Thane Ashram School Teachers Embrace Tech

An integrated pilot project for training school teachers was conducted recently by Eduspark International Pvt. Limited, a school management company owned byAmpersand Group, across ashram schools in Thane, Maharashtra.

The objective of the programme was to provide sustainable quality training for capacity building of teachers and continuous professional development through technology enabled solution. The office of additional commissioner, thane division, tribal development department, government of maharashtra selected 28 teachers comprising both experienced and new (primary, secondary and higher secondary) teachers from neighbouring ashram schools situated in themba, susarwadi, shenva, madh, dahagaon, ambivali and many small villages around thane to participate in the programme. The duration of the programme was 60 hours and was delivered in marathi language. Each course was divided into modules for better and effective understanding of the subject.

Before the onset of the programme, a survey was conducted across 10 schools with nearly 60 teachers and 10 principals to assess the challenges faced by teachers and devise solutions to create a training curriculum for them. A training programme including six courses and six modules was designed including 21st century approaches to learning, pedagogy and evaluation, fundamentals of child development, spectrum of special needs, basics in safety practices in school, basics in health and nutrition and professional skills. The objective was to improve the pedagogical skills with relevant subjects through technology. A detailed pre- and post-assessment was conducted and the average score amongst the teachers was compared. In the post assessment, teachers’ score improved to an average of 24/30 as compared to 16/30 in the pre-assessment.

Survey Insights:
  • Very high comfort with internet and devices
  • 65% of the teachers want to learn and embrace new technologies
  • Very high discontent with current in-service physical classroom training
  • 50% of the teachers want to learn new methods of teaching & evaluation
  • Child psychology was a big need
  • Low awareness on health and safety needs
  • Low awareness on handling of children with special needs
  • Support required on subjects like Mathematics and English
  • Support required on parental connect since parents are one of the most important stakeholders

Rustom Kerawalla, Chairman, Ampersand Group, said, “It is well known that the quality and extent of learner achievement are determined primarily by teacher competence, sensitivity and teacher motivation. The objective of the programme was to provide sustainable quality solution for the capacity building of teachers based on their needs and their continuous professional development through technology enabled solution. The training will help teachers from the tribal dominated areas to upskill themselves with modern methods of teaching and also address the needs of students in a scientific manner.”

The school teachers noted that the online teacher training platform has been a game-changer as most of the concepts taught during the formative years as a teacher are revisited in the courses. The training has empowered them to create rote learning free classrooms and compelled them to think out of the box.

With an aim to adopt new methods of teaching that complement the traditional ones, additional commissioner, tribal development department, led the implementation of the project in Thane. The blended training has been beneficial and relevant to teachers with NCERT too encouraging teachers to undergo training online.

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