IIM-Lucknow training Uttar Pradesh schoolteachers

June 8th, 2008 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  

By Prashant K. Nanda
New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow is not only churning out elite corporates but has also taken up the task of training school teachers to help improve education standards in Uttar Pradesh. IIM-Lucknow has so far trained nearly 65 principals, vice principals and faculty of several District Institutes of Education Training (DIET), which in turn trains teachers at the district level.

“We intend to make them learn the right teaching methods and methodologies and thus help improve the ground condition,” said Sushil Kumar, the IIM professor who was in charge of the training programme.

“On one hand we are opening up their mind towards the new teaching pedagogy and on the other hand talking about management skills,” Kumar told IANS over telephone from Lucknow.

The state has 70 DIETs and the state government has decided that IIM Lucknow should train them as master trainers before they help the new learning methods percolate to the grassroots. Every DIET has a principal, vice principal and around 20 faculty members.

He said they had also agreed to a proposal of the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) to train DIET principals about latest management techniques.

“Within the last one year we have trained three batches of these teachers and another one is scheduled later this year. Most interestingly, SCERT is now asking us to devise a three-month long training course,” Kumar added.

The overall literacy rate in Uttar Pradesh is 57.36 percent as against the national average of 65 percent. As far as women’s education is concerned only 43 of every 100 women in the state know how to read and write with understanding. The national average of female literacy is a little over 54 percent.

According to government data, nearly 800,000 children of the school going age (5-14) are out of school in Uttar Pradesh.

Talking about the experience of training school teachers and converting them to be “agents of change”, he said: “There is a huge gap between our government schools and top institutes like IIMs. At IIM Lucknow we want to shed the elite label and cater to as many people as possible.”

The authorities at IIM Lucknow said as the DIET principals are also administrators, they are being imparted managerial skills like team building, student-teacher participation, motivation, community participation, and the use of technology to make teaching more attractive and participatory.

The last batch of 25 principals and vice principals concluded their training June 6.

“Since they don’t know about the outside world and the changes that have taken place, they remain silent for the first few days of training. The good part of it is that they are very receptive and listen carefully.

“We have seen the change in their attitudes and the opening up of their minds to new learning techniques,” he explained.

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