Srinagar: A five day online Professional Development Program on Pre-Primary Education commenced here Thursday under Samagra Shiksha. The training was conducted in association with Ampersand Group, a Mumbai based Group involved in Educational Services all across the country and abroad.
The program, being conducted through online mode with 50 teachers participating from Kashmir, will focus latest techniques of teacher training which are highly scalable and can be rolled out to thousands of teachers across Jammu & Kashmir .
During the inaugural session, Dr.Asgar Samoon, Principal Secretary School Education said this program would be highly beneficial for the teachers to enhance their skills and usher a new era in academics and learning in Jammu and Kashmir. He added that unlike webinars, it’s a holistic training and well organized Faculty Development Program designed in line with NCERT Curriculum. The pilot project of online teacher training would help scores of teachers across Jammu & Kashmir to maintain continuity in learning especially during winter season when most areas here remain cut-off from the rest of the country. Being a geographically challenging region, online teacher training will boost upgradation of teachers irrespective of the impediments.Dr. Samoon stressed upon improving quality in Early Childhood Education and asked the Ampersand Group to explore possibilities for Educational Investment in J&K.
Ampersand Group, an end-to-end school management services provider has partnered with Samagra Shiksha, Department of School Education, Government of Jammu & Kashmir for the online teacher training project on Pilot basis. This the first time that a project on this scale has been initiated by the Jammu & Kashmir Government with the private industry to train teachers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The five-day Professional Development Program in Early Childhood Education program commenced from June 25, this year with a select group of 40 teachers across 40 schools under the Samagra Shiksha program which is an overarching program for the school education sector extending from Pre-school to Class 12 that would be highly beneficial for the teachers to enhance their skill-set and usher a new era in academics and learning in Jammu and Kashmir. The pilot project in online teacher training would help scores of teachers across the state to maintain continuity in learning especially during winter seasons where most areas of the state remains cut-off from the country due to blockades caused heavy snowfall. Being geographically challenging regions, online teacher training in both Kashmir valley and Jammu division will boost the upgradation of teachers irrespective of the impediments. The program is also highly scalable and can be expanded to the teachers across the state at any given point of time ensuring timely upgradation of skill-sets and training mechanisms. The program aims to cover certain vitals aspects for Early Childhood of children with teachers through a tech-enabled platform and would cover modules such as child development, special needs, safety practices in school, and curriculum planning among others. The pilot project will be led by Dr. Reeta Sonawat, Director, Academics and Training, Ampersand Group who specialises in the Early Childhood Education program and has been extensively training teachers with a primary focus on strengthening skills in the formative years of the child. Ampersand Group has been extensively partnering the central and state governments across India undertaking public-private partnership projects by providing infrastructure, teacher training, content development along with several e-learning modules in K12 schooling. Among the recent projects is with the Government of Punjab, Ministry of Women & Child Development in Nashik, Maharashtra, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Central Tibetan School Administration among others. The teachers who are participating in the training belong to Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian and Srinagar. Also, the online teacher training will have a direct impact on approximately 2000 students and with time, it would have a multiplying effect.
The inaugural session was also attended by Director School Education, Kashmir, Younis Malik, who said that there was overwhelming response from Kashmir to join this program. He told that after the implementation of Right to Education in J&K and as per New Education Policy, the focus of Government is more on Pre-Primary Education. As such, he reiterated to cover all the teachers engaged in pre-primary in such trainings.
Dr. Arun Manhas, Project Director Samagra Shiksha, expressed gratitude to Chairperson Ampersand Group, Rustom Kerawalla, for joining hands with Samagra Shiksha, J&K, towards organizing this program. He said Samagra Shiksha is strongly focusing on Pre Primary Education in schools and is in the process of opening new Kindergartens across Jammu and Kashmir. Since, to deal with these young kids, teachers require enormous playway skills, as such Samagra Shiksha is conducting this Professional Program to meet the gaps in Early Childhood Education.
Later, Chairman Ampersand Group stated that the program aims to cover certain vitals aspects for Early Childhood education with teachers through a tech-enabled platform and would cover modules such as child development, special needs, safety practices in school, and curriculum planning among others.