The Pathways to School Success project entered into its third and last year. Upon completion of the second year, extensive field activities were carried out for reporting progress. Interim surveys and feedback sessions were organised for stakeholders in Sehwan where the schools are located. The second phase of The Thinking Classroom project also commenced and the team took to the drawing board for conceptualising a 5 day training module for master trainers. A long sought after linkage with Karachi University began to take shape with TRC team carrying out two sessions at KU for students and faculty. “Stanley ka Dubba” was screened as part of TRC Film Club which was attended by public sector school teachers. Admissions to TRC’s ECE-CP are currently open. Interested candidates are encouraged to call or email us for registration details.
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Projects at TRC
Pathways to School Success Project (PSSP)
A comprehensive exercise, launched during the last quarter, to gather feedback from the project beneficiaries, re the learning resources in use successfully concluded during the reporting period under review. A total number of 323 beneficiaries participated in the toolkit review exercise. These included master trainers, teachers, YFs, YLs and mothers.
The feedback from stakeholders will be analysed holistically as well as for each learning resource. Based on the key findings, the toolkit will be further enriched and contextualised.
Monitoring and support visits
3 visits were carried out for various implementation activities during the reporting period. Details are as under:
The following activities were carried out during the visit from 16th to 18th April:
122 YLs and 112 mothers participated in school based review sessions to gather feedback on the PSS toolkit resources.
Environmental awareness sessions with YLs and mothers were conducted in their community schools which proved successful in terms of sharing information and initiating discussions amongst mothers regarding the importance of environment and how best it should be conserved.
To revalidate the interim survey results, tools were re-administered with YFs and teachers of select schools. Data was collected from 60 YFs and 29 teachers and was sent to AIR for analysis.
The second visit of the quarter was carried out from 13th to 17th May and included the following activities:
Monitoring data was collected from beneficiaries which included interviews of stakeholders and observations of teachers and YFs. As part of community outreach, parental sessions and CAB meetings were also held. Attendance records of DRR and GRS sessions were collected.
The film making crew accompanied TRC team on this visit to the schools. Since development of two videos is an important project deliverable, footage for the documentaries was taken during the visit.
The third visit took place from 25th to 27th May, 2015 to complete the remaining monitoring tasks and to re-organise CAB. Owing to disinterest and lack of attendance, some CAB members were replaced by new members.
Improving Quality of Learning through Quality of Teaching (IQLQT)
The Thinking Classroom Project with the support of Open Society Foundation (OSF) has entered its second phase. TRC began this partnership in January 2014; initially a one year project, IQLQT has now extended into its second year.
Strengthening capacity of public sector education stakeholders remain the focus of the new phase. Conceptual and operational frameworks for a Training of Trainers module in line with the critical thinking repository is currently being designed. TRC team is also working on a learning kit based on the critical thinking modules.
At least 200 master trainers will be trained in critical thinking material and pedagogy in 5 districts of Sindh and orientations will be held with 50 government officials in the same districts to solicit on going support for the project.
The first workshop was conducted from 8th to 9th April, 2015 at Mehmudkot and was attended by 21 teachers and the second from 5th to 6th May, 2015 in Bubak attended by 24 government teachers.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
• Understand the learning process
• Identify the essential elements of a lesson plan
• Plan lessons while considering:
– objectives for the lesson
– management of time
– different teaching methods
– use of resources to support learning
– assessment and evaluation of learning and teaching
School Focused Workshops
A two day workshop titled “The Effective Teacher” was conducted by TRC on 16th and 17th June on the request of the Head of Community Eye Care Services, LRBT Eye Hospital. Specific objectives were to:
• explore the concept of professionalism
• understand the learning process
• highlight essential skills for effective communication
• become aware of meaningful teaching methodology to motivate students to learn
The participants were candid in sharing their concerns in the teaching practice and displayed a keenness to learn. They remained involved throughout the sessions. The small size of the group was an advantage that enabled each participant to get a chance to express himself/herself and to receive individual attention and feedback to all the queries that were raised.
