EARLY YEARS TEACHER TRAINING COURSE 2011 – 2014
This two-year course to train young women – 17 – 20 year olds, all with the Indian equivalent of A level – from the rural Punjab to be infant school teachers started in June 2011. It was run in partnership with the locally based Kaldighar Trust, which operates over 120 English medium schools (Akal Academies), all led by female headteachers, and with a student population of over 50,000 in the north of India. Their expansion requires ever-increasing numbers of teachers and they approached the Foundation for help with training. They wanted a change in their pedagogy with more creative and interactive teaching and learning.
The basic curriculum and syllabus was designed and led by UK based volunteer educational specialists and further developed with our Indian partners in the course of teaching. Programmes were modified and fine-tuned to ensure that they were suitable and effective in the Indian school environment.
Trainees spent about 60% of their time at the training centre with UK “master trainers” and local staff. The remaining time was spent in schools gaining practical experience of nursery and infant classrooms under the guidance and supervision of mentors and visited by our staff. Many elements in the course were new to Indian colleagues and the project included mentor training, modelling classroom observation and feedback, as well as a much more active pedagogy for the early years class room. The first group of 40 trainee teachers graduated in July 2013 and a second group of 33 completed their 2 year programme in June 2014. Our Indian partners took the programme forward with a third group of trainees.
In the course of this programme, a sequence of 6 UK volunteers worked collaboratively with local staff with some returning on several occasions.