In association with ESRA-Plus, a USAID initiative, TRC has agreed to provide a series of workshops for school-heads in Islamabad. The workshops, which are slated to begin in April, will be quality focussed, and designed to build the capacity of school-heads in schools managed by the Federal Directorate of Education. Over the course of four months, school-heads will attend workshops aimed at examining their roles, not just as administration figures, but also as academic and community leaders. It is intended as a holistic programme of personal and professional growth.
In April this year, five 15-hour ECE refresher workshops, supported by the USAID-AKF RCC Project, were held for 122 teachers. They had already attended our 45-hour ECE workshop in 2004, and had indicated the need for this training, during the impact survey conducted in 2005.
The teachers said the workshop filled the gaps in their understanding and gave them clarity about how to manage the ECE daily routine, and that the innovative ideas will help them improve their classroom practice. They enjoyed the friendly environment where they were given the opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions. Some teachers found the day was too long (five hours) and felt the workshop should be shortened.
In the evaluation form, which is in Urdu, one teacher wrote these words in English ” It was very refreshing. It gave me strength. I will do my best next year. InshaAllah.”
Classes begin at TRC’s Institute of Early Childhood Education (ECE)
At long last, TRC’s goal of providing a recognised certificate programme for ECE teachers in Karachi has been realised. The TRC – Institute of Early Childhood Education is the result of years of preparation, research, faculty training, linkage collaboration with our Canadian partners, curriculum development and logistical planning. The first-year class of seven, in-service teachers began their classes in early October and will be completing their first term of study in January 2006. The programme includes classroom observation of the teachers in their workplace, followed by an hour of feedback to help them reflect on the implementation of the educational theories they are studying. For details go to ECE Certificate Programme.
Two Trust Schools have put their “trust” in TRC, and asked us to help streamline their early years curriculum and to train their teachers.
Shahwilayat Public School (SWPS): In 2005, the principal of the school had requested TRC to help them implement a shift from the Montessori approach, for their ECE section. A series of four workshops for their Elementary and Prep 1 teachers were held last year, and classroom support was provided early this year, to help them implement the new approach.
The next phase of the SWPS Professional Development Programme commenced in May 2006. Two workshops, â??How Children Learnâ?? and â??The Learning Environment and Peace Buildingâ?? were held for 18 teachers of Prep 2 and Class 1; another two workshops will be held at the end of this year.
Classroom support will begin in August, when schools reopen. The plan was to have Class 1 teachers attend the workshops along with Prep 2, but to implement changes in 2007. They however, were so enthused by the new approach, that they decided to make changes in August 2006, when schools reopen â?º
Fatimiyiah Education Network (FEN): To discuss the ECD section (Prep 1 to Class 2) they have planned to set up, the FEN Board members, requested a meeting with TRC. A collaboration has now been established. Besides training of teachers and classroom support, FEN has requested TRC to offer a consultancy and advise them on all matters pertaining to the ECD section, from appropriateness of the building, learning spaces for children and materials for the indoor environment. It is pertinent to mention that they will be the first school in the private sector, to adopt the National Curriculum for Early Childhood Education.
A workshop on ‘Active Learning’ was held in June for 18 teachers, and one on the ‘Learning Environment/Daily Routine’ in July. Classroom support will begin in October. Intensive meetings have been held with a small core group on revamping the FEN curriculum. The FEN Board has requested TRC to identify two teachers from this core group for TRC’s year-long ECE-Certificate Programme in 2007.
To examine the reasons for the high drop out rate among Kachi children, especially girls, UNICEF-Balochistan and the Bureau of Curriculum, Balochistan, commissioned TRC to conduct a study on the learning needs and available environment in Kachi classes within the province. We developed survey instruments and questions for focus group discussions and teacher interviews, to establish the status of the Kachi environment, including physical facilities, resources and teaching competency. The survey was conducted in a random sampling of 107 Unicef supported, public sector schools in the districts of Pashin and Kalat.
A session with children who had dropped out was conducted to gain insights into their views on how they felt about school and why they no longer attend. Focus group discussions were also carried out to gain insight from mothers and fathers with children who had dropped out of Kachi class, as well as from the general community and the PTAs. Finally, interviews were conducted with decision-makers within the provinceâ??s education sector.
The results of the study have been analysed and a report was submitted to UNICEF in June. A seminar for policy makers will be held in August in Quetta. The presentation identifies the opportunities and gaps of the Kachi environment in Balochistan, and includes recommendations and proposed actions for effective implementation of the National ECE Curriculum, for government decision-makers in the region. The presentation will be made by the Bureau of Curriculum Balochistan, with the support of Unicef staff.