Through a slew of education initiatives, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (CGPL) has touched lives of hundreds of children across Mandvi and Mundra blocks of Kutch District in Gujarat. Over the years, CGPL along with its partner Pratham Foundation observed that teacher training is a neglected area. Since a large number of families in rural India are not able to provide a learning environment at home, it is important for teachers to step in to build a relationship that transcends the boundaries of schools.
Teachers can support learning only if they are well-trained. Keeping this in mind, as part of Shiksha Sarthi, CGPL and Pratham have been working towards building the capacity of Government teachers in Mandvi Block. Currently, as part of this initiative, teachers are being trained across 166 schools of the Block.
Pratham will work to train the teachers on CAMaL (Combined Activities for Maximized Learning) methodology. In this approach, activities include focussing on a specific target group of children and articulating clear learning goals. Underlying the entire process, ongoing simple measurement of children’s ability to read, write, comprehend and do basic arithmetic and solve problems, is used to assess progress.
The starting point of this initiative involved grouping children on the basis of their learning levels. As teachers’ training progresses, changes in learning levels of the students are being monitored closely. A Science program covering 36 schools to further the vision of the Pratham Science Learning Program is running simultaneously. Also, to create a larger impact on local communities, a Science Exploratory Centre has been equipped with new lab equipment. The Centre will be integrating technology with learning by promoting digital content on tablets and LED TV. Vigyan Mitras (VMs) will facilitate workshops and sessions with children at the centers.
The Vigyan Mitras undertake the workshops where they explain concepts and facilitate the process by forming small groups of participating children to work on scientific models for two to three days (depending on the model). During these sessions, children make the models, carry out experiments and understand the basic concept of the topic at hand. Children also present and explain their models to their classmates which boosts their confidence and communication skills.