According to DP Wahlang, principal secretary to the government of Meghalaya, Untrained and less-experienced teachers are one of the main factors for the continuing low learning outcomes of students. Based on the surveys and reports by think tanks, it has been found that education improvement in students is possible only through professional teacher training.
Meghalaya government take the Teacher Professional Development training initiative for secondary and higher secondary teachers, as a segment of the Supporting Human Capital Development Programme which is supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) since 2015. It has joined hands with IPE Global for the design and delivery of the programme.
“In Meghalaya, more than 50% of the teachers are untrained. They may have the subject knowledge but lack innovative pedagogies to make lessons more engaging for the classroom. Most of these teachers in government-aided schools have not undergone formal teacher training such as the BEd and hence lack the skills to deliver effective classroom teaching,” said Wahlang in an interview of Education Times.
Wahlang also told that “The initiative focussing on the professional development of in-service teachers and subject expert training in Science and Maths, around 3500 teachers have been trained in various modules including teaching strategy, classroom management, motivation strategies, academic leadership, innovation practices, and communication skills.”
Earlier, even basic tasks such as to prepare a lesson plan for a classroom were missing but after the Professional training, we learn and adopting several such practices in our daily routine, said by the educators.
Rahul Chatterjee, a Physics teacher of Jail Road Boys Higher Secondary School Meghalaya, said, “In the first phase of the training, the facilitators teach us how to improve our practices by making learning interactive using various aids such as props and models or audio-video resources available on the internet. The second phase is implementing this learning in the classrooms and the third phase involves further fine-tuning of these practices as per the needs of the students.”
A severe problem faced by Bakordor W Bannett, principal of Pariong Higher Secondary School, in her classrooms, is the lack of curiosity among students to ask questions and not showing interest in responding to any questions asked by the teacher.
Further Adding about her academic leadership training she said that it helped her learn a lot of insights into classroom management. “The fundamental of any learning process is that students ask questions, which was missing from our classrooms earlier, but as we make sessions interesting, we can see the changing effect. It is a small step and a lot still needs to be done,” she said.
Bannett also added that “Being a school from a rural area we have students from various socioeconomic backgrounds and the insights have helped me be more aware about their individual needs.”
Nairubam Paul, a Mathematics teacher in Meghalaya, says, “The change that I am seeing in the classrooms is that the training is helping the teachers in creating an environment of learning which has resulted in an increase in student enrolments.” DP Wahlang also said that to measure the effectiveness of the professional training programme which is going to conclude soon, Meghalaya will conduct a third-party audit.