Rajesh kumar effectiveness in government schools


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Rajesh kumar effectiveness in government schools

  1. 1. Challenges and Ways forward for ensuring that all government elementary schools are effective in promoting learning of each child Rajesh Kumar LOKMITRA www.lokmitra.org.in
  2. 2. RTE Act – A half-hearted Step • Lokmitra believes that education is the way to build a better world that is inclusive, sustainable & driven by love. Right to Education has some provisions that enable progress towards that vision. • RTE Act also has some limitations. Spirit of being a fundamental right has been undermined. Some issue of systemic change, availability of resources, are not covered by the Act. • Right to Education demands a quality education for each child. Norms prescribed in the Act for the school can only be an enabling factor for quality education. There is effort by the system to meet the norms, but doing so without substantial increase in education budget will deliver limited solutions.
  3. 3. RTE Act – A half-hearted Step • System is still struggling with providing sufficient teachers to each schools, quality of pre service, in service training is still detached from classroom reality and fragmented. • Education system and its way of functioning have not changed. Teachers are directed with so many instructions (but not bound to follow them, many a times due to no information) that they lose initiative as there is no one to inspire for collective vision. • So most teacher, continue to have low motivation and low accountability. Consequently there is hardly any improvement in prospect of each child’s learning.
  4. 4. Way Forward • Systemic changes will be slow, dependent on collective demand of major stakeholders & champions. • Some of potential schools and interested teachers, SMCs should be given support in way that they each school changes itself from within. This is based on continuous process of learning that is based on collective reflection. • Such structures and processes are promoted in school that supports this continuous collective learning. This needs to weave various strands in the Act along with some of new norms of SSA so that there is space to intervene and there is synergy. • Collective voice emerging in the process will also influence larger system for suitable support to schools.
  5. 5. Way Forward • Effort of Lokmitra has evolved taking into consideration these understanding. • Over last one decade Lokmitra has been engaging with elementary education system in multi-pronged and multilevel manner. • This engagement has not been under any formal arrangement. Still there has been space to intervene, support, demand and strengthen a growing number of parents and teachers for change. • Lokmitra believes that change is possible if we work with long term perspective by mobilising parents & teachers to work collectively to transform the school from within, and in the process influence the education system & political system. It is a long drawn task but a critical one.
  6. 6. School Improvement - Promoting Vision & its Achievability for Teacher’s motivation • Teacher motivation is key issue for initiating the process, especially when there are so many disincentives & social pressure against positive change. • If teachers get a feel of better school, where children & teacher both are at ease and filled with joy of doing and learning, there is scope to overcome initial inertia. • Next challenge would be collaboratively working out an activity system which convinces teachers that vision of each child learning is possible. • During last two years Lokmitra has fine-tuned an Activity System (drawing from its own and others experiences) that has appeared promising. As school makes effort towards vision, sufficient handholding and support is required.
  7. 7. Systemic Change – Collective voice of Parents & NGOs/CSOs. • Since 2005, Lokmitra has evolved the practice of federating SMC, by mobilising parent members at Cluster and Block Level, as Parent Association. • Emerging leaderships of parents from SMC/PA have been involved at district and state level advocacy. • This has been done by bringing NGOs & SMCs/PAs together under an education coalition (Basic Shiksha Manch - BSM) • Along with this Lokmitra has promoted another practice of Teachers Learning Forum. • These two practices are showing the pathway for local mobilization for larger and sustained change in education scenario and system.
  8. 8. Approach of Lokmitra SMC School Based Activity System Teachers’ Learning Forum Parent Association Broad Based Education Coalition
  9. 9. Activity System to Improve School from Within • Responsibility to fulfil each child’s right to learn in school is shared with all children, all teachers and parents. • Listening to what others have to say is the starting point of learning. So Activity System provides opportunity so that each one is listened. • Children are organized in collaborative learning system in groups, enabling learning from each other (enabling children’s active, cooperative and reflective learning). • Teachers are expected to respond to children’s responses toward learning.
