Master Trainers: The First Meeting (16.05.18 – 18.05.18)

Moving from the green hills of Mizoram, the next stop in the TPD journey of 2018 is the desert land: Rajasthan. Seemingly arid, the land throws up a rich variety of surprises in nature. In teacher training, too, we see the same story unfold. We are beginning to learn to uncover the hidden gems that this land stores deep inside.

CLIx operated in 101 schools in the two districts of Jaipur and Sirohi (2015–17). Plans were afoot to expand. This year of CLIx implementation had us exploring opportunities to do this. The Rajasthan (RJ) team had begun the background work of checking school labs, meeting the principals or Head Masters (HMs) and working with the state government to identify Master Trainers (MTs) as teacher educators are called here.

A one-day orientation to CLIx, RTICT, Community of Practice (CoP), their role as teacher educators in this programme was organised. The MTs were called subject wise to Jaipur: 16 May (English), 17 May (Mathematics) and 18 May (Science). In this orientation, the MTs were also asked to voice their concerns.

Geogebra introduced to Maths Teachers

Ajay Singh and Anusha Ramanathan went from Mumbai for this orientation organised at our Implementation partner CERP’s office. What serendipity that another partner, Gurumurthy Kasinathan from IT for Change, also managed to come for the Maths MTs orientation since he was in the vicinity.

Our days began with a worry: poor attendance. We had just about 50% attendance on all days. In fact, for English, we had just 30% attendance. But change comes from commitment, not numbers. At the end of each day, we had a long list of concerns from the MTs ranging from payment and ability to come for teacher trainings during vacations to a lack of faith in their own digital skills. We addressed many of the concerns and asked MTs to bring other concerns to their respective 6-day training programme (21–26 May for English and Maths MTs and 28 May–2 June for Science MTs) to be held in Jaipur.

Shweta Gupta, the Maths MT from Jaipur, leading the sessions already!

 At the end of the day, we took heart from the MTs who led the way. We had a few vociferous naysayers, but their concerns were often allayed by the passionate MTs who had already implemented this programme in their schools from 2015 or 2016 and those among the newer joinees of the CLIx community who shared their own innovations in teaching and were quick to recognise CLIx as a partner in enabling them to improve their students’ learning.

Now for the trainings. Stay tuned.

Anusha Ramanathan, TPD-Implementation Coordinator, Consultant, TPD and Implementation teams, CLIx