The highlights of the quarter include continuation of our core activities as well as planning for the Annual General Meeting and finalisation and on line publishing of TRC’s 28th Annual Report. A short term project with financial support of UNICEF, was initiated with PITE, Sindh for training 400 government teachers on ECE. A partnership with The Citizens Foundation was also established; TCF purchased our PTBs for the schools they support financially and technically through their SDU. Training of teachers from these schools was also held at TRC. The 4th Karachi International Children’s Festival was held and saw atleast 5000 children and teachers coming together for viewing the 58 films which were showcased this time.

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Projects at TRC

Pathways to School Success Project (PSSP)

During the quarter, the TRC team carried out two visits to the schools in Sehwan.

The first visit was carried out between November 10-12, 2014 by four team members to achieve many purposes, the main being assessment of atleast 195 children for the following:
• Endline assessment of cohort 1 of YLs: Assessment to gauge GRS understanding was carried out with 53 Young Learners in 8 schools.
• Baseline of cohort 2 of YLs: Baseline data was collected from 81 Young Learners who have joined the programme as the second cohort.
• Baseline of control group: 61 children were taken as control for administration of baseline to gauge readiness for grade 1.
• A meeting was carried out with Community Advisory Board to discuss progress on parental sessions and their involvement to address programme related issues in communities,
• Stationery for programme beneficiaries including YLs, YFs, teachers and data collectors was distributed in the same visit.

The second visit was conducted between November 22-26, 2014 for monitoring. School wise Focus Group Discussions were conducted with key programme beneficiaries for understanding the impacts the interventions have had so far. FGDs were carried out with YFs, YLs, teachers and parents from all schools. The interactions helped in gaining meaningful and interesting insights into programme’s progress in view of the stakeholders and how they think they have benefited both in school and outside. Most of the responses were positive and urged towards continuity of interventions especially capacity building support for teachers’ professional development, community involvement for GRS and DRR and school readiness to sustain the good practices initiated through the project.

Expression of Interest for filming two short videos showcasing project work for parents and policy makers was also published in a leading daily. Details regarding scope of work were put up on our website to facilitate interested film makers to apply for the assignment.

Improving Quality of Learning through Quality of Teaching (IQLQT)

TRC has embarked on a one-year project with financial support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) from January 2014. The overarching goal is to develop a repository of contextually relevant teaching and learning material grounded in critical thinking with potential for country wide application across both public and private sector education systems in ECE and primary classrooms.

Key activities undertaken during the quarter included:

For this reporting period, six Working Group Meetings were held. Finalisation and translation of remaining modules are underway.

Pre-testing visits were carried out in public and private schools with prior consultations with the teachers TRC team visited the selected public and private sector schools to schedule pretesting visits in consultation with teachers. Module wise pretesting status is tabulated as under:

Module ECE Level Primary level
(school and grades)
Ethics VMP
The Educators
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School
GGPS Jacobline No. 3
PECHS (grades 1, 2, 3 & 5)
Amynabad (grades 1 & 3)
VMP (grades 2, 4 & 5)
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School (grade 1)
GGPS Jacobline No. 1 (grades 3 & 4)
GGPS Jutline No. 1 (grades 4 & 5)
GGPS Jacobline No. 3 (grade 2)
HOPE Home Schools No. 1 & 2 (multi grade)
Environment VMP
The Educators
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School
GGPS Jutline No. 1
PECHS (grades 1, 2, 3 & 5)
Amynabad (grades 1, 3 & 4)
VMP (grades 2 & 5)
GGPS PECHS No. 2 (grade 1)
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School (grade 2)
GGPS Jacobline No. 1 (grade 5)
GGPS Jutline No. 1 (grades 3 & 4)
GGPS Jacobline No. 3 (grades 2 & 4)
HOPE Home Schools No. 1 & 2 (multi grade)
Human Body VMP
The Educators
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School
GGPS Jutline No. 1
GGPS Jacobline No. 3
PECHS (grades 1, 2, 3 & 5)
Amynabad (grade 4)
VMP (grade 4)
GGPS PECHS No. 2 (grade 1)
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School (grades 1 & 2)
GGPS Jacobline No. 1 (grades 3, 4 & 5)
GGPS Jutline No. 1 (grade 5)
GGPS Jacobline No. 3 (grade 4)
HOPE Home Schools No. 1 & 2 (multi grade)
Shapes and Angles VMP
The Educators
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School
GGPS Jutline No. 1
GGPS Jacobline No. 3
GGPS Jutline No. 1 (grade 5)
Fractions VMP
The Educators
Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haque School
PECHS (grades 1, 2, 3 & 5)
GGPS PECHS No. 2 (grade 1)
GGPS Jacobline No. 1 (grades 3 & 5)
GGPS Jutline No. 1 (grade 4)
GGPS Jacobline No. 3 (grades 2 & 4)

