Punjab Education Dept. visit Karnataka for Knowledge Sharing

One of the key tenets of Akshara Foundation’s work in primary education is sharing – all our projects, be it KLP or Together We Can stand on our willingness to share. In one such effort, we spent two days with officials from Punjab Education Department (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan & SCERT) and Sampark Foundation sharing our teaching methodology, training mechanisms, assessment guides and teaching-learning material, for their consideration for replication in Punjab.
Team from Punjab education department
inspecting a math class
Sampark Foundation has been working with the Punjab Education Department helping primary schools deliver better education for school children. While considering support for English learning, Sampark visited Karnataka to see Akshara’s successfully functioning model. 
On Wednesday, the 5th of March 2014, Mr. Satwant Singh – Pravesh, SSA, Mr. Kanwaldeep Singh – ASPD Teacher Training, Darshan Singh – Pravesh Dist. Coordinator – Sangrur and Ms. Baljeet Kaur – English Subject Expert – SCERT, Venkatesh Malur and Sandeep Chauhan from Sampark Foundation came to Akshara Foundation. With special focus on our swalpa English Thumba fun programme, Kanchan Bannerjee of Akshara Foundation made a presentation and demonstrated our English kit which is used by Primary School teachers as supplementary material to help better learning.
Learning material in a nail-kali class
To see our work in action, we set off on a field trip the next day, to visit nearby schools in Hoskote for an interaction with children and teachers to demonstrate our contribution. We first reached the Government Higher Primary School in Sir M. V. Nagar in Hoskote to meet Esther Rani and her class. Esther’s nali-kali class of 1st to 3rd standard students demonstrated incredible reading ability. 
Singing English rhymes, reading long sentences, recognizing names of animals and things, the class set a positive tone for the visitors. The enthusiasm in the classroom was bountiful and all students were eager to demonstrate their English skills which was a joy to experience. The team visited two more primary schools in Banamakanahalli and Marasandahalli with around 30 children each and saw the program in action. The children in all the three schools were very eager to show off their English skills and were able to recite rhymes, read out stories and speak out a few sentences. The teachers were making a difference since they had been able to take out their fear of English through the training and practice.
Team from Punjab education department
inspecting a reading lesson
From there, we went to a remote school, rather far from public transport connectivity, with pre-school, primary and higher primary classes. Here was a quick demonstration of our Math kit, which helps children learn through experience. From there, we visited another school close by for a good sample, before we walked off to meet the Block Education Officer. 
Hoskote is among the districts identified as backward in parameters of quality education, with the education department working consistently to make the situation better. The Block Education Officer discussed with his contemporaries from a different state, issues of training and management. The officials see the fruits of the English program and have made provision for refresher training of teachers without a budget allocation since it is helpful to teachers and children.
Students from Akshara supported schools demonstrating English reading and math comprehension ability.
The Education Department from Punjab takes back with them Akshara’s know-how and experiences from the ground illustrating the impact of the work we’ve done. There is, of course, a long way to go – further meetings, conversations and plans – before this is implemented in Punjab as a demonstration project. Until then, let’s work harder and share more.
With inputs from and pictures courtesy of Venkatesh Malur from Sampark Foundation.