Talking to a cross section of students from the Marredpally and Keesara campuses of St. Andrews School, I have discovered one of the most popular and well-liked classes in school. The Computer class has been described as a ‘wildcard’, ‘a way to express feelings’, ‘a place to improve communication’, and ‘a place to learn new technologies’. Students across the St. Andrews School branches have one thing in common – they are unanimous in appreciating their computer class and teachers.
During the months of June and July, students at St. Andrews are busy preparing for and participating in the Computer Competitions where they demonstrate what they have learned over the previous year. It was my pleasure to speak to Saurabh Chabra and Jerusha Kota of Class 3 as well as B. Aishwarya and M. Evan Jason of Class 4 to gain an insight into what our students go through during these competitions.
Interviewer: What do you like in your computer class?
Saurabh: In my computer class, I get to learn many things like how to make straight lines, how to use tools properly and when to use these tools on the computer.
Jerusha: The first thing I like is that there are many things to draw like trees, the Taj Mahal and other pictures.
Aishwarya: I like my teacher because she teaches me very nicely.
Interviewer: What do you think or how do you feel about the computer competitions?
Saurabh: After the competitions are over, I am excited to discover who won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize badges.
Aishwarya: I thought I would get the first prize in the computer competitions this year. I worked on my own and I got a little scared because I didn’t get time to practice. However, it was very easy to do.
Evan Jason: I like competitions because we’ll have some fun and we’ll learn something. It is my great opportunity to participate in these competitions.
Someone once said, ‘Winning provides happiness. Losing provides wisdom.’ After discussing the computer competitions with the students of St. Andrews, Keesara, I learned that winning isn’t everything; what matters is learning from one’s mistakes. Aditi Thirkateh and Chetan Sai Satvik of Class 6, Praneeth Simon and Harshith Suda of Class 8 and Anish Nookala and Rohan Jayanthi of Class 10 sat in a group with me and shared their views on their computer classes and competitions.
Interviewer: What do you like about your computer class?
Chetan: This is the best subject. I feel that I can improve my technical skills and improve my way of communication. I can also improve my typing skills.
Aditi: Our teacher is very supportive. Our teacher always helps us if we are facing a problem and she explains how to solve the problem.
Rohan: The different operating system Linux on which we learn allows us to explore the other Operating Systems apart from Windows.
Praneeth: St. Andrews, Keesara provides a lot of opportunities in computers, for example, learning C Language in 8th class which helps us in the future with courses like engineering.
Harshith: We students are given lots of opportunities to represent our school in the interschool competitions where preselected students present what they have learned. We get to freely express our journey in computers so that the judges can see what we have learned.
Anish: I love to come to the computer lab. I feel a sense of freedom here. The computer labs are kept very clean and are well ventilated which creates a good environment in which to study.
Interviewer: What is your opinion or what do you think and feel about the computer competitions?
Anish: I’m very competitive and I feel very excited about these competitions. I want to get the highest marks so I make sure I work hard for it.
Rohan: Everyone feels nervous and competitive at the same time which makes them all the more hardworking.
Chetan: This is the right stage to test children as when they are tested they will make fewer mistakes when they go on to software engineering.
Praneeth: The students approach the toppers and ask them for their ideas. The competitions are all about learning something new and exploring. It’s about telling the world about the abilities and talents we have and expressing them.
Harshith: Even if we lose we can learn more and can implement what we learned and do better in the next competition.
Aditi: The competitions are helpful to us for the future as there will be many more competitions to face. I would like to work hard in all competitions.
Getting to be in your teacher’s shoes is an exciting proposition. The students of Keesara had to dig deep to answer the question, ‘what would you do if you were the teacher and you had to run the computer competitions?’ Both Anish and Harshith replied that they would use creative techniques to add some humour to the otherwise serious environment of the computer class during the competitions. This, in turn, would get students laughing, their ideas would start flowing and they would participate with greater focus.
While being the teacher is not an easy task, these young students can still dream of a day when they would be using these computer applications in the workforce. After all, sometime in the future, a few of these students might, in fact, be sitting in the teacher’s chair shaping the lives of those who will come after them.