Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Training the tutors

Training the tutors

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
In an effort that will provide momentum to the state government’s education policies, Government of Maharashtra, represented by Sanjay Deshmukh, state project director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan signed the Maharashtra English Language Initiative for Primary Schools (ELIPS) agreement with the British Council. The initiative, scheduled to begin this July, aims to facilitate quality English language teaching in the lower primary classrooms of Maharashtra State schools.
“Based on the findings of a need analysis conducted by British council, we invited them to conduct this programme with primary school teachers,” explains Suvarna Kharat, state project co-ordinator, Rashtriya Madhyay Shiksha Abhiyan. “The ELIPS project aims to provide over 67,000 primary school teachers with improved language skills and methodology through a number of professional development initiatives such as face-to-face teacher training, access to innovative learning resources such as teaching English radio, free online resources, newsletter and more,” added Rob Lynes, director, India, British Council.
ELIPS will be implemented across Maharashtra, starting in Pune, followed by Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nashik, Nagpur, Amrawati, Latur and Aurangabad. The British Council has been working on similar projects in partnership with numerous state governments across India including NCT of Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Assam.
The programme will be conducted over a period of two years, providing training to 920 ‘master trainers’ who will cascade the training to over 67,000 primary teachers. It will focus on building language proficiency skills to an agreed standard, as well as train teachers in children-centric lessons. As part the Master Trainer Training, 1700 potential applicants will undergo a selection procedure comprising of a written assessment, group tasks and face-to-face interviews conducted by the British Council, of which 920 will then be selected as master trainers. “The project also aims to support the ongoing development of in-service teacher training in the state by establishing a cadre of mentors and subject experts who will be responsible for planning and supporting regular continuous professional development, and to provide orientation sessions for principals and head teachers which will enable them to support change in classroom practice,” adds Lynes.
Teachers under ELIPS will be equipped to assess their progress in line with the National Curriculum Framework (2005) and the policy of Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation.

For civic schools in Mumbai, though, this is one of the many initiatives undertaken to improve quality of education, especially following the report - Making the Grade: Improving Mumbai’s Public Schools. The 2010 report focused on depreciative conditions of public education in the city despite high enrollments. It concluded with a suggestion to increase public-private partnerships to improve the quality of public school education. Initiatives such as the School Excellence Programme, implementing the virtual classroom technology and tie-ups with organisations like UNICEF, are already in place in municipal schools in Mumbai, providing momentum to government’s education policies.

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