Workshops conducted with the headmasters/headmistress
The set objective in each workshop is oriented toward attaining the need of the set target group of headmasters/headmistress with the understanding captured during the on field support provided to them. In every consecutive workshop there has been progressive development. Workshop aimed at enabling HMs to practice new methods of teaching learning regularly, focused on combination of pedagogy, intrinsic motivation, assessment & reading sessions to cause mind shifts. With the progression of the actions taken by them in their schools and classes, and with captured need of each of them on motivational and pedagogical dimensions by Gandhi fellows, timely inputs for their movements, in the area where they were getting stuck have been provided through monthly and kick start workshop. The total monthly workshops have been five executed in the months of September 2009, January, February, April and May 2010. The six days kick start workshop has been held twice in the year 2009, in the month of May –June at Ahmadabad and Jhunjhunu and in July 2010 at Jaipur.
With coming together of them at block level monthly meeting at an interval and peer sharing, many problems faced by them related to the implementation of the trainings in their schools have been solved with their in house discussion. For example those who made movement in the instructional leadership, they shared their problem solving ideas related to class management, use of teaching learning materials etc. The reflections shared among the team helped them in coming together to constructive solution of some of the management issues. At the present scenario one of the group of headmasters/headmistress have moved to the next level of leadership capacity i.e. institutional leadership where they have practiced the instructional leadership in their respective schools and ready to move to the next level of institutional leadership.
Academic Support Provided by Gandhi Fellows
To provide the headmasters/headmistress on field support to execute their post training initiatives in schools, Gandhi fellows provide them support at the regular basis. The support provided to them falls under two broader categories of motivational support and the academic support helping them to tackle challenges related to the implementation phase.
The continuous support provided by them also helps out in knowing the exact area where headmasters/headmistress get stuck and need interventions .The analytical synthesis of the understanding developed related headmasters dimension , resulted into the knowledge creation related to the intricacies involved with the whole leadership theory .The knowledge creation phase led to the tools formation from different lenses like categorization of the headmasters/headmistress on need base , intervention framework tools, inflexion point for them .The peculiarity of this knowledge creation about the headmasters/headmistress , lies at the front where its the combination of both practice and theory ,a ground reality .
Competency Framework Developed for individual Headmasters /headmistress
Since the prime focus of the program is to cause shift in attitudes and practices of headmasters there was a need felt while working with headmasters for a tool to assess the competencies of headmasters on various dimensions from time to time. This competency framework tool aids in defining and prioritizing the areas in which the headmaster/headmistress may need improvement, support and thereby designing interventions accordingly. The tool help in making the exact intervention with each headmasters/headmistress for filling the gap in their understanding and helping them to move with right intervention designed for them.
The two broader framework of this competency tool focused upon “Attitudinal competencies “, covering various parameters like HM’s attitude towards his work and job as a school leader, self- drive, empathy and the “Instructional Competencies “ability to use ‘Democratic environment’ as a medium for effective Teaching Learning, ability to reflect on stereotypes, ability to develop personal bond/relationship with children. The data captured and then the interventions designed on the basis of the experiences help in designing result oriented actions. The insights about every headmaster lead to the strengthening of their need based approach.
Challenges encountered during the execution
The greatest hurdle on the way was found when 38% of this headmasters/headmistress dropped out in last 15 months, mostly because of transfers and promotion. This group had also started showing the movement in their action and approach for change and in between they were transferred /promoted which led to their discontinuity with the programme. The challenges also lie at the front where during the dates of the workshops for the headmasters/headmistress also get clashed with other government officials meeting, which creates problems in front of the participant to be a part of the workshops . The forming of the steering committee at district level as per the decision is also not in the place whereby the need to form it and work forth mutually for future interventions is important. The formation of steering committee is important as there is high scope for mutual sharing of ideas and experience to accelerate the pace of leadership development among them. With mutual understanding and support the need based decisions need to be taken for how to make the supports to the headmasters/headmistress more qualitative and time bound. It will be helpful for each party to learn, unlearn and design initiatives for better leadership and skill building of them.
Scale up of the programme
With the on the field experiences and developed understanding in the schools of Jhunjhunu and Churu the programme is ready for qualitative scale up .The changes and the development traced with the present set of headmasters/headmistress and the knowledge creation , the programme is ready to scale up. The next level intervention planned is the expansion of the present PLDP in other three district of Rajasthan -Bikaner, Shri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh, along with other schools of Jhunjhunu and Churu, with 350 headmasters /headmistress 150 education officers in five districts. The proposal has been submitted and under the review of SSA. The whole PLDP will be executed in these areas with the two years learning focussing on the leadership of the selected headmasters/headmistress.