Mid career HMs with up to 12 years of service remaining. The average age is 48 years-50% HMs have this age. The 95% have a Masters degree and 5% of these have double or triple Masters. The 90% trained in BEd and 10% HMs are currently ‘acting HMs’ Hold BEd degrees and can therefore be promoted as HMs. The 35% of cohort is female and the 13% HMs joined the program in July 2009. The 10-12% HMs are actively involved in politics through various teacher unions at different levels (block, district, state).
HMs lack the habit, discipline and support to learn continuously on the job. Learning opportunities are restricted to the formal 20 days of Govt. Trainings. No habit or inclination to read for professional growth. Summaries and books on relevant topics have been offered. Less than 5% pick up anything to read when was left voluntary
Hierarchical view on learning is leading to
“I am HM, so I should and do know more than my teachers. So I don’t know learn from my teachers”
Power dynamics, low trust and baggage of bad experiences in Govt. trainings is leading to
to lying in a peer discussion show off in front of colleagues.
Shaky belief that can learn from peers – need for experts
Learning is viewed as ‘knowing’ and the motivation for knowing is the ‘power’ and ‘recognition’ that it leads to majority of HMs are motivated for their job by the credibility and security that it provides
Main reasons for joining teaching are: predominant profession in family, financial security of govt. job and value in society. Some fell into it by chance. Very few joined it as a conscious personal choice.
For Bhagat Singh from Rajgarh block, his last 3 generations are in teaching and politics; all 3 daughters are teachers
Large number of HMs are at a stage in life where they are content with their place in society, their family and their farms (the second profession for almost all).
Few are truly driven by the need to see change in their schools or education (though it will be commonly given as main reason to join the program). Few HMs feel energized by the work they are doing and hold an ambition to do great at it.
While they chose to be a teacher, the HMs were ‘nominated’ for the role of the HM, with limited element of choice. HMs hold strong gender and caste conditionings developed over generations which reflect in their every day practices. Deep-rooted gender biases play out in trainings and school
During training, male HMs will put down a woman peer by refusing to listen to her, joke about her with peers. In sessions by woman trainers, male HMs will attempt to disrupt session and discomfort trainer, through repeated questions and jokesIn classroom, HMs will differentiate in their support to girl child. HMs have shared views on their female teachers: ‘They mainly gossip and don’t do much work’, ‘I cannot deal with my women teachers’. Woman HMs in the program stand out in their poise and confidence caste beliefs are reflected most in the classrooms and in peer and teacher interactions. ‘What is your last name, caste’ - first question asked to anyone new. Answer strongly influences willingness to follow suggestions, respect. Interactions with peer/teacher belonging to ‘lower’ caste vary from diffidence to contempt. Distinction in classroom with children from lower caste, reflected in belief they can do well, academic support
This is the system in which they operate
Education machinery from State to Block level includes the three functions of Administration, Training and ProjectTraining and Projects are the two most ‘weighty’ areas at the State.
Training: State Institute of Education Research and Training (SIERT), drafts policies on curriculum, textbooks, exams and trainings.
Project: Rajasthan has Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the District Primary Education Program (DPEP) initiatives. State Project Director manages execution of these projects in her state
District machinery is responsible for execution on all 3 fronts
Administration: District Elementary Education Officer disburses salaries, project funds and textbooks and communicates statistics/data to state.
Training: District Institute of Education Training prepare training schedules and materials, train Master Trainers and hold other trainings
Project: DPEP officer and SSA coordinators ensure the projects are getting executed, communicate revisions/additions to guidelines
Block Elementary Education Officer combines all 3 functions
Administration: Salaries, data collation, school monitoring
Training: As a Master Trainer, trains Resource Persons from his block
Project: Execution as per guidelines, communication of revisions
‘Leadership’ of the system is administrative and transactional and this style percolates to the HM-school level. HM’s interactions with officials at all levels is limited to giving data and taking information about guidelines to be followed on schemes. . No meetings held which are non-update or not programmatic in nature and deal with ‘leadership’ aspects – anywhere in the system
HM is lowest in the power hierarchy and struggling without a group identity as a school leader
As a teacher, a strong Teacher Union, represented his interests. That identity is lost in the transition to HM position.
Without any role model for an alternate way of leading, the HM reflects this style in his own leadership of the school and in his interactions with his teachers. Systems to support HM, defined on paper, are failing. Cluster Resource Coordinator, meant to be an academic support to HM (role being played by GF), is now a monitor; visits HMs once in 2/3 months, spends about half hour and has a checklist to tick off.
