Kerala Visit report
I. School Visit: The team got bifurcated in to two groups. One group visited HPS & GHS, Mathamangalam Sulthan Bathery and the other group to RCUP school Pallikunnu of Mananthavady 30 km away from Bathery. The previous school is Govt school and later an aided school.
Children of Paliikunnu school in their traditional attire took the team to school with procession as a mark of welcome with drum beating (Chande kottu) Though it was irksome children standing under the son and welcoming the team, the team appreciated with pinch of salt.
There was assembly of all the children and they performed traditional dance. Sister Roshini is the head mistress who welcomed. Mr Joshi the chairperson of PTA, Memebrs of PTA and MPTA were present.
The other school visited HPS & GHS, Mathamangalam Sulthan Bathery has unique atmosphere like both the HMs of primary and high school sit in the same room and act as complementary to each other
1. Over all atmospheres of the Visited schools: The RCUP School at Pallikunnu started in 1922. The origin of Bethany sister school originates in manglore karnataka. This school also belong to same bethany sisters group. The school is one of the big schools in the district has 1300 students, 35 staff, 29 sections.
2. Cleanliness and School environment: This year the school secured 1st place in cleanliness in Wayanad District. Children have toilet culture, and there are very good clean toilets despite huge number of children.
· Though the school has unfriendly topsoil to grow vegetables they used plastic bags filled with fertile mud and grew vegetables like cauliflowers, cabbage, chillis etc.
· Steps were numbered, walls has boards with messages thus they used building as learning aid.
· Display of utilization of SSA funds over the years on the board is appreciable part.
3. Teaching Learning Process School:
HM Sister Roshini and other teachers know the mission education of this particular RCUP school. Its ‘oneness of life’. The purpose of teaching is Teach to live better human beings. It’s slight deviation from other private schools as they usually think of ranks and marks.
· The school starts at 9.30 and runs till 4.30 PM. The assembly will be in once in a week. Usually the prayer is at 10.00 am. They have 45 minutes period till 6th and last two periods will be of 35 minutes of total 8 periods in a day. They have 5 days week. In LP sections they dont go with periods but with competencies.
· Seating arrangement; the school has semi circle desk arrangement which help for collaborative learning.
· Preparation of teachers for classes; Teachers write teachers manual. It will have unit plan and submitted to HMs in advance. The manual also contains a column where they capture students reactions during TL Process. In karnataka the column is meant for teacher reflection which is a improvement. Markedly teachers have taken this column seriously and captured student reactions after the lesson.
· Textbook contains less number of chapters and it has inbuilt constructivist approach with CCE. But teacher follow the traditional practice like chalk and talk method. They also need orientation on CCE.
· Use of ICT for teaching learning process: Every school is connected with DCT- Digital collaborative text book ( text book + activity) is another interesting thing where text is available in the net.
· Sanskrit, arabic and urdu languages are taught up to 7th std. Students are allowed to make choices w.r.t. language. (This is apart from the stipulated language policy)
· Guest session at school is another feature. It has been informal.
· Documentation at school is nice and not pressurizing.
· Child portfolio is kept at school ; But activity wise in kerala also project dominates.
· 10th std Children are grouped according to their locality or colony of residence. They are supposed to carry out group study on Sundays from 10 to 4. PTA, MPTAs and teachers assigned to the locality to monitor the study of children.
· Teachers meet every parent individually. All notes and all round points will be discussed. Each teacher calls every parent by phone and they continue to call till they come school and get information about their wards.
· The school also takes part in social issues. The st also give representation to GPs if need be.
· Teachers give time to every child. They also follow method of each one teach one. Leading children will peer teach the friends.
· They have 30 CWSN children who are put together for inclusive education. One could observe humane concern shown by other children. In this school they dont have attendance drop. Season hardly influences the attendance of the children. Parents coffee plants and fields are very close by. They never allow children to drop out from school.
· Children are very much aware of CWC and call 1098.
4. Special initiatives for Tribes : Wainad is dominated by 60% of tribal population. The major tribes are katunayakas, Paniyas and etc. Their progress and attendance has been a challenge and many measures like appointing tribal promoters by Gram panchayath, Committed social workers of MSW qualification by DCs has been taken up to ensure attendance. Apart from it for their transportation vehicle called gothra sarathi, morning breakfast has been arranged by GPs.
5. PTAs, Conceptualization, Nature and Role: PTA an acronym called Parent teacher association comprises of 30 members of whom 17 are general and 13 are women. Within PTA, women form the Mothers PTA. Election of PTAs are held yearly in the month of July and general body comprising all parents will elect PTA every year. The president will be elected out of 30 executive members. Generally PTA general body elects capable people irrespective of casteand political background. Thus there will not be generally any politics or political backing. For benifit of the school PTA and MPTA wotk together.