Institutional Capacity Building Program for Teachers, Education and Literacy Department, Government of Sindh

Teachers’ Resource Centre (TRC) has been commissioned by PITE, Sindh to undertake trainings on Early Childhood Education, a key thematic area of the institutional capacity building programme being supported by UNICEF, Karachi.

UNICEF is supporting the Government of Sindh’s Education and Literacy Department to address identified institutional capacity development priorities in the area of teacher education. The trainings are also a direct contribution towards multiple priority actions listed in the Sindh Education Sector Plan.

The focus of this intervention is to build capacities of in-service teachers in selected districts of Sindh province. The selection of the districts has been based on the UNICEF Child Well-being Index for DRR, SCR and regular development programming.

In addition to the achievement of key teacher training standards, the proposed intervention seeks to address the following key thematic learning outcomes:

• Social Cohesion
• Disaster Risk Reduction
• Early Childhood Education

The expected learning outcomes of the ECE component are:

• Understanding of Key Learning Areas of the National Curriculum of Early Childhood Education (NCECE).
• Orientation regarding children’s holistic development and how they learn.
• Introduction to active learning and ECE class environment including physical, psychosocial and temporal aspects.
• Understanding of roles and responsibilities of ECE facilitators.
• Introduction to child assessment.

The integrated institutional capacity building programme is two pronged as far as beneficiaries are concerned. It focuses on engaging government officials for raising awareness regarding the initiative specifically to galvanise support at the district and policy levels. At another level, the training is aimed as a support mechanism for addressing knowledge and skills gaps amongst primary government teachers as far as the three key thematic areas are concerned.

The training programme will span over six days, with two days allocated for each of the selected themes. Through a cluster based approach, the trainings will be held in 5 main districts catering to the target 16. Approximate number of teacher beneficiaries is 500. Since two days are assigned to each theme, each of the three technical agencies will be conducting trainings on their area of expertise respectively. The following table illustrates the day wise thematic break-up:

6-day training programme

Training themes Number of days Agency responsible
Early Childhood Education 2 Teachers’ Resource Centre (TRC)
Disaster Risk Reduction 2 Root Work Foundation (RWF)
Social Cohesion 2 Provincial Institute of Teacher Education (PITE), Sindh

Karachi based orientations were held for government officials including representatives from BoC and STBB. DOES from 16 districts also participated. These orientations were the joint responsibility of all three agencies i.e. PITE, RWF and TRC. The first orientation was held on December 9th at STEDA office which was attended by 16 officials from STEDA, PITE, BOC, STBB and TTIs. On December 10, atleast 26 officials from 16 districts attended including DOE Elementary Schools, DOE Academic and Training and DOE Secondary Schools.

Two coordination meetings as well as a screening test development meeting was held during the quarter. The first coordination meeting was held at TRC for discussing administrative issues for organising different project activities and roles and responsibilities of partners. The screening test development meeting was held in Hyderabad at the technical partner’s office to consolidate the screening test which was to be administered across the 16 districts to select 400 teacher trainees. Each partner devised assessment for its own technical area. TRC developed a basic test to gauge understanding regarding ECE. The procedure of conducting and evaluating the test was also discussed at length. The second coordination meeting was also held at Hyderabad at RWF’s office as a prelude to project implementation and to share partners’ readiness for the upcoming activities.

The cluster based teacher trainings kicked off from end December in Shaheed Benazirabad. The first round of trainings was held for teachers from Karachi and Thatta.

