She employed the method of response elicitation by which the students were made to realise that they possess sufficient knowledge of English Language to face the examination with confidence. The students were made aware as to how the marks vary from paper one to paper two, and question to question. A model paper one was answered by the students and discussed towards the end of the session. They were enthusiastic and built confidence to score the maximum marks from each question.
In the second session, which was conducted by Ms M.T.N.Wijethunge, she discussed some of the grammar components which were helpful for students to update their knowledge of English Grammar. She helped the students to clarify the areas where they needed further explanation.
The final session was handled again by Major A U Kuruppu who dealt with the second part of the model examination paper. She pointed out how the question paper gradually moves from very simple questions to complex questions. She explained to the students that they should attempt all the questions which will enable them to score the maximum marks for the paper. The student participation was at a high degree of active participation. Evidently their effort had been successful.
The participants took keen and active interest throughout the seminar. Thier feedback proved that the programme was a success.
Some of the feedback recieved from the participants.
The seminar was helpful to get rid of the fear we had over the examination.
We could learn English in simple ways for the first time.
It helped us to build up confidence to face the oncoming examination.
We were able to revise what we had learnt before.
We request to continue to have this programme for our junior sisters and brothers in the future.