Teaching the teachers
The beginning of September brings a new school term to millions of children around the world. But going to school is one thing, while the quality of education you receive there is another.
The beginning of September brings a new school term to millions of children around the world. Every child has the right to a fair chance in life and everyone agrees that this chance starts at school.
But going to school is one thing, while the quality of education you receive there is another. Learning is what really counts, and effective learning depends hugely on your teacher. Good teachers can transform lives. Poorly-trained, badly-paid teachers working ineffectively in weak education systems undermine opportunities and often reinforce inequities.
India has made significant progress on access to schooling and primary education enrolment in recent decades, but dropout rates and low levels of learning remain major issues. Improving learning, in particular, requires immediate attention to teachers’ education.
“I have become a star in the eyes of my students” says Aarti Sharma, a teacher at Jamoniya Tank primary school in the Sehore District of Madhya Pradesh, central India.
Aarti is one of the 80,000 teachers involved in a UNICEF-supported teacher training programme. This training was the first time Aarti encountered the concept of inclusive, child-centred education, an approach that encourages dialogue and interaction between students and teachers, harnesses children’s curiosity and promotes the adoption of creative tools and strategies that are responsive to the needs and interests of the child.
The training really changed my way of teaching. I haven’t put all the techniques that I learnt into practice in my classroom yet. But I’m already less concerned about simply completing the syllabus and more focused on how to engage my students by, for example, using different kinds of materials. Now my pupils participate more actively and are eager for their classes to begin!
Aarti hopes that other teachers in her school will have the opportunity to receive the same training. Together, she thinks, they could improve children’s learning outcomes and change the general perception in society that government schools necessarily mean poor performance.
We’re contributing to UNICEF programmes to strengthen teacher training institutions, develop resource materials and train 2,000 teachers in the States of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
This story is one of the many ways in which Cartier Philanthropy is touching the lives of children and the communities they live in.