Professional development provided by Govt. is insufficient, of inadequate quality and does not meet HM needs. Method of training is reinforcing bad learning habits and shaping views on how learning happens with adults and children. They are learning through rote, they are not able to drive their learning process, their existing knowledge is not built upon or valued, they learn in a transactional way – their school and classrooms model. There is excessive dependence on workshops for learning to happen. No HM has ever had any formal coaching or mentoring experience. When they get 8 hrs of hearing; unbiased, empathy based challenging and suggestions, there is a disruptive positive response. HMs don’t receive a similar number of days or quality of trainings.
The 60% HMs have not received a 3 day induction training on joining. Trainings are conducted by peers, with poor training themselves. Majority of HMs are becoming cynical about the value of training and this is influencing the quality of their participation. There are Low relevance of current trainings in addressing their challenges. Restrictions on number of days (absolute and at a stretch) that the HM can be pulled out of school to attend workshops. Holding a 6 day residential workshop was a breakthrough. But program needs for a continuous 15 day training not possible to meet yet
Brief, small HM group meetings with little planning, difficult to organize. Various interest groups are feeling threatened and continue attempts to stall the program. HMs are attending SLP trainings while skipping Govt. trainings for years; thus threatening district training officials.
ADPC of Churu, Mr. Hooda: “AGPF has hidden agenda to take over Govt. training by showing good results in schools. What will we be doing then? It is shameful for us/Govt.”Training is not integrated with other trainings which the HM receives resulting in inconsistency of messages and suggested practices. State govt. has expectation that program will scale rapidly and will show quick tangible results that can be showcased in reports. System is also providing opportunities to be leveraged creatively for disproportionate impact. There is no benchmark, prototype or internal expertise for an HM training program for the Govt.
This provides 2 key leverages :
-The Govt. is interested in the program as it can showcase it at national level for its own credibility. This is especially so for Rajasthan where ‘education innovations’ are stressed upon.
-The Govt. is not yet influencing the design of the program
This would not be the case for a teacher training program
The system is open to being educated, influenced and collaborated with; it also has experience of working with such initiatives. Change agents at various levels in the system are ‘collaborating’ with us on how to change the system while being part of it. Govind Singh, Block Education Officer for Churu, is an advocate of the program and has been requesting us to start program block and cluster officers as well. He invites the team to talk about the program at various govt. Platforms. Mr. Harnath Singh, recently retired Additional District Education Officer of Jhunjhunu, marketed the program on behalf of the institution.This is the education context of the district in which the HMs are to deliver
Long term contribution from affluent :
Families like Piramals, Pilanis : Primary english medium school- Secondary school-B ED Colleges- Management & technology colleges :
-Of the 84000 <govt.schools Rajasthan, 2000 primary schools are in Jhunjunu alone
-Highest number from of B Eds from Rajasthan
But, Govt. primary schools are under threat due to rapid rise in proportion of private primary schools
While access to primary schools is not an issue in Jhunjhunu and Churu, private schools are present in approx. 70% villages. Number of villages in Jhunjunu are 1021
Approximate rural government schools are 2000
Approximate rural private school are 730
Enrollment in private schools in Jhunjhunu is above national average
Enrollment in Govt. schools is 2 lakh 21 thousand
Enrollment in private schools is 1 lakh 76 thousand
Enrollment in private schools at national level is 33% and at Jhunjunu is more than 50%
Quality of education provided in the primary schools
At national level, 50% children in standard 5 in Govt. schools cannot read standard 2 text (ASER data)
Large number of private schools are mushrooming in villages, with difference in learning quality inconsistent and not obvious
Teacher Unions in Jhunjhunu are the strong holds for party politics. Teacher from governement shcool-party based teacher’s union-participating in election< ; vote banks for political party ;hold on transfers. The 12% of our HMs have been Teacher Union heads while 7% are active members at district or state levels. Right education of the HMs who hold clout in the Teacher Unions, is an opportunity for leveraging these unions. Teachers find trainings to be inadequate and irrelevant
HMs get 20 days of training each year as ‘teachers’. No separate training for role of HM
Small percentage of HMs have reported getting a 3 day training on rules, guidelines and cashbook filling up. The 20 days training conducted by SSA on subject specific like math, language, EVS
Sensitization issues like Gender sensitivity. Different NGOs have taken up ‘slots’ to deliver in these 20 days
About Trainer :
Trainer is amongst teachers and not an expert in the field
In Rajasthan, high politics revolve around trainer’s caste and grade
Training design is centrally driven and lacks customization towards trainee needs. No assessment mechanism for assessing training outcomes.
