Sukanti Sabar remarks, “I used to face a lot of problem while teaching counting to these children. They were unable to identify a number when asked to. It further made concepts like place value and addition very difficult”. Sukanti Sabar teaches children of grades 1, 2 and 3 at the Government Primary School in Sunamundi village, Odisha and has been a teacher for past seven years.
Earlier this year, she received training from Lokadrusti about activity-based teaching and learning practices being used in the Learning Enrichment Program (LEP) in Odisha. The training included identification of important concepts being covered in the curriculum and then teaching them through group-learning and peer-learning methods. They also learned about a few activities that highlight these concepts through appropriate teaching and learning material.
She also admits that she had “lot of difficulty while using the TLMs” in her own class. It is to address these difficulties that Lokadrusti staff conducts frequent visits to the Government schools where teachers have received pedagogy training from Lokadrusti. In this case, the support was provided by Manasi who visits Sunamundi village at least twice a week. Sukanti could approach Manasi and she helped her out with the use of TLMs.
Once she received the training, she did not wish to wait for TLM’s like Ganitmala for weeks. She prepared one using clay and continues to use that Ganitmala in the classroom. This remarkable effort underlines the excitement and commitment of Sukanti and other like-minded teachers to ensure quality education for their students. Using these TLMs and group-learning methods has also increased the participation in the class. Sukanti exclaims, “Children love activities of Ganitmala and Namavali, because it lets them participate. Once they are participating, I don’t have to control the classroom to maintain discipline. They have become more regular and pay more attention”.
Training and support of Government teachers is a critical aspect for sustainability of LAMP. The success of this initiative will be decisive in determining the success of pedagogy based interventions. After implementing models of quality learning under the Learning enrichment Program, these trainings indicate a new phase which aims at systemic change to ensure quality learning in Government schools. Training and support for Government teachers will ensure a multifold increase in the number of children that can benefit from activity-based teaching and learning methods. In the years to follow, this initiative will gain momentum as our implementation partners will work more intensively with bigger number of Government teachers and schools. For this to happen, positive participation of teachers like Sukanti will guide us towards the right approach.
-Compiled by Lokadrusti team