· Social context for MPTAs. In special cases only mothers needed.Thus they have MPTAs. MPTAs also rutinely tastes food prepred for children at noon. All PTA and MPTA are governed by rules. There will be common meetings and special meetings.
· Meeting and support : PTAs and MPTAs meet once in a month Or when there is a phone call from HMs. Apart from it they give Issue based support. They told that they are 24 hours we are cautious. PTA acts as third eye. PTAs know that contribution is not only through money but also planning, intellectual support. Members told that they invested time. On August 15th PTAs and MPTAs sat 4 hours for school planning. Thus
- Community knows that intellectual support and time is also research.
- Community sat for 4 hours to plan. They also involve in planning, implementing and evaluation.
- PTAs and under achievers; PTAs coordinate for helping backward children. They arrange for conductin special class. They visit their home to support. In the month aug 15 they sat for 4 hours with parents and planned for uplifting of backward children.
6. Mid day meals:Twice in a week MPTAs come school to taste noon meal. The cooks are 2, irrespective strength. They are provided with Rs 400/- per working day. Govt also provides milk, as well as Egg in different days once in a week, and Egg.
7. Special features of school :
- During calamities individual child, school collects money and gives it to the needy
- Zero drop outs- no drop outs during harvesting time or strike. ( Child Welfare Committee prosecutes if children below 18 are employed
- Every school (primary) has one laptop and a projector.
- Good coordination between High School HM and Primary HM. They sit together in a single room.
- Broad band facility with 5 lap tops, 2 LCD projectors. Teachers use them during TL process.
- HM receives all circulars through mail and responds through mail.
II. MEETING WITH TEACHERS:
The team interacted with teachers .Interestingly Mr Sabastian is also visiting this school for the first time. The qualification for UPS teachers, Degree + DEd, for Primary 1-5th 10+PTC.
-For UP They have subject teachers. DEd teachers teach all the subjects. Up to 1-4 teachers take all subject. From 5th std onwards subject teachers take classes.
-TET has been introduced two years back.
-Teachers are not much aware of CCE but know to give individual activity to measure the performance and mark the progress in a sheet.
-Teachers are provided training only during vacations. This year training is for 5 days on changed curriculum.
-Modus operand for training is cascade mode. Core SRG conceives prepares training packages and train SRG - DRG – BRC – Trs. They are provided training
III. Visit to BRC Manavathavady and BRC Wainad.
BRCs of kerala are headed by BPOs. BPOs are primary UPS HMs are High school teachers. BRCs function under DPOs of Dist SSA unit.
BRCs comprise of 3 BRC trainers among which one from HS teacher cadre and two from primary cadre. BRCs have all SSA related works and they have clear cut 5 days mandatory work to support the school system.Teacher training, Entitlements, OOSC, IEP, Grants of SSA, and CWSN are some of the impartant functions of CCE. It seems that there is major focus upon CWSNs in Wainad. Unique thing is BRCs with help of DIET impart training to Panchayat members in order to create awareness about their role in the field of Education.
Special Initiatives of BRC : BRC Mananthavady took its own initiatives like Program for enrichment of standard one.
- They called it as 'ONNAMTHARAM-ONNAMTHARM' training on using of technology for 1st standard children. They use ICT for creating attractive atmosphere for 1st standard. Schools also being provided with Interactive DVD for learning and assessment of children. It was viewed critically as small children till 4th – 5th standard must explore and engage with nature and not with simulated electronic gadgets. Research backing was also not available for the same.
- Every day duty ( in each week) of BRC trainers, CRPs and Resource teachers are spelt out
- Another initiative unique to BRC Mananthavady block is appointing one trained physiotherapist per gram panchayath and they visit home of CWSN for Physiotherapy. (required equipments are borrowed from BRC center)
- As all ready said teacher trainings carried out during holidays.
- Cluster meetings are held on Saturday. Kerala follows 5 days week and every Saturday is a holiday to school. But CRC meetings are conducted during Saturdays.
- Kerala system believed BPOs and other officials at district level for selecting CRPs locally. CRPs are selected based upon internal assessment. They provide onsight support to teachers. BRTs visit school once in a week. CRPs visit schools 12 minimum in a month.
IV. State effort for Tribal children:
There seems to be much effort in Kerala to uplift tribal children. As discussed earlier dialectical difference exists. Katunayaka and paniyas have their own mother tongue. The children of tribes face difficulty in writing. They have language problem also. Thus the absenteeism is a challenge to district administration. To mitigate the problem number initiatives are taken up.
- Their Colonies are visited by DCs and DDs in the beginning. All Dept visit colony of STs.
- Second time Dist level officers visit again
- Education voluntaries are appointed in each GPs. The EVs will visit each colony and get data.