  10. 10. Activity System to Improve School from Within • Weekly/Fortnightly meetings of teacher in which they discuss case studies of children and classroom observations. This is at the heart of school management. • Case studies need to focus on learning as experienced by children in their classrooms and learning from each other. • Parents and teachers work together, sharing responsibility for educating children. • Lokmitra is trying to enable SMC members to emerge as effective group, being able to delve into root causes of the problem, being able to take joint responsibility rather than passing the buck to each other or to the government. • During last two years with encouraging response in some schools (like Manpur Sahawa, Sointha in Raebareli).
  11. 11. SMC OOOOOO OOO OOO OOO OOO OOO OOO  Collectively setting Aims & Objectives (attendance, retention, learning etc)  Collective understanding of Quality of Education  Analysis of Problems and find solutions.  Evolving and tracking the learning system of school through monthly meetings. OOO OOO OOO OOO OOOOO OOO OOO OOO OOO Teachers Group OOO OOO OOO OOO Parent Teacher Meeting for Each Class OOO OOO SMC BAL MANCH Children’s Group & BAL MANCH Teachers Group  Becoming sensitive to Children’s Learning  Weekly Learning Session, reflecting on Case Work with Children and each others observation of teaching practice.  Listening to SMC, Bal Manch, PRI and taking lead in preparing School Development Plan  Head Teacher ‘s Leadership for promoting Children’ Right to Learning.  Each Class has children divided in Groups of 6-8 for collaborative Activity Based Learning.  Children also taking responsibility for attendance and learning.  Children from Each Group of Each Class collective meet every week for BAL MANCH. Plan Children’ Collective Activity and suggest for School Improvement.
  12. 12. Challenge of Quality Education • RTE Act requires teacher to promote learning of children without fear and coercion. The Act expects teachers to cover the curriculum. • Most teachers believe that children will study when they are given fear of examination and pass-fail. • RTE has provision for Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation so that teachers are able to understand what children are learning and what are learning needs. • Thus Child Centred teaching has been visualised, building on children’s natural curiosity and previous learning. • Official trainings don’t facilitate Teachers’ own Construction of Knowledge, on the basis of reflecting on experiences, analysing experiences and drawing conclusions. On the contrary, many faulty ideas get promoted (like children from poor economic background being of low IQ).
  13. 13. Promoting Teachers as Learning Community for enhancing their Capacity & Motivation • During 2007, the idea of involving teachers through their own peer learning emerged for addressing the problem of low capacity of teachers and lack of academic support. • Teachers Learning Forum is promoted as voluntary initiative of teachers in which they periodically assemble on holidays to share their teaching practices and learn from each other. • This practice is expected to make teachers proactive for their own learning and improvement of school. This will further convey a message to education department and academic support system that teachers needs to be provided participatory learning spaces and some autonomy. Top down bureaucratic supervision is not the solution for teachers’ accountability and performance.
  14. 14. Promoting Teachers as Learning Community for enhancing their Capacity & Motivation • Practice evolved in one Block and got well accepted in about 10 other Blocks, reaching out to about 600 teachers. Average attendance of teachers in a block level meeting is about 20. • Lokmitra also did Policy Advocacy for promoting the idea of Peer Learning among teachers. (through workshop of knowledge Commission and through its regular advocacy effort). Now Peer Review at Cluster level has become part of New Framework of SSA. • Good Practices of Teachers, shared during the meeting, are collected and published periodically (Pragya).
  15. 15. Collectivization & Advocacy by Parents Block Parent Association • During 2004-06 Lokmitra has effectively evolved concept and practice of SMC & Parents Association to address the powerlessness faced by parents in engaging with education system and to promote their continuous learning to work for school effectiveness. • Parent members of SMC federate at Cluster, Block level mutial learning and collective advocacy. Making their voice heard to officials & peoples representatives at Block, District & sate level. • In 2008, DHRUVTARA, an documentation on practice of Parent Association in story form was developed and printed. • By 2009, in pre RTE phase, BPA has been active in three Blocks.
