Can you give us an overview of the Commerce Programme @ Deeksha?
To begin with, in the Commerce stream, we have a total of 10 subjects, including optional subjects and languages. Children can choose from the three optional subjects – Basic Maths, Statistics and Computer Science. In Computer Science, 30 marks are allotted to the practical exams, and 70 to theory. This pattern is common for the mid-term, preparatory and final exams. The standard subjects are English, Accountancy, Business Studies, and Economics. All these exams are conducted for 100 marks.
We emphasise on the practical component of Finance and Accounting, in both years. In our Practical Accounting labs, our Class 11 children learn theoretical and practical aspects of Accounting Excel – how to make income and expenditure statements, balance sheet, preparation of profit and loss accounts etc, and Class 12 children learn Tally.
Moreover, the Focus 360 programme gives our children a hands-on, practical exposure to the concepts learnt. The weekly sessions on business presentations give them exposure to the corporate world and the bank visits teach them essential things such as filling up cheques, challans, withdrawal forms and demand draft application forms.
We believe in orienting children towards independent career choices and encouraging them to evaluate their aptitudes. To the children interested in becoming entrepreneurs or independent consultants, we provide a marketable product to facilitate practical experience in marketing and selling real products for an allotted price. This is an exercise to encourage innovation wherein, under the guidance of experienced faculty, children come up with imaginative and effective ways to market products.
How well did the children and teachers adapt to the online mode, did it differ radically from the physical classroom experience?
The teachers are adept in pedagogical manoeuvres and that helped them harness the virtual medium quite well. The instructors put their best efforts to make all the sessions interactive and cleared the doubts of the children, both in real time and through correspondence. However, it must be said that when it comes to online classes, the perceived effectiveness of the sessions is also based on the interest levels of children. And since the practical aspect of the syllabi is crucial for a wholesome learning, the offline mode is favoured by the children.
How did the teachers manage to keep the personalised connect intact during the lockdown?
Fortunately, Deeksha has a dependable support system in place, in the form of dCARE. And the concept of dCARE Parent (dP) became a lifeline in those critical months. The dP kept a close tab on the progress of their respective mentee and left no avenue unharnessed to establish connect with them.
Even during the lockdowns, the dPs would take the parents’ approval and call their respective mentees once a month to campus, with different timeslots given to each of them. This was done to check the completion of notes of all the subjects and mentor them one-on-one, clear doubts and provide guidance.
The dP-mentee relationship provided succour to the children in the times of isolation. Along with academic mentorship, appropriate emotional and psychological support was given to the children. This helped the children navigate the challenging phase while keeping their academic performance ahead of the curve. The personalised mentorship model proved equally effective in online and offline modes.
What are internal assessments like and how do they help track children’s academic progress?
We encourage critical self-evaluation and self-assessment and have a robust culture of continuous and personalised performance-gauging. For instance, online tests are conducted on a twice-a-week basis, with customised difficulty levels based on the performance of children. A similar pattern is followed in the offline mode on a weekly basis.
There is an array of tests and exams to help children prepare well for the exams including periodic assignments for all the subjects, weekly tests, mid-term exams, along with 3 cycle tests and preparatory exams.
The refreshers and the catch-up courses are gaining prominence in the wake of the pandemic, is there a programme to help children catch-up at Deeksha?
We have always believed that in both Science and Commerce streams students need to be thorough with portions of both Class 11 and 12 to compete and distinguish themselves in Board Exams and undergraduate programmes. In the beginning of Class 12, about 10 days are allotted to the ‘Mind Map’ programme, which is a review of portions of Class 11. The concepts that are extended into Class 12 are emphatically reviewed to brush up the basics.
What are some of the practices that helps children gain an edge?
We advise children not to depend on rote learning and understand the subjects thoroughly. This principle serves as a rule of thumb for the most successful of students across exams and assessments. Another study tip which helps many children is to understand the concepts in their own language and then write it in English, so that they can relate to difficult subjects better.
Staying updated on current affairs is critical to have an edge in exams. So, one must try and keep abreast of innovative approaches and new trends from around the world and become confident!
