Teachers play pivotal role in teaching-learning process. Academically sound and professionally skilled teachers realise the learning objectives as enshrined in curricular expectations to minimise learning gaps. To be a successful teaching professional demands multifaceted skills, optimistic attitude and dynamic competencies. To remain academically sound and professionally viable, it is imperative and desirable for teaching professionals to upgrade and update their teaching competencies in consonance with contemporary pedagogies and teaching strategies.
The Department of School Education JK in collaboration with NCERT, New Delhi and SMAGRA Shiksha JK, is constantly launching capacity building programmes in the form of degree, diploma, certificate and refresher courses for continuous professional development of school teachers, school heads, school administrators and community members, not only on content and pedagogy but also create awareness among them on new priorities and initiatives.
Based on the need assessment of 37000 elementary stage teachers in UTJK, a month long certificate course entitled ‘Integrated Multidisciplinary Professional Advancement Course For Teachers’ (IMPACT) with comprehensive features has been designed by NCERT, on the recommendations of school education department UTJK. The 28 days certificate course is to be completed in three phases, virtual mode 5 days, field work 21 days followed by reflection and assessment of 3 days.
For five days virtual phase of this course, 10 comprehensive modules have been developed which provide teachers with the knowledge, understanding and skills on generic concerns and also on subject specific pedagogy. The generic modules include understanding learner (UL), School Based Assessment (SBA), Multi grade Teaching (MT), Pre School(PS) and Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN).The subject specific modules include Pedagogy of Languages, Science, Social Science, Mathematics and Environmental Studies.
The generic modules are designed to address the training needs of teachers to get a richer and wider awareness about school improvements programmes. The module of School Based Assessment takes into consideration vast domains of evaluation and assessment viz-a-viz, tools and techniques of assessment, forms and types of assessment. The module equips the teachers to frame learner centred diagnostic tools and to organise attitude, aptitude and achievement tests to address psychological and personal needs of students. The module assists the teachers to identify learning gaps of general and specific nature and to frame remedial teaching programmes accordingly. Modules of Pre School and Foundational Literacy and Numeracy on one hand encompasses tangible measures to inculcate life skills at preschool level and on the other hand it prepares teachers to attain foundational literacy and numeracy i, e the ability to read and comprehend the basic text and the ability to carry out basic numerical operations with Indian numerals as recommended by NEP 2020.
Module of Multi Grade teaching has been designed to overcome the problems and issues faced due to non availability of graded class rooms and class specific teachers in our elementary schools. The module has formulated the basic tenets by virtue of which teachers can handle multi grade and multi level classrooms by engaging the students in meaningful learning activities. Understanding Learner is a multi dimensional frame work to identify and satisfy cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of human personality. The content analysis of modules reflect and reveals thatIMPACT is well designed programme and opportunity to bring desirable professional impact on teachers by developing knowledge, skills and attitude.
Under the 2nd phase of IMPACT training, teachers are required to conduct 21 days field work. But, because of closure of schools due to Covid 19, teacher will provide learning opportunities to students within his/her locality after observing SOPs. During this field work programme, teachers are expected to execute, implement and practice the teaching approaches, strategies, and pedagogies discussed during 5 days of virtual programme. T he field work will provide opportunity to teachers to gain mastery over the contemporary skills under the mentorship of resource persons, nominated for the purpose by SMAGRA SHIKSHA and DIETs concerned.
In the third phase of the programme, the mentors (UTRPs) shall seek feedback from trainees regarding the ground implementation and efficiency of the programme and will suggest reformative or remedial measures to realise the training objectives. The sole purpose of the programme is to equip the teachers with contemporary pedagogical skills in a comprehensive and planned manner under the supervision of SMAGRA SHIKSHA, DIETs, CEOs and ZEOs so that the skills are properly practised and executed in the classrooms transactions.
Conclusions: IMPACT is a well organised training programme. If implemented in letter and spirit, can bridge learning crisis and will add contours in the professional skills of teachers ,who have decades of expertise in the field of elementary education.
Author is lecturer at DIET Sopore.. Views are personal