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Essar Foundation launches Supplementary Education Support Program in West Bengal

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The Foundation is reaching out to 22 schools in the state through the program that is designed to introduce a holistic and integrated approach to education

July 16, 2012 Bookmark and Share  
The Essar Foundation believes that a holistic and integrated approach to education can vastly improve a child's educational achievements. In order to address the shortcomings and qualitative gaps in the educational space, the Foundation launched its supplementary educational support in 22 schools in Durgapur, West Bengal, all through May-June 2012. The whole program is designed to integrate the gradual cognitive development of a child, from primary to secondary to higher secondary school, with emphasis on English and Mathematics along with other subjects.

A teachers training-cum-workshop program was conducted in 18 primary schools for Mathematics and English and four high schools for the multimedia e-learning kit K-Yan. IL&FS Education & Technology Services was the technical agency for the implementation of the program.

Math Master Kit (MMK) and English Relay Program (ERP)

  • To promote holistic and integrated education.
  • To improve teaching and learning in the primary classes by creating a child-friendly classroom and making learning joyful.
  • To engage in active communicative teaching with Teaching Learning Materials (TLM).
  • To reduce the drop-out rate in primary schools.
  • To enhance the cognitive ability of primary school students by developing language and mathematical skills.

Teachers Training Program for primary schools
Around 58 primary school teachers from 18 primary schools participated in the MMK and ERP training held between June 11-14 and June 18-21 respectively. The training program was interactive with an emphasis on group development, group work, role play, and practice sessions with various TLM kits. Specially designed kits on English and Mathematics were introduced to the teachers to motivate students and help them gain competency in numeracy, language and analytical skills. Resource persons from IL&FS facilitated the training on the various contents of the kit such as maths puzzles, demonstration items, and math quizzes.

The training was conducted in a participatory manner as all the contents were explained either through group tasks or by performing individually. About 30 MMK items were demonstrated and explained. The ERP kit had 26 TLM items, consisting of fun games, word formation, storytelling, story act, mapping, etc. IL&FS trainers facilitated the program using participatory methods such as group tasks, role playing, acting, etc.

Sub Inspector of Primary Education of Kanksa Block, Mr. Tapabrata Dey, and Sub Inspector of Primary Education Durgapur-Faridpur Block, Ms. Sangita Das, were present and motivated the school teachers. Mr. Jayanta Panda was Chief Resource Person and Trainer for the MMK Training Program and Mrs. Nandita Ghosh Dastidar was the Chief Resource Person and Trainer for the ERP.

"The MMK training program by Essar Foundation is a joyful learning experience," said Santimoy Mukherjee, Sarenga Primary School, after the training,. "If effectively utilized, these will be of great help to the students."

K-Yan Training Program

  • To bridge the digital divide between urban and rural schools.
  • To introduce new technology in educational pedagogy.
  • To develop the proficiency and abilities of secondary school students through perceptual learning.

K-Yan has been developed by IL&FS ETS in collaboration with IIT, Bombay, to meet the urgent need for a low-cost new media product, specially designed for group learning in schools. K-Yan is an audio-visual system in a single, compact unit fitted with a computer and projector. K-Yan has been supported by the Computer Aided Learning scheme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and integrates the latest in technology with learning and training needs. The in-built software system contains the West Bengal Board syllabus from Class V to X in Bengali medium.

To upgrade the quality of education in secondary schools in Essar Oil's CBM project-impacted areas, the Essar Foundation plans to install K-Yan in four high schools.

Teachers Training Program for secondary schools
The K-Yan training program was held in two batches on June 19-22. A total of 22 secondary school teachers from four schools participated in the four-day training workshops. The training included a demonstration of K-Yan hardware and various multi-peripherals and content software, content mapping, group participatory education and practice sessions. "I felt lucky to be part of this training program. We have attended so many trainings, but this one is special since K-Yan will revolutionize teaching methods in our schools," said Rushita Sarkar, Labnapara High School, of the program.

The training program will benefit 2,350 secondary school students from Std V to Std X. Ms. Payal Bhattacharjee was the Instructor for the K-Yan training program.

Spoken English Enhancement and Development (SPEED) program

  • To enhance the quality of spoken English of students in high school (Std XI/XII).
  • To prepare high school students to face interviews for jobs.
  • To develop English language skills for day-to-day conversation.

Teachers Training Program for higher secondary school teachers
As part of the program held on June 26-28, two teachers from one school participated in the workshop. The second training program will start soon in another higher secondary school. The training session includes comprehensive analysis of all the modules and chapters of SPEED, a practice session, demonstration and workbook practice session. The training will cover around 220 Std XI students. Ms. Priya Gupta was the Instructor of the SPEED training program.

Speaking about the program, Kazi Nizamuddin, Bijra High School, said: "The SPEED training program will help the students in developing confidence in learning English and overall personality development."

The way ahead
Post training, all the schools will be provided with English and Maths kits, and workbooks for the students. K-Yan will be installed in all four schools and the SPEED spoken English sessions will be initiated for Class XI students in two higher secondary schools. Regular monitoring of the program will be jointly done by Essar Foundation and resource persons from IL&FS ETS.

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