Multi School Workshops
During this quarter, eight multi-school workshops were conducted and attended by a total of 122 teachers from both member and non member schools.
Four workshops were conducted in the month of April. These were: ‘Constructing Tests to Measure Learning’, ‘Creative Writing’, ‘Teaching Literature for Language Development’ and ‘Dealing with Learning Difficulties in an Inclusive Classroom’. 13, 8, 12 and 22 participants attended each respectively.
Three workshops titled ‘Teacher as a Researcher’, ‘Managing Negative Emotions‘ and ‘Issues in Learning to Read’ were carried out in May. These were attended by 17, 18 & 16 participants respectively.
The workshop ‘Poetry: Appreciating it, Teaching it’ was carried out in June and was attended by 16 participants.
A Course for School Managers
In the second week of June a 30-hour course for school management personnel titled ‘Managing a Successful School’ was conducted by TRC. 17 participants, from different private schools working as managers/administrators, attended.
The sessions were interactive and the group size allowed for maximum input and participation of attendees. School management related issues were candidly discussed and the participants got an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from others.
The Film Club
The TRC Film Club screened “Stanley ka Dubba” for public school teachers from Jamshed Town on April 22, 2015 at TRC Office. Atleast 23 teachers attended the session which was led by Mahenaz Mahmud.
Stanley is a fourth grader who is very popular amongst his friends. He is talented and is liked by his teachers. However, he never brings his lunch box or ‘dabba’. ‘Khadoos’, as he is popularly called, is a Hindi teacher who does not bring his own dabba but likes to eat others’ lunch. Stanley’s friends share their lunch with him by hiding from Khadoos. Khadoos eventually finds them on the terrace and warns Stanley to bring his own lunch or stop coming to school. Stanley misses school for a few days and his absence is felt by his teachers and school mates. One fine day, Stanley brings his dabba packed with mouth-watering items for Khadoos. Khadoos realises his mistake and quits the school. Stanley’s performance in an inter-school festival is appreciated by everybody. Towards the end, the reason for Stanley’s lack of a dabba is revealed.
At the end of the film, many questions were presented for discussion to the participants which included:
1. Stanley’s real ‘story’ was revealed towards the end. Before we found out, what did you find yourself thinking about his background or what would happen to him in the end?
2. According to some theorists/developmental psychologists for example, Albert Bandura and Vygotsky children learn through social interactions. So what kinds of social interaction was Stanley having with others which led him to be who he was?
3. The environment plays an important role in our learning. We learn through observation, imitation. So, who were Stanley’s role models? (teachers are always talking about role models) What was his environment like? What was his environment teaching him? Akram was the only real family he had. We have no idea when his parents died / how old he was then. So how did he turn out the way he did?
4. What is the message we as teachers can take away from this film. What are the Do’s and Dont’s for us?
The questions and the responses that followed led to a meaningful and engaging discussion where everyone participated and shared their thoughts. The participants enjoyed the film and found the post screening discussion to be a great learning experience for them.
Early Grade Reading Assessment Dissemination Conference
The conference was held at Marriot Hotel Karachi on 28th March 2015 for sharing EGRA baseline results at the provincial level with stakeholders. The survey was conducted to assess whether skills of government teachers improved through trainings conducted by SRP and how they impacted children’s reading skills. The event was attended by various government and non government agencies as well as civil society members. Faiza Ghulam Nabi represented TRC.
National Entrepreneurship Working Group (NEW-G) Roundtable Discussion
TRC was invited to participate in a round table discussion organised by The National Entrepreneurship Working Group (NEW-G) in collaboration with the United States Consulate General in Karachi on 7 May 2015. The mission of this organisation is to improve enabling conditions for the growth of entrepreneurship in Pakistan. It was attended by representatives of universities, financial institutes, NGOs, banks, schools and teacher training centres.
