A renowned teacher & Founder-Director at the Crayons school, Mousumi Sinha, is considered India’s one of the leading pioneers in early education.
Mousumi Sinha has been actively working in the field of early childhood education for the past 15 years and has been recognised by various organisations for her efforts and contribution towards early childhood education. In a domain where people usually follow set patterns and old conventions, Ms Sinha believes in thinking differently and constantly striving towards a better future.
The Crayons School is the first preschool chain in the country to follow the concept of Intentional Teaching and also working on the digitalization of the preschool curriculum under the able guidance of Mousumi Sinha.
Mousumi Sinha is currently working on an EduTech project on digital Classroom through AI which will allow schools to personalise learning by understanding the child’s need.
Here is an excerpt from the interview Wonderpublish conducted recently with Mousumi Sinha:
Q 1. Why did you choose early childhood education?
Ans: From the very start, I was very passionate about becoming a teacher. I followed my dream and joined as a pre-primary teacher in one of the most renowned schools in Delhi. But after spending 8-9 years, I started thinking of taking things to the next level. So, to take pre-primary education to next level started this initiative.
I believe we should have the right ideas about preschool education. There are still many who don’t really grasp the importance of preschool education. I’m glad that with the new education policy, the government has also stressed upon the need of compulsory pre-school education years.
Q 2. This year has been unlike any other so can you tell us about your learnings from this pandemic?
Ans: We should not be very complacent, and be ready for any kind of situation. We, at the Crayons, started this year with an overhaul process. We made changes to our curriculum, learning and teaching methods. We were anyway moving towards digitalisation of preschool with our newer teacher training programs. So when the pandemic hit, it was easier for us to take everything online.
But maybe some of the schools and teachers faced problems in dealing with teaching online. Not everyone is tech-savvy to take things online, that too so suddenly. So it took more time for some than the others but I think now everyone has become used to this new normal.
Q 3. At the Crayons, you believe in making education an interesting way of life for kids. Can you elaborate upon that? Also, what do you mean by ‘Intentional teaching’?
Ans: The word intention in this context means the interest of the child. We focus on the child’s line of interests, hence we have a child-centric curriculum. In order to achieve that, we are analysing each kid to know what they are interested in. And based on that we are designing our online digital classes.
We want our school to be a reflection of what our children want and not what we want to give them.
Q 4. How are you doing the digitalisation of the pre-school curriculum?
Ans: We are putting all our content including class recordings online which makes it easier for the parents to access and assess the level of learning taking place. Because we are talking pre-school, parents also have to know the books, and patterns teachers are following in the classrooms so that they can replicate the process at home.
We are using YouTube, Facebook and all the other available channels to take learning online. And regarding this, we started having sessions with parents from day 1.
Q 5. Can you tell us about the tools and technology that you have been using?
Ans: We have been using Zoom. Forty-minute-long sessions happen every day in two slots. One for academics and other for activities class. Apart from the academics, activities class is very important to keep a child motivated.
Talking about tools, we have implemented talking pens with our books. You have to just touch the pen on the line you want to read and it will read the content aloud. And now we are going to implement iPads in every classroom with teachers. It will provide them instant access to the internet to support teaching with resources from Google and YouTube.
And now we are in the process of collaborating with school all over the world so that we have exchange programs during the classroom activity. In this collaboration, we can learn more from each other.
Q 6. Can you tell us a little about your ongoing AI-enabled EduTech Project?
Ans: We are creating our content using Artificial Intelligence. We are almost at the cusp of launching it. But since we are starting on a very large scale, we are waiting for the right kind of investors. With this project we want to reach to all the pre-schools in India. We want government’s involvement in this as well.
Q 7. Would you see preschoolers are at the perfect age of digitalisation of education?
Ans: Yes, of course! Kids anyway take to technology pretty fast. A kid knows everything about a laptop or a smartphone. So no wonder the kids have taken it very positively. So preschoolers will definitely adapt at a faster rate, all you have to do is to make learning fun.
Q 8. Lastly, what advice would you give to those kids who want to be the next Mousumi Sinha?
Ans: [Laughs] I would not suggest them to become the next Mousumi Sinha. As we all have dreams of doing or becoming something, they should follow their own dreams. So I’d say, they should be day-dreamers and more importantly truthful to themselves. And also, if you love yourself then there is nothing that can stop you.
Follow Mousumi Sinha on LinkedIn.
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