Exposure visit to Gujrat and its implications

A facilitator must be the part of change he wants to see
Exposure visit to Gujrat and its implications
Pic: Author

M M Gulzar

Education is a subject of the concurrent list, despite that some states give priority to the education serving as a pivot. Gujrat is one such state in India that has taken strides in the field of education. National Oasis Movement an NGO has entered into MoU with the Govt. of J&K on 28th Dec, 2022. This is the 2nd such MoU after 2016, where in more than 200 Principals and Headmasters of schools were given self leadership training. Impressed by the training and by the Life Camps for students, the HoI’s expressed their willingness to take it forward. The Oasis Trustees invited those principals, who had completed L-3 and acted in furtherance along with higher officers of education department, SCERT and Samagra Shiksha for participation in Annual National Retreat held in Oasis Valley from 27—29 Jan, 20023.

Oasis Movement has MoU with more than ten states and officers and academics were invited from all such states. The programs scheduled for 27th started from 9:30 am. The J&K group comprising trainees of 2016 and 2017, were invited on dais first to share their experiences in terms of self transformation and subsequent impact on staff and students. The time allocated for the group was one hour and every member was expected to share his/her story in 3-4 minutes in a precise manner. Each member had a wonderful story to share and received applauds from the audience. The team including the Joint Directors from Education and SCERT expressed their gratitude to Principal Secretary, Mr. Alok Kumar for his vision and initiative. Similarly the time slot for other states was fixed and representatives from other states shared their own journeys with Oasis and the impact thereof. From Telangana State, officials and academicians from higher education department participated and shared their experiences of transformation and thanked their Secretary Higher Education for showing keen interest and providing them the chance to participate in a national event. The cultural diversity was spectacular as participants from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, J&K and other states spent three days – living, sharing and eating same vegan meals, forgetting food and cultural diversity, instead depicted the great tradition of unity in diversity. The environment created was conducive for learning and sharing from each other’s experiences. The ultimate goal is to reach out to youth and instill in them the character and value based approach to life. At intervals, the two veteran personalities Mr. Skandan Former Advisor to Governor of J&K and Mr. Anil Sorupe Former Secretary Education Govt. of India shared their valuable views, experiences and applauded the role of Oasis in character building and youth empowerment. Both the sessions were highly impressive, informative and path breaking and was followed by an interesting question answer session.

After National Retreat the workshop for the HoI’s of J&K started next day. This was again a new experience for all, as the main focus was on preparing good facilitators. The session as usual began from 9am to 9pm in the evening. A facilitator shall become a role model first. He/she has to live with all those values and principles, before becoming a facilitator. A facilitator must be the part of change he wants to see. Oasis believes in that ‘the heart of education is the education of heart’. It was a novel experience for all those who attended the national retreat and workshop. The facilitator was none other than Miss Sheeba Nair, whose facilitation/ lessons are rated high all over India.

The Oasis trustees arranged a special educational tour for facilitators (Master trainers) from Kashmir to some reputed institutions in Gandhinagar. We set out in early morning from Baroda and reached at around 10 am in the premises of Gujrat Education Department a Premier Centre (command and control centre). The team on exposure visit was warmly received by its Director Dr. T S Joshi. He took us in his office introduced his team and apprised us of its various components. The Command and Control Center (CCC) was set up for schools for State level monitoring and tracking field level academic and non-academic activities. Innovative steps like Integrated Dashboard application by integrating APIs, Comprehensive school monitoring application with Geofencing and Geotagging and Generation of campaign wise questions to seek information from field level staff. This helps in Real—Time data gathering, analysis and evaluation to identify improved areas and planning of new initiatives. The system has a direct access to a class room to ascertain what and how a particular teacher is teaching in the class. Excited by the tracking system, Mr. Shabir Ahmed Khan Principal DIET Beerwah accessed to a school in Anand district, in which a teacher was teaching the students of 8th class. Mr. Khan after introduction asked the teacher about the topic he teaches. Being a science teacher, the topic for today is ‘Heart’ he replied. On asking about what TLM you made available, he showed model of heart and about the lesson plan, he showed his diary, where in lesson plan and learning outcomes were neatly written. The Director – Mr. Joshi then took us in another room where we came to know about weekly assessment tests conducted on each Monday for students from 3rd primary to 9th across the state. The CCC compiles average periodic assessment test(PAT) subject wise and the trend is assessed at the school level, cluster level, block level and the district level. It is easily detected which district is leading the trend and the districts lagging behind. All the sections were working in tandem. Gujrat has the distinction of becoming the 1st State in the country, where CCC set-up is in place. Pertinent to mention that last year a conference of all Education Secretaries was held in the capital of Gujrat and apprised of the various steps and innovations Gujrat government has initiated in the Education Sector. The next move was to visit Gujrat Council of Education Research And Trainings (GCERT). Dr. Joshi is also heading this institution and the team was apprised about the functioning of DIETS in Gujrat and its responsibility to prepare curriculum for all classes. The DIETS have different wings but to our surprise, some more areas for research have been introduced and all working in tandem. The team in its last leg of tour proceeded to visit famous Dandi Kutir( Museum). It is a marvelous piece of art, where guides on duty can only lead from beginning to end The team realized the leadership qualities of Mahatma Gandhi who led the nation through non violence. The Azadi March under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi was supported by documentaries and inspiring stories from Gandhi’s life.

The overall exposure visit opened new vistas of intellect and thinking. The heads of the institutions must grab this opportunity for benefiting their institutions and fulfill their commitment of “Pay it forward”.

M M Gulzar, Director Oasis J&K

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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