By Neelam Jeena
Society for All Round Development, SARD has started a pilot project in Delhi to improve methods of teaching in South Delhi municipal corporation schools. Developed in coordination with Michael Susan Dell Foundation ( MSDF), the SARD project is based on teacher traineeing techniques. Th project has several unique features. Under the project, Teacher trainers have focussed their attention on improving teaching standards in Hindi language and Mathematics. Nearly 270 schools were identified for the project. SARD teacher trainers on a rotation basis conducted several sessions covering more than 50 percent of the primary teachers of these schools. Training was conducted while teachers were covering the syllabus in the classroom. Also training was held in school premises during school hours with the same set of teachers. “This ensured continuous follow-up and follow-on of the trainings and was successfully able to systematically address various hard spots, weak skills and misconceptions which the teachers were having using various innovative methods and teaching learning materials”said SARD official.
SDMC Mayor, Kamaljeet Sehrawat said that the project has proved useful in training many SDMC primary school teachers on pedagogy and teaching methods. “This intervention has covered teachers of over 270 schools of our corporation so far, and will cover many more schools in the next year as well. The effective monitoring of this project and teacher trainings sessions are also done through mobile apps developed by SARD and they are integrating technology within the classroom”, she said. As per project, SARD and MSDF have developed a Teaching Learning Material Bank in one of the science centres of SDMC in collaboration with the government of Israel. This Bank has got many new and low-cost kits and material which cover hundreds of concepts in Mathematics and Hindi Language. This TLM bank has indeed encouraged teachers to use hands-on learning methods in school to teach better.
” With SARD, the focus has always been on the pedagogical aspects of education and the use of innovative methods to address the existing learning gaps in children, to prevent school drop-outs and to ensure high quality education in schools. SARD has also been successful in developing different models across states”, Geeta Goel, Country Head, MSDF.
SARD CEO, Sudhir Bhatnagar said that this initiative has yielded magnificent results and many students have shown considerable improvements in learning level outcomes in the chosen subjects of intervention, i.e., Hindi and Mathematics. The outcomes of the projects have been assessed systematically through regular internal and external evaluations, Bhatnagar maintained. The mandate of the intervention itself has evolved as per the emerging needs of the MCD schools and the students. Many innovative practices were evolved in the process of project implementation to optimize the knowledge and resources at every level. In order to ensure the sustainability of the initiative, a systematic attempt was made by SARD officials and educators to sensitize, educate and train the stakeholders at the MCD schools including the administrators, principals and the teachers. The impressive outcomes of the project have also led SARD to engage in advocacy initiatives. The intervention, after due demonstration of its efficacy, is being mainstreamed in various MCD schools in the South MCD schools through the handholding model implemented by SARD, Bhatnagar added.
SARD, with the support of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, has been working with 270 schools across 4 zones of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation for many years. The objective of the intervention was to holistically address the issue of improving the quality of education at the primary level and build the capacities of the teachers from a pedagogy perspective. The intervention itself was spread across two phases and the models were quite different in both of them. In the first phase, the initiative specifically targeted the students who were in need of the academic support due to their week performance and were at the risk of dropping out from the school system. The weak areas of the students were assessed, common errors identified and the teachers were equipped with adequate remedial model to cater to the needs of the students. Remedial classes took place in the regular school hours where the educators from SARD relentlessly worked with the students. However, sources stated that the pilot project which focussed on enhancing learning skills of teachers, may be replicated in North MCD and East MCD schools in future.