The purpose of the meeting was to develop an action plan for a national entrepreneurship education strategy. Discussions were held regarding the definition of entrepreneurship education and the curriculum that needs to be followed to promote the required skills. Rubina Naqvi, Senior Manager from TRC who attended the meeting was asked to be a member of a sub-committee of NEW-G to work on the finer details of the action plan.
Poster Symposium at Greenwich University
TRC Director Ambreena Ahmed was invited by faculty of policy development in education, Greenwich University, as a judge for the poster symposium of B.Ed students. The session was held at Greenwich University Campus on May 9, 2015.
The students had undertaken policy development work and showcased it through posters. A range of themes pertaining to academic and administrative aspects of schools were addressed. The students designed policy statements along with definitions and guidelines for effective implementation.
Director TRC reviewed posters and gave feedback to individual students. She also addressed them collectively acknowledging their hard work and significance of understanding policy development as teachers. She evaluated student work according to a pre designed grading rubric which was provided by the B.Ed faculty.
The session ended with refreshments and animated discussion with students.
2nd Annual Prize Distribution at Creek View Academy
Rubina Naqvi was invited as chief guest to attend the 2nd annual prize distribution event at Creek View Academy on Saturday, 4 April 2015. Prizes were awarded to students from all the 4 campuses from grades 1 to X who had secured the first three positions in the academic year 2014 – 2015. An overall prize for the best student of the year for each class level was also announced. Dances, skits and national songs were also performed by students during the ceremony.
Teachers Without Frontiers
Launching ceremony of Teacher’s Without Frontiers was held at Avari Towers on 10th April, 2015 by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi in collaboration with Dubai Cares. Sana Lone represented TRC at the event.
Policy Dialogue on Public Private Partnership in Education
On April 29th 2015, Faiza Ghulam Nabi attended a policy dialogue on Public Private Partnership at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi, on behalf of TRC. This was organised by I-SAPS and Ilm Ideas.
The broad aim of the dialogue was to facilitate an informed debate on current state of knowledge of Partnerships for Management (PfM) currently operating in different provinces in Pakistan with a particular focus on Sindh and the policy structure that frames partnerships.
Linkage with Karachi University
In response to a request received from University of Karachi, Uzma Rauf and Rubina Naqvi gave a presentation on TRC’s philosophy, its services and educational resources. The target audience comprised of mostly 4th year B.Ed students together with some members of the faculty and staff of the Teacher Training Department.
The session generated a lot of interest and the students and faculty requested TRC to organise similar sessions for them. A documentary based on TRC’s project, The Thinking Classroom, was shown at the end of the programme.
As a follow up and on the request of the Dean of Education Department, Karachi University, a two-hour talk session on ‘The Professional Teacher’ was planned and conducted by Rubina Naqvi for the B.Ed students at the Karachi University. It was attended by 10 students and faculty members.
The talk focused on the concept of professionalism, the learning process, qualities and skills of an effective teacher and the learning environment. Students raised pertinent queries about the teaching profession and shared their own ideas and experiences.
AKUEB Launches Middle School Programme
Rubina Naqvi attended a ceremony at the Aga Khan University Auditorium, organised by the Aga Khan University Education Board to launch their Middle School Programme. It was attended by a large number of school teachers and students. The function was presided over by Mr. Jameel Yusuf.
Visit to Links School
TRC members Uzma Rauf and Sana Lone visited The Links School on 29th May, 2015 to give a presentation on TRC and IECE. The discussion was interactive and informative. Teachers were explained what TRC does and how being a part of IECE can be beneficial for ECE teachers. Teachers gave a positive feedback on the session and showed interest in being a trained and informed educator.
TRC Security Plan Meeting
On 21st May, 2015 the entire TRC staff gathered to discuss possible safety and security concerns and measures during a disaster or an emergency situation. The purpose was to collectively discuss a broad framework for developing a comprehensive and need based office security and disaster management plan.