Making Headway in a new Territory: Training English Teachers in Mundargi

    English Training for teachers

 The in-school programmes at Akshara ia making a headway in Mundargi Block in Gadag District for the academic year 2012-13. The English Programme in particular is being implemented in 97 schools with a reach of approximately 7,500 children. Following is an excerpt from the training session held in June this year.

The Akshara team was in the town of Mundargi , to impart English training aptly titled Swalpa English Thumba Fun. Its innovative training package is designed to give confidence to teachers in speaking English correctly, along with exercises in reading and writing
Dr. Kalavathi B.K., a senior trainer with Akshara for over four years trained a group of 28 MRPs (Master Resource Persons). She is a seasoned hand, with experience in rural areas. Says Kalavathi, “As far as teachers are concerned, government takes the cream of candidates with the best marks, but sustaining quality is the challenge. Rural teachers should not be taken lightly. It depends on the individual, it comes from within. All teachers are continuously trained and upgraded – by SSA, DSERT, DIET, and now by Akshara. There is so much training there’s sometimes no time for implementation.”
The group of teachers are adept in English, though they admit candidly their limitations, their need for augmentation. During the five days of training, they took pains over group effort, their encapsulation of the training and their presentations, polishing and refining them.
The teachers all came with various expectations, varying from wanting to know how to use the English teaching-learning material to self-development to creating an environment for English in school.
The structure of the training covered a gamut of activity and theory, imparted interactively – learning through fun and play interspersed with spurts of serious study; ice breakers, energizers, group exercises, rhymes and hilarity entwined with discussion, lesson plans, role plays and intensive grammar. Listening, speaking, reading and writing, the pillars of language, and the cardinal tenets of Akshara’s English Programme, were expounded by the Guidelines for Teaching Basic English Skills, a guide and companion for teachers in the classroom. Word play, Word Walls and, quite simply, the magic of words all through the five days.
Towards the end of the training, the teachers were motivated and wrote very impressive reports about the training, embellishing them with the sayings of famous people like R.W.Emerson and Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
The Block Education Officer of Mundargi Block, M.A. Radder, also attended the training one morning and spent time with the teachers, lending official weight to Akshara’s programmes. He gave a motivational talk to the participants on how to become better English teachers. “Read. Listen. Read English books, newspapers. Listen to the radio, to news on television. Write. Writing is important, man’s most important act. Those who can put words together can achieve a lot. Your target is the children you teach. You have a responsibility to educate them. You are the country’s torch bearers. If teachers fail, India will fail.”
At the end of the 5 day session, it felt good to hear the feedback from the participants. Anand Megadi, one of the teachers said “I did not expect so much English intervention here. I thought it would go as previous training programmes. I got a chance to get familiar with new words. I got a chance to learn.
This programme came as an air-conditioner while we were all just using fans and complaining a lot.
Though the state syllabus is effective and built on strong educational principles, it lacks the curiosity young minds are looking for. Teachers succeed in comprehending the content but fail to transfer it to the students.
Akshara Foundation has come up with innovative strategies and fine techniques that will help students gain competencies at the fastest rate possible in the shortest span of time.”
Swalpa English Thumba Knowledgeindeed!!!!!!!!! A mission successfully completed!

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