This is the classroom context of the current schools :
Teaching learning processes are irrelevant & non meaningful for children
Rote based teaching learning process
Instead of focusing understanding of concepts, children are made to memorize mechanically
Lecture mode or ‘read from text book’ is a preferred method
Teaching is about finishing the course and not about causing learning
Children as ‘empty’ brains
The child is considered to be empty when s/he comes to the school which then is filled by the teacher with required data
Children’s prior learning from their environment is not taken into account
Children’s ability to self learn are not incorporated in processes
Children’s learning curve
All children learn at the same pace and therefore those who do not learn at that moment are ‘idiots’ / ‘not intelligent’
Multi evel classroom process is not practiced in current classrooms
Teacher to child relationship in the classroom is dismal and disappointing
Classrooms turn out to be violent for children
Beating is a prevalent form of punishment
Verbal rebuke for discipline is also practiced
Variety of biases impact the teacher child interaction
Gender and caste based bias is most prevalent in Rajasthan classrooms
If the child is brighter / obedient then the opportunities she gets are better
The bond of affection is missing
A teacher has the position to become the caring adult in the child’s life, the current classroom does not foster that safe and nurturing relationship between the child and the teacher
State text books & assessment are unprogressive and fail to foster learning in children
Books are loaded with too much information and little space provided for the child to understand the concept for eg math in std 2
A child at the age 5 & 6 is expected to memorize from 1 to 10 and from 0 to 100 by standard 2 without understanding what makes 10 a 10
Even the text books confuse between number recognition and number sense
There are many concepts to be understood before number sense, the text book mostly glosses over those and straight comes to number sense.
Assessment is based on the memory of the child rather than the understanding
Assessment is conducted by teacher to mark out the child’s ability rather than the feedback on her own teaching
Assessment is designed to test out what the child remembers from the textbook
This is the teaching and learning framework that HM has to move towards
“Education is not the filling of a vessel but the kindling of a flame.”
In 2005 the Indian government proposed a paradigm shift to make the system a progressive one.
By getting together educationists & practitioners who brought in recommendations in the form of National Curriculum Frameworkand National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005)facilitates schools and teachers to make decisions about choice of content, pedagogy, teaching learning material, evaluation. These Frameworks increase autonomy of the school. The NCF recommendations for classroom processes foster creativity, self learning, self discipline amongst children, allow learning to happen through exploration and questioning and generate opportunity for all children without bias & non competitive environment
NCF recommendations for teacher / teaching :
Teaching to be done in interactive manner giving space to inquiry
Teacher to child wise micro plan for her classroom intervention
Teacher as a reflective practitioner who herself learns from experiences
NCF recommendations for curriculum
Text books, curriculum and syllabus to cultivate learning with understanding, learning to learn so that children develop their own understanding.Progressive model proposed by NCF is the minimum level towards which to move the Government schools. School that develops physical, mental and emotional potential of the child focus on working with standard 1 & 2 through the program
Non – rote, activity based learning method are used for teaching language, math and environmental science. The three subjects are integrated with each other with the use of bal-geet and craft activities
School is a place where the child’s social background shapes the psychological & academic aspects
The teacher child relationship is conducive to the child’s emotional attachment and growth
The teacher factors for the child’s background and does her lesson planning based on child wise plans.
School is an inclusive space led by the leadership of the HM. Teachers, HM and community collaborate to lead the school towards a common goal.
Current SLP model
Current SLP model leverages experts in various fields and youth leadership to drive change with HMs
HM change. Partners( expertise in relevant areas)-gandhi fellows (for energy and support at shcool)-Program leaders ( pull it together , talk to field and partners
Faculty development and Curriculum Development will happen in parallel
A three month design-execute-review cycle in place to consolidate learnings and to tweak interventions based on what is working on the ground. Despite steep upfront investment, long term partnerships with diverse base of experts is essential to build the science of change as :
-Setting aside strong opinions & finding common space that evolves from dialogue
-Consensus building takes time with and between partners
-Partners take time to start working with each other to produce outputs and take accountability for outcomes
-It is crucial for partners to see that their inputs and involvement is shaping the program
-Long term partnerships are relationships with individuals based on respect and shared vision
Current and potential partnerships are mix of academics, bureaucrats, consultants & practitioners
-Debra Meyerson, Stanford
Leadership & charge management
Leadership frameworks & Assesment tools
-Sridhar Rajgopalan, EL
Ex principal Sahyadri school
Vijaya Sherry Chand IIMA
Michael barber, ex
UK education reform Head