Teachers in the city are using innovative techniques and transforming educational outcomes for 15,000 students. It is 8.30 am and the class of 30-odd students at the SR Capital School, Shahadra, can be seen eagerly waiting for their English class to begin. As their teacher Bindu Bhatia walks in, she knows she has their undivided attention. Bhatia starts by instructing them to follow her lead and recite a poem. The next thing you know, all of them break into the popular song, Kolaveri Di. Only difference, the lyrics have been replaced with their poem. Impact—the students know all the poems by heart.
Starting with Delhi, the innovative programme aims to select an initial group of 25-30 teachers—or principal-innovators at the primary level who are modelling practices that could have a major impact on key educational outcomes, such as literacy and numeracy. Principals or teachers in any recognised government or NGO- run or affordable Delhi private school serving underprivileged children at the primary level are eligible to apply.
The selection process is three-staged and intensive, and includes a visit by the STIR team to the school; a face-to-face interview; and a final assessment centre where teachers will be asked to present their ideas to their peers and to a distinguished national and international panel.
At the same time in South Delhi-based Deepalaya School, a popular mathematics teacher Geeta Joshi, instructs her students to leave their text books and go out and enjoy a bottle of soft drink. Once they rush back to tell her what they had, she asks them to calculate the volume they drank. Children happily oblige. Impact—a 100 pass percentage in the most dreaded subject.
At Aryan P School in East Delhi, the head, Daya Rawal, asks the teachers to allow students to give their tests in the mode they are most comfortable with—oral or written. Impact—no absenteeism during tests and an evident upgrade in results.
These three are among 21 teachers selected from 200 schools for micro-innovative teaching techniques. A city-based competition organised by the non-governmental organisation STIR (Schools & Teachers Innovating for Results) Education has already registered 165 applications. The competition which started on July 9 will be wrapped by September 29 will have 30 finalists who will be a part of pedagogy workshops. Their techniques will be presented to Union HRD Minister Kapil SIbal in April next year.
“Innovations by the 30 finalists will be presented first the State Education Summit in November and by April next year, we will be meeting with the Union HRD minister and other policy-makers to incorporate these techniques in school education across the state,” informed Siddharth Singh, Delhi-director, STIR Education. The period between October 2012 and April next year will be considered as a test period and these techniques will be implemented in schools in the programme and surrounding schools. “These techniques will be based on the requirement and feasibility of the class. For instance DPS RK Puram may have different teaching requirements than a government-aided school,” he said.
It has made an impact on over 15,000 students across the city. “We are looking at evident changes and increasing interest in studies among students,” said Rawal, head, Aryan Public School. The teachers are gearing for the final round of the competition, making it easy for students to score and learn better.