Amidst the thick green forests of Malnad in the Siddapur Taluk of Uttara Kannada district lies Hulkutri, a small village populated by farmers and laborers. Hulkutri has recently gained popularity with many teachers and students across the state, thanks to its public upper elementary school.
The principal of this school, Darshan Harikantra, has put together a unique website that many teachers and students refer to across the state. The one-of-a-kind website (hulkutrischool.in) offers innovative study material for students from the first to the seventh standard.
During the first wave of Covid-19 in July last year, many students at this school had to struggle to continue their academic learning. Students here had to climb hills to get an Internet network. To help these students advance academically, Darshan, who has served here since 2004, came up with the idea for a website.
Darshan along with two other teachers from the school, parents and members of the school development monitoring committee invested around Rs 30,000 and created a simple website. Soon the three teachers began to download learning materials. “During the first days of the pandemic, many of our students did not even have access to textbooks. So we started to prepare the content so that students without textbooks could understand the chapters on their own, ”Darshan recalls.
To make the lessons interesting, Darshan searched the internet for content and incorporated it into the lessons. For example, in the history chapters on various dynasties, he included pictures of rulers, historical monuments and the like so that students could visualize the lessons and better assimilate them.
In science, the chapters were accompanied by related (non-commercial) videos on various experiments that students could perform with materials available at home. Apart from that, questions, answers, and chapter highlights have also been included. Later, the government-initiated “Samveda” videos were also uploaded to the website.
For primary classes like the first standard, Nali-Kali study materials and worksheets have become part of the chapters.
Every day, Darshan downloads chapters by class; he spends four to five hours after school hours preparing content for all classes. Even after downloading a chapter, it continues to improve the content, making it an ongoing process.
In addition to this, the website has a list of innovative extracurricular and extracurricular activities that the school has carried out. Short articles on topics such as culture, traditions, geography and other information about the area are also written by this director.
“The main advantage of this site is that it is freely accessible by anyone at any time. It is also simple in the approach. A child can easily understand it. Students who have access to the Internet can learn at home and those who do not have access to the Internet can learn in smart classrooms at school, ”said Venkatesh Bhat, member of the School Development Monitoring Committee whose children are also students of this school. .
Currently, the website has around 3,000 active users and 550 daily users with an average of 15,000 views since launch. Not only Hulkutri students, but also government teachers and students from other parts of the state like Hubballi and Bagalkot are actively using it.
“It is rare for a public elementary school to have its own website. The content of the website was presented with care and was well received by the teachers, ”said Sadananda Swamy, education manager at Siddapur Block.
Not only the website, but the school is known for its innovative activities in recent years. In order for students to develop an understanding of the environment, students learn about transplanting rice seedlings, caring for plants, and harvesting. Agricultural experts are invited to the school to talk to students about progressive and scientific agriculture.
A fictitious market is held every year in the school where students learn skills that will be needed in the future. Rangoli sessions are held where students learn to draw scientific maps and diagrams.
To educate students about the environment, they participate in outdoor tours where they are taught the importance of lake and environmental conservation.