Friday, January 27, 2012

Lesson learnt workshop with TLMs exhibition and awareness meeting on RTE-Act

Sudeshna Sinha explaining how she manages English Teachers Network
Lesson learnt workshop with TLMs exhibition and awareness meeting on RTE-Act, 09  in Swanirvar in collaboration with WBEN, Shikshamitra and Local Govt High Schools
WEBN member on RTE awareness
            From 2004, we started taking Environment Studies classes in High Schools. Soon we met some innovative teachers who were very fed up and frustrated with the monotony of conventional teaching. We felt the need of networking so that these innovative teachers could share their ideas to others and also to exchange their experiences with each other. Initially, we realized that in most of the schools Work Education was the most neglected subject and the subject teachers had nothing to do and most of them were assigned to take different classes in the lower section. In July, 2008 we asked the work education teachers of the local High schools for a meeting in Swanirvar. They expressed their dissatisfaction to us and we told them that we could make a network and started some sort of new works in work education classes. Gradually the network started functioning in full phase and all the teachers participated for a monthly meeting cum workshop in Swanirvar. They learnt many new ideas on waste management – making toys and other decorative items form plastics and other waste materials, also learnt many hand held activities like jam jelly making, making greeting cards from hand-made papers, etc. They also implemented these in their respective schools. Gradually, we also proposed local Mathematics and English teachers to make similar network. In June, 09 Mathematics teachers Network and from Nov, 2009 English Teachers Network started. They also got various inputs from us and shared their views and experiences. 
             In Oct, 2010 we invited all the head of the institutions from where we had the assistant teachers who were the members of these networks. On that meeting most the principals expressed their gratitude to us and wished the success of these networks. On that meeting the Teacher In Charge (acting Principal) of Mandra Hazer Ali Smriti Vidhyapit told us that almost 30% students of class V could not read Bengali (mother tongue) and asked for our help. After that our Technical partner, Shikshamitra gave inputs on Bangali for the two months (continuous) and as a result it was found that these weak students started reading News Papers, even they expressed their understanding by their own and also drawing and also were looking confident.
Models made by Students
            In Dec, 2011 all the network teachers requested us to organize a symposium so that they could expressed their achievements to others. At the same time, West Bengal Education Network (WBEN) planning to organize a district level awareness meeting on Right To Education (RTE) Act, 09. We being the member of WBEN offered our meeting hall and campus to hold the meeting. It was decided that on 21st January, 2012 a meeting on Lesson learnt workshop with TLMs exhibition and awareness on RTE-Act, 09 will be held in Swanirvar in collaboration with WBEN, Shikshamitra and Local Govt High Schools’.
Participants looking English TLMs
Work education models display
            Principals from 14 Govt High schools, 25 Assistant Teachers from different Govt High Schools, 9 school-committee members (elected by the parents vote), 4 Panchayat members, 5 WBEN representatives, 4 experts from Shikshamitra, 3 retired teachers, 10 primary school teachers, 5 Journalists and some parents attended in that meeting. Different charts, posters, models made by the Govt School teachers were displayed. They displayed different TLMs and models on Mathematics, English and on Wok Education. Shikshamitra displayed the TLMs on Bengali. The Govt. teachers not only displayed their TLMs but also were present in the respective stalls and shared their experiences with visiting teachers. Some of them, described their observations and suggestions and usefulness of TLMs making and using in the classes. At the end of the meeting WBEN’s state representative, Chir Ranjan Paul gave us a vivid ideas and utilities of RTE act, 09.
Some Recommendations/ suggestions from the audiences:
1.      One of the Panchayat members who also the secretary of a school requested us for a similar network with the Govt. Primary teachers.
2.      Principals of 3 schools requested us for a motivational workshop.
3.      3 schools who were in our network expressed their willingness to join in the networks; also asked for the similar help in Bengali, Mathematics and English which was done by Shikshamitra in Mandra Hazer Ali Smriti Vidhyapit.
4.      Some of the teachers requested us for a class wise syllabus on Work Education also requested us to link with the market for selling the handicrafts made in the work education classes in the schools.
5.      Some of the teacher asked from the experts on the way to involve parents in the school development.
      6.  Almost all the schools requested us to carry out research to reduce school dropouts. 

