Chitrakoot and Sitapur districts in Uttar Pradesh have initiated a major educator empowerment programme for their teachers, in line with the NEP 2020 vision to build a more literate India.
The districts have signed up with Square Panda, a Silicon Valley-based Ed-tech company, to conduct a comprehensive Educator Empowerment Programme for primary and ECCE teachers in government schools. This is in line with the National Education Policy 2020, which highlights the need to up-skill educators, making them future-ready, equipping them with technical know-how and language acquisition skills to promote lifelong learning.
Commenting on the initiative, Omkar Rana (PES), Basic Education Officer, Chitrakoot said, “Educators are the driving force behind strong ECCE programmes and better learning outcomes. Every district that has improved its teacher training programmes has benefitted from higher educational attainment, future earnings, and wellbeing. Chitrakoot is very proud to partner with Square Panda to upskill our ECCE educators across Chitrakoot with 21st-century skills, which ultimately has a long term positive effect on the children of our state.”
Manoj Kumar (PES), Basic Education Officer, Sitapur also shared, “India’s evolved New Education Policy 2020 talks about the primacy of ECCE – this is a telling sign of the importance of early years. The first 8 years of a child’s life are critical, as the rate of development is most rapid in that period. Research in neuroscience confirms that 85% of brain development has already taken place by the age of six. Our tie-up with Square Panda will bring innovative techniques of teaching and learning, a higher level of retention, more attendance, and ultimately, long term academic success for the children.”
Both districts have commissioned a 60-hour educator empowerment programme. Educators will be trained to comprehend the neuroscience of early learning along with an enhanced comprehension of foundational literacy and numeracy. To help them acclimatise in an ever-changing educational landscape, educators will be equipped with knowledge and implementation strategies to manage the classrooms better, along with a strong knowledge of technology. To help them develop professionally, as well as impart instruction, they will be given English language training, focusing on conversational and spoken English.
The programme structure includes pre-assessment, post-assessment as well as an intermediate assessment after each module to ensure efficacy. The programme is fully virtual and hence scalable to a much larger number of teachers. Each module has a self-study note as a takeaway which summarises key points and has activities to be conducted in the classroom, ensuring smooth implementation at classrooms post the training. There is also a chatbot (A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats or both), Square Talk, with an instant search capability, that acts as a support tool to the educators assisting them with query resolution, study materials, additional notes and FAQs as reference material for any time learning.
The modules covered include:
- Early Childhood Care & Education
- Teaching Methodology for Literacy & Numeracy
- Classroom Management
- English Language Proficiency Training
- Information and Communication Technologies Development
Ashish Jhalani, MD India for Square Panda said, “The progressive states of Chitrakoot and Sitapur have allowed us to implement a training programme with unique modules, optimum functionality and hands-on training, that has never been adopted in India before. For Square Panda, this is an extension of our commitment to being an organisation that works with the authorities to prepare our teachers for pre-primary education.”