  16. 16. Collectivization & Advocacy by Parents Block Parent Association • Parent Association got sustained and with new members when SMC got constituted under RTE Act in 2011 and in 2013. • Lokmitra tries to convey to teachers that larger problems faced by teachers can only be addressed by larger combined power of parents and teachers. SMC can support teachers in negotiating local power structure and in problem solving.
  17. 17. Basic Shiksha Manch (BSM), Education Coalition • During State Assembly Election in 2007, idea of coalition emerged, while taking a collectively prepared Charter of Demand to contestants. • BSM has emerged as a broad based coalition of Parent Association (Block level Federation of parent members of School Management Committees, SMCs), NGOs, CSOs, academicians & individual activists. • It is intended that Parent Associations would be in leading role, with more than fifty percent representation in organizational level activities. • BSM is emerging as a two-tier structure, at district level for keeping a watch on quality of education delivered and demanding better implementation and at state level for policy advocacy.
  18. 18. Impact • Effort of LOKMITRA, Basic Shiksha Manch and Parent Association has contributed to development with RTE Act. • Advocacy for influencing the Model Rule gave a direct result in terms of being provisioned that a Parent would be chairperson of SMC. In State RTE Rule of UP it has been included that SMC will be formed in open meeting, as demanded by BSM. • There is perceptible and growing change in attitude of teachers, parents, NGOs and Officials. Parents are taking leadership in SMC, Parent Association and even in mobilizing parents in neighbourhood areas.
  19. 19. Impact • Subsequent to consistent effort Govt Order for SMC formation was made in June 2011. It had such provisions, as demanded by BSM, like formation of SMC in open meeting of parents, sufficient parents in SMCs (11 parents in 15 person body), selection of parents from each class, Chairperson/Vice Chairperson from parents etc. • Subsequently RTE Rules was enacted in July. Except for few provisions, it was a satisfactory Rule. • In 2013, Govt adopted many suggestions made for proper reconstitution of SMC, like provision of Quorum, admission of children at the close of session, involvement of NGOs, display of name of selected members, etc.
  20. 20. Impact • Growing enthusiasm and participation of NGOs from about 40 districts for advocating for realization of educational right of children. There is growing capacity of BSM to organize large scale campaigns and activities at short notice through its participatory approach. • Lokmitra had hoped that with by getting large number of NGOs in the state, there would be fast spread of practice of Parent Association. This hasn’t happened. But there is agreement and some progress on ground. Lokmitra aims to promote Block level Parent Associations in most rural and urban areas of Uttar Pradesh.
  21. 21. Insights from engaging with education system • Parents want to educate their children. If children are not regular in school then somewhere school is not able to fulfil the needs of children. • There is lack of suitable learning environment that promotes meaningful learning. Special opportunities are required for the children belonging to first generation of learners. • In a system controlled and managed from above, parents assume that school belongs to distant government and morale of teachers becomes weak.
  22. 22. Insights from engaging with education system • Within a broad policy guideline, teachers’ accountability should be towards parents of children. • All the solutions for betterment of school are not at school level. So intervention should be systemic, covering all components and related systems, at all levels. • Any educational intervention should promote collective dialogue for within and in between key stakeholders, so as to promote better understanding and suitable action. Any intervention implanted from outside, or carried out as add on, will have little chance to get integrated or meet the purpose.
  23. 23. Broad Ideas for moving ahead • For effective governance of basic education, changes are required in policy, planning, administration and management of education so that decentralization and participation is promoted. • To initiate the process of change a draft for extensive change be prepared for discussions in groups of teachers, educationists, officers, peoples’ representatives and with parents as well. This way the draft of change will become better and the ground will be ready for implementation of those changes. • Teacher’s Learning Forum along with that of SMC & Parent Association will build a different institutional system where there is local accountability as well as some autonomy for teachers. Thus prospect of decentralized system of democratic governance of schools will grow.