Reported by,
Samir Biswas,
Supervisor, KKB, Swanirvar 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Strengthening Govt. Schools: Training given to the Govt. Teachers:

Use of TLMs
Hand held guide on TLM use in classroom

Julkalam, our trainer taking class on ' Word making '

Lcture of pedagogy
Quality improvement of the 60 Sishu Shiksha Kendra of Deganga Block:
           In 2004, Swanirvar gave major drive to improve the quality teaching in Govt Primary schools. Our initial objective was to identify the innovative teachers and giving trainings to them so that after that there would be a network of innovative teachers. These teachers would impart trainings in future. With our consistent efforts some of the teachers became very efficient and started doing many experiments in their schools. 2004- 2007 we regularly visited these schools and maintained liaison with these teachers. We involved them in joint sahitya sabha and also in Rakhi and other special days celebrations. Sometimes we invited some of the innovative and enthusiastic teachers in our workshops.

In, 2007 these innovate teachers demanded for a Mathematics training cum workshop from us. We were very happy and accepted their proposals. But we imposed certain conditions on them – 1. We told them that we would provide trainings and materials supports for this workshop but they had to bear the expenses of travels and food. The teachers accepted our proposal.  2. They also made an agreement with us on future monitoring and evaluation. On 26-27th May, 2007 that workshop was held and 24 teachers from 15 SSK schools of Deganga Development Block participated. In that training session – the teachers learned teaching methodologies and also got hand held trainings on TLMs making and its applications in the classroom. This was a brainstorming for the teachers who were tired on taking just monotonous classes but it was a joyful learning for them. They shared their experiences in the teacher’s union meeting also conveyed that message to the SSK supervisors, Deganga Block. They also demanded for a similar workshop on Bengali. Gradually, a relation between Swanirvar and the teachers was developed. Whenever we organized training session- we invited some of the teachers to participate. They shared their learning experiences in the monthly meeting (these meetings are held four times in a month and is mandatory for the teachers to attend). In 2009, Block Development Officer, Deganga Block and Nodal Officer came to know about us from the teachers. They invited us to give a short demonstration on Pedagogy and TLM use in front of 60 SSK teachers and other Sr. officials from Education Department. They were very pleased and asked us to apply for a grant from the SSK mission but the applet authority was not interested in the activities that were not listed in their syllabus. SSK mission was little annoyed to see our activities on action rhymes and arts & crafts as these were not in their syllabus. So we decided to work with only 15 SSK schools in Deaganga Block.

In August, 2011 some of the innovative teachers who got regular inputs from us and 3 SSK supervisors met with our staff trainer – Prosanto and Gopal. They requested us for  organizing a training cum workshop on English teaching. They also added that all the teachers met together four times in a month in their monthly meetings, they attended that meeting just for administrative discussions but there was no discussion on teachers training/ empowerment and quality improvement of schools. These teachers also persuaded their union-leaders to draw the attentions of the higher officials. On September, 2011 Gopal and Prosnato sit with the – BDO, Deganga, Shiksha Karmadhakya (people’s representative in charge of Education), Samity Education Officer, 3 SSK Super visors, Teacher’s-Union leaders and it was decided that all the SSK teachers would get trainings from us and also Swanirvar would do regular follow up and monitoring in those schools.
SSK Teachers Training at Deganga block

  1. 60 teachers from the 60 SSK schools were given training on basic English( for class –I &II)  on 15th Sept, 2011
  2. Similar English training cum workshop was held on 28th September, 2011 with 62 teachers.  
From January, 2012 we are busy in assessing the impacts of our trainings. The compiled follow up report will be published soon. 