Partnership with TCF – PTB Workshops

During the quarter, TRC was approached by TCF for collaboration to improve quality through teacher trainings and provision of PTBS in the schools which TCF support through their SDU. 94PTBs were commissioned by TCF for the schools and trainings were held at TRC for 47teachers in two batches of on December 15th and 16th. The trainings were meant to walk teachers through each resource of the Basta and introduce active learning through usage of contextual material. The workshop which was also observed by a TCF representative was very well attended.

School Focused Workshops

School focused workshop at Babaza Foundation School

In response to a request received from Babaza Foundation Trust School, Rubina Naqvi conducted a nine hour workshop on ‘Planning Meaningful Lessons’ at the school premises on 5, 6 & 8 November 2014. It was attended by 15 pre-primary, primary and secondary school teachers from 9:00 am to 1: 00 pm on each day.

The workshop focused on the importance of planning meaningful lessons, essential elements of a lesson plan and different stages of lesson planning. The participants designed lesson plans through collaborative work at the end of the last session. Examples from personal experience enriched the discussions and helped to relate theory to practice. The participants showed keen interest in increasing their knowledge and understanding about lesson planning. They were actively involved throughout and enjoyed the group activities in problem solving and planning assigned to them. The activities on self-reflection about the importance of planning proved to be effective in reinforcing the teacher’s role in making learning meaningful in the classroom.

Multi school workshops from October to December 2014

During the quarter, nine multi school workshops were conducted which were attended by a total of 146 teachers from both member and non member schools.

In October, three workshops were scheduled for this month out of which only two were conducted, namely ‘Every Minute Counts’ and Effective Teaching Methodology in the Secondary Classroom’. These were attended by 12 and 10 participants respectively.

The workshop titled, ‘Teaching Science in Middle School’ was postponed due to low registrations and will be rescheduled in the next reporting quarter.

Four workshops were scheduled and conducted in November. These were ‘Using Art Therapy for the Emotionally Disturbed Child’, ‘Resolving Issues in Misbehaviour’, ‘Khushkhati’ and ‘Approaches to Learning and Teaching Geography’. These were attended by 13, 29,12 and 10 participants respectively.

In December, three workshops were scheduled and held. They were ‘Teaching English as an Additional Language’, ‘ Making Effective Displays’ and ‘Muassar Ustad ki Tadreesi Maharatain’. These were attended by 17, 26 and 17 participants respectively.

Media Literacy

4th Karachi International Children’s Film Festival 2014

The Karachi International Children’s Film Festival returned for a fourth installment after three successful events. Like the last three years, the Festival was organised in collaboration with a Lahore based NGO, The Little Art. The event which was held from October 20 till 23rd, showcased 58 films from 28 countries. The films were screened in three one-hour slot shows. These carefully selected films included both animated and actions films. The event was held at the Cinepax, Ocean Mall, II Talwar and City Auditorium, FB Area Karachi.

Despite being in the midst of midterm exams and a difficult law and order situation in the city, at least 5000 children and teachers turned up at the shows. A group of dedicated volunteers provided on-site facilitation to TRC staff in managing the young audience at the venues. Representatives from TLA provided technical support.

It was heartening to see excited and cheerful young faces lining up to climb up the elevators and reach the cinema halls to see the films. The children enjoyed themselves thoroughly and often broke out cheering and clapping. Most went back to school happy after thanking TRC staff and volunteers for making it possible for them to enjoy this unique and rare experience.

Events and Seminars

Annual Convocation at Habib Girls’ School

In response to an invitation, Rubina Naqvi represented TRC at the Annual Convocation organized by Habib Girls’ School at the Bahria Auditorium on 10 October, 2014. The Chief Guest, Ms. Ameena Saiyid, motivated the students with her talk and distributed medals and certificates to the deserving matric and inter students who had appeared in the Aga Khan Exam Board.

Graduation Ceremony at Shahwilayat Public School

Shahwilayat Public School celebrated the successful graduation of their out-going matric and O level students in a colourful ceremony at the school campus on 11 October, 2014. The Chief Guest, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary gave away the certificates and medals to the deserving students. He motivated them with his inspiring address and advised them to strive for greater heights and serve their country selflessly.

Inter-School Bilingual Declamation Contest at Reflections School

The management of Reflections School invited Rubina Naqvi of TRC to judge the Inter-School Bilingual Declamation Contest for primary students at the school premises on 21 October 2014. Many leading schools participated in the contest. The students spoke on the topic of their choice. Prizes were awarded to the winners in both Urdu and English category.