Deeksha, Kengeri, Bengaluru
Class 12 – 600/600 (Commerce)
Currently studying B.Com. at Sri Sarvajna College of Education
What aspects did you focus on, how did you approach the syllabi?
The subjects I studied were Kannada, English, Basic Maths, Economics, Business Studies and Accountancy.
I believe, answering question paper is also a skill and it helped me quite a bit, especially in the languages. in English, I gave additional emphasis on grammar, as it is a Fault-line of sorts and it’s where one could lose marks despite answering well overall. In Kannada, I worked on my speed besides the content. I believe, marking key points and challenging words and mastering them while studying, helped me score well in both the languages.
As for the core theory subjects – Economics and Business Studies, the portions were vast, and we also had to revise all the chapters from the first year. In Class 11, we studied Statistics in the Economics paper, and it found application in class 12 Economics, which entailed extensive data interpretation and calculations. Naturally, without a thorough refresher of the concepts of class 11, navigating class 12 would be difficult.
As for the practical sessions in Basic Maths and Accountancy, I practiced a lot. For Accountancy, I exclusively studied the manuals provided by Deeksha and important questions given by teachers. I also received great tips on answering various type of questions. For Basic Maths, we were required to master the tricks and hacks for solving various problems. I practised all the example problems, without missing even a single one of them. Getting the formulae right for solving problems in a specific chapter, was a nuance that I mastered.
Understanding of the exam pattern and placing emphasis on the weightage was also a critical aspect. In the final exam, it helped me quite a bit as I could make an informed decision while choosing and omitting topics and concepts.
I took the internal assessments very seriously and the weekly tests held every Monday and language tests on alternative Wednesdays, gave me the required practice.
What was your study routine like?
My approach for daily studies was to start with a language subject and then move on to other core subjects. Alternate days were allotted to each language. I studied Basic Maths and Accountancy daily, keeping in view the extensive syllabi and covered the rest of the subjects on alternate days.
During the revision phase in Class 12, I studied along with another top-scorer, Sahana. On a call, we would decide the topics to be studied and would individually finish them without fail and compare notes.
How would you remember your teachers?
Our teachers were always approachable. In Accountancy, our teachers would give us a lot of important questions, techniques, and hacks to solve problems. Right from Class 11, our basics were strengthened, thanks to them!
My dP was Shaniya Ma’am and I am in touch with her even after the first year of my undergraduate course. She was very kind and helpful. She encouraged me to solve my issues and helped me overcome them. In addition to my dP, I was close to other teachers too, who were always available to support and guide me in all areas.
How was school life @Deeksha?
At Deeksha, we had a lot of fun in various events and contests. It was learning with fun. I remember, I won a cash prize in a stall event as we were able to make relatively large profits with minimal investment. There were sports tournaments, singing, dancing, poetry competitions as well.
What distinguishes Deeksha’s Commerce programme, in your view?
I think the exposure and practical insights that we get at Deeksha are remarkable. The programme called Focus 360 gave us adequate exposure to business ideas, understanding complex topics in Finance and Accounting like GST and preparing invoices etc.
I feel blessed to be part of Deeksha as we had great learning in both the years. It was great to have an environment that reminded us of the fun that we used to have until class 10, in class 11 and 12, despite the pressures of the study. I fondly remember the approachable and caring teachers, friendly staff, who shared food with us, and helped us. Even though I studied in Deeksha for just two years, I made memories of a lifetime.
Tell us about your career aspirations.
I aspire to clear UPSC after finishing my Bachelors. I am interested in Indian Railway Personnel Services (IRPS) Indian Postal Services (IPS) and Indian Revenue Services (IRS). I hope to make a career in one of these.
What are your other interests, apart from studies?
In my free time, I volunteer at an NGO – Abhyudaya. I had studied there too and received great guidance in Class 10. Now, I volunteer and teach students at the same place, whenever I get the time, it’s my way of giving back.
Deeksha, Vijayanagar, Bengaluru