Reported by,
Prosanto Mondal

Pre-primary TLMs for the children of Purulia:

Pre-primary TLMs for the PRADAN students
On 24-25th August, 2011, our trainers went to visit the 32 Primary Centres run by a famous NGO, PRADAN. These centres were at Jhalida Block (one of the most back ward blocks of West Bengal and also in India) under Purulia District.  It was our 1st follow up visit after the completion of Phase-I trainings which was held on 25-29 October, 2010 at Swanirvar.
No rod making
            During our visit, we observed that in all the schools had a few children under 5 years old and they were doing nothing in the class. Moreover the teachers had no plan with them and they mostly came by their own timings and spend a few hours in the centres.  We asked the PRADAN officials about these children and came to know that most of their parents went to forest to collect woods leaving their kids in home and most of them send their children to the centres for safety and security. They also requested us to make a plan for these pre-primary children.
            On 19th September, 2011 teachers of the primary schools (run by PRADAN) came for Phase-II training. We took them to pre-primary school at Margurkhali and gave them a short orientation on Pre-primary teaching methodologies and management. They also saw how the children were using TLMs and other classroom activities. After returning back to Purulia the teachers requested the PRADAN’s management to purchase pre-primary TLM sets for their 32 centres. After that we got order from PRADAN to supply 32 sets of TLM for their pre-primary students. Our staff made these sets in 15 days, these were 24 sets of TLMs for the below 4yrs children and 28 sets of TLMs for the comparative senior children. Very soon we will send our staff trainers to assess the TLM use in the centres and they will also give a practical orientation to the teachers on the TLM use in the classroom.

Reported by:
Prosanto Mondal
Swanirvar; Tel: 91 9732829202 

Primary Teachers-training to the children (Class III-IV):

On 13th July, 2011 we visited the Pratap Pur Free Primary School at Durgapur. We were invited by a local NGO, Srreoshi. Srreoshi was the technical partner of Durgapur Alloy Steel Plant and was responsible to implement its CSR projects. Pratappur which was very close to that steel plant was one of the project villages of that CSR project and they were trying to make this village as a model village. One of their main objectives was to develop Pratappur FP schools and made it as a model institution in that locality.   
            After returning Swanirvar, we send them a feedback observation report. We wrote that – the school was lack of teaching learning materials (TLMs), there was no group activity and proper classroom management. But the positive aspect was that the teachers were very enthusiastic to learn and introduce new ideas. We told them to take subject wise trainings from us. They accepted our recommendations and requested us to make a training syllabus for the senior students (class _III & IV) along with the teacher’s trainings.
            Phase _I training from the teachers was held on 30-31 August, 2011. This training was on Bengali and Mathematics for the students of class –I and II. There was a session on TLM development and its use in the class room.  
            On 20-21st October, 2011 we went to Durgapur for giving trainings to the Sr. students. They were given trainings on – Bengali, Mathematics and Art & Craft. They were divided into three groups. Three of our trainers given trainings to these three groups in different class rooms.  Details were given below:
   Gr-A   Class-III   Students-24:
Math: Fraction –concept, Counting – 1-24 Odd, even, gapping counting, Group formation: circle, half circle, Row, small group big group
·         Science: Primary and secondary colour
·         Language: Big words to Small words, Chkra Chart, word making from last letter, sentence making
from chakra chart, pictures and slip cards
·         Song and rhymes
Gr-B Class-IV Students-22
·         Math: Activity based TLM works for Addition and Subtractions , Game on math
·         Language: sentence making as above, sence expansion
·         Song and rhymes
·         Memory games
·         Kulartom( Kathi dance)
Gr- C  Classes: III  and IV   students-25
·         Meditation with a song
·         Origami: chain making, Circle shape with Varity  designs ,Fruits shapes, X-mass tree, Flower-vase, aroplane
·         Friendship  Programe: 12 children actively participated and made 10 letters about themselves with lovely pictures drawing on it. These letters already sent to  England for friendship program.
On 21st Oct, 2011, all the students shared and presented some activities, action rhymes and kathi dance at the end of the training. The management staffs of Alloy steel plant, Srreoshi officials, and Local school teachers were also present.

·         Students were energetic, helpful and actively participated in that refresher course.
·         Students had many doubts in their studies; they need such exposure so that they could share their realizations and doubts with others and got new ideas.
·         Some of them obsessed to gender issue but they got focus.
·         We found that some of the students who were not so good in academics but found very innovative in sense of leadership, drawing, singing and hand held activities.
·         This is new concept to us we are also looking for its outcome.
·         After getting the ideas on school friendship, the students of Pratappur FP have started friendship with a primary School of United Kingdom.
We are planning to introduce such refresher session in our primary schools from the next academic calendar.

Reported by:
Prosanto Mondal