Annual Inter-School Declamation Contest

The OASYS School hosted its Annual Inter-school Declamation Contest 2014 on 22 October 2014 at the Defence Central Library auditorium. Many leading schools participated in the contest. The students spoke on the topic of their choice. Prizes were awarded to the winners. Rubina Naqvi attended in the capacity of a judge.

Launch of Development Advocate Pakistan by SPDC

SPDC and UNDP and collectively organised the launch of the third issue of Development Advocate Pakistan, ‘The political Economy of the Budget’ and a panel discussion on budget processes on 23 October 2014 at Pearl Continental Hotel. Rubina Naqvi represented TRC at the event.

Annual Prize Distribution at BVS School

In response to an invitation received from the management of BVS Parsi High School, Rubina Naqvi attended the Annual Prize Distribution event on 9 November 2014 at the school premises. The Chief Guest, Prof. Dr. Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, addressed the gathering and gave away trophies, medals and prizes to the deserving students.

Science: Changing Lives – Event at AMI School

In response to an invitation received from AMI School, Rubina Naqvi attended an event, Science: Changing Lives organized by the Senior students on 26 November 2014 at the Senior Branch premises. Students traced the development in different aspects of Science and presented their research at individual stalls.

Launch of research publication by SAHE

Rubina Naqvi represented TRC at the launch of the research publication by SAHE on ‘Teaching and Learning English in Sindhi Schools’ organised by Society for Advancement of Education (SAHE) and Campaign for Quality Education (CQE) on 11 November 2014 at Marriot Hotel. The findings of the study carried out in the public schools in Sindh were shared with the audience, followed by dialogue regarding the appropriate policy on language in education.

Primary Inter-branch English Debate at Beaconhouse School System

Rubina Naqvi attended the Primary Inter-branch English Debate as a judge on 13 November 2014 at Beaconhouse School System, Defence Campus. The topic for the debate was ‘Career choices should be based on academic score rather than interest areas’. Students represented the various branches of BSS in Karachi and spoke for and against the motion. Their speeches were impassioned and convincing, and seemed to be coming from their heart.

Graduate Student Research Symposium at IoBM

Director, TRC, Ambreena Ahmed was invited by the Department of Education of IoBM as a judge to review thesis work of MBA students displayed through posters. The event was held on December 13, 2014 at the IoBM campus. After reviewing each of the 15 posters illustrating research work on pertinent education issues, the Director, in a brief address to the students and faculty present, underscored the significance of educational research and effective dissemination for informed decision making. She then gave away certificates of appreciation to the students who presented their research work.

Annual Visitors Day at MI School

TRC was invited by The M.I. School Secondary Level to attend their Annual Visitors Day on December 20, 2014. Seema Yasmin represented TRC on this occasion. It was a colourful and well-organised event attended by a large number of parents and other guests.

Visitors at TRC

The representatives of South Asian Children Cinema Forum (SACCF), Monica Wahi and Catherine Masud visited TRC on November 18, 2014. The objectives of the visit were to create linkages to know what is happening in the region, research and advocacy to create a peer community among South Asian countries. Academic Programmes Advisor TRC, Mahenaz Mahmud facilitated and briefed them about TRC media literacy initiative. Monica Wahi shared details of their initiative on Child led Film Clubs across South Asia which is driven by the virtual exchange of information, ideas and skills on a centralized portal. This is a platform for children and young people to watch, discuss and learn about films and film making.

Mr. Tauseef Lateef, Director, PPP, Government of Sindh visited TRC on October 21, 2014 and met with the Director to discuss areas of mutual interest and future collaboration.

Ms. Shelina Bhamani, faculty and a PhD candidate from IoBM, Karachi visited TRC on October 28, 2014 for interviewing TRC Director for her thesis on ECE evaluations.

TRC becomes a PERWAN member

Children’s Global Network, with support from OSF, has initiated a working group for its network Perwan, envisaged as a National ECED Centre of Excellence. TRC was approached to come on board as a member. The main aim of the working group being established under Perwan is to review ECE Curriculum for provincial level adaptation and to analyse and adapt ECED best practices for public and low cost private sector. As a contribution to Perwan, TRC shared its research studies conducted over the years on ECE.