- Teachers visit thirdly after DC and Dist officials
- Tribal dept also appointed a person called ST promoters. Beside these
- DC also appointed CSWs (Committed social workers) with MSW qualification.
V. DIET Wainad
DIET established in 1989. It is supposed to be the first DIET in INDIA.
Planning at DIET : In the month of june they call PAC. PAC helps not only in planning but also it acts as convergence meeting where they discard overlap. The members and faculty suggest programmes to be conducted for the year at PAC. Faculty wise action plan will be prepared. It also includes the study to be taken up. There were few innovative activities too could be seen.
Few initiatives apart from assigned work of DIET has been listed as below
- IEDC material has been prepared (Inclusive education)
- For the DRG, DIET will prepare the module. They do the need analysis. From HMs they collect needs.
- This year they conducted HMs trg twice for three days.
- ISM : Internal support mission. Its not supervisory visit. First and third thursday every month. Under inernal visit inspection will happen but ISM has been purely academic. It is the state innitiative. It consist of 2 members. DIET faculty must be the part. They must observe the class, make recordings. The team observes 2, 4 and 7th classes.
- Meny and menna : Scholastic achievement of the students panchyath wise consolidated.
- Teacher demand trainings at cluster meetings, based upon which the literature developed. DIET wainad prepared their own Bhoomi, Vaikhari, HMs (Training includes two areas- State driven, Dist specific) Kirana for WE materials, CCE training, Theatre camp (AIL), Harithasena, Plastic free Bathery.
- Interestingly DIET announces trainings to be planned at HMs conference. If They get the numbers Then only they plan for training.
- Another interesting thing is LSS / USS. For 4th and 7th std examination would be conducted for 3 papers. Based upon the performance DEC of Jilla panchayath would provide scholarship for the children.
- Vijayadeepam program is another initiative to minimize absenteeism from schools.
- SWEET : Schools with efficient English teacher. Its Weinad initiative. Teachers are trained for English rich environment. It is for class 1 teacher. Next year the same will be given for class 2, class 3 and 4 for coming years.
- SAPHALYAM : Its for those who fail in 10th exam. The govt conducts 10th equitant exam. After they pass this exam, the candidates would be awarded certificate. For this DIET developed saphalyam madule for such children. Thus the pass percentage increased to 94%.
The other good practices are
- Need based trg after annnouncement.
- Academic focus under ISM
- Team visits with joint inspection.
- Exchange of best practices- Vinimayam is a good thing.
- Documentation and research is good and focus upon their work.
- Five departments come together to design a training which centers around the theme- quality education for children- juvenile delinquency. Depts- Education, legal justice, police, child welfare & health
- If required the DIET takes the help of Universities for guidance in research in few aspects like wetting of the proposal, analysis( software) etc. Remuneration is paid for the same.
- Comprehensive Education program for a constituency- Feed back is taken from various stakeholders including panchayath members and develop a comprehensive educational program in close contact with MLA. ( Face lifting, infrastructure, school management)
- Built capability of teachers from primary and high school to analyse their results w.r.t. panchayath and district average result. Further based on this, they develop plan to uplift the level of children subject wise.
- Integrated district development plan- all universities, agricultural colleges etc were involved.
- With permission from government hostel is being rented out to tourists and the revenue is utilized for silver jubilee celebration.
VI. Discussion with Pre service teachers:
The students are confident enough and able to relate with the visitors. Appear to be in relaxed atmosphere.
Students have three compulsory languages and one optional core subject. Apart from that they have general subjects like philosophy in which administration also involved. Psychology still dominates and need to be refined with sociology. There is open access for technology.
Key factors are
- semester system
- Academic year for pre service teacher course : June to March
- Recruitment at District level, not centralized.
VII. Discussion with GP and Head of education and health standing committee:
There exists a very strong local self govt system. GPs have standing committees which cater to the need of primary education system, And ZPs for high schools. Key points of the discussion are
- Gram panchayath standing committee
- 35% of panchayath budget is allocated for education ( not salary component). It amounts to the tune of around 10 lakhs.
- They have all statutory powers
- Power to appoint required personnel- physiotherapy, volunteers and RMSA teachers on temporary basis.
VIII Policy matters:
- MDM cooks get Rs.400 per day per cook
- PTR 23:1
- Distrcit panchayat introduced breakfast and transportation facility for tribal students (Gothra sarathi-ಗೋತ್ರ ಸರಥಿ ) Later Govt accepted it
- text books reach individual schools by post
- English text book of 7th only 3 units per semester and more focus on grammer and language development activities.
- Eligibility criteria for DIET Faculty- double graduation(MEd), 5 years of experience and should pass DIET eligibility test.
- Strong local self govt.
· Textbooks are being supplied by post directly to school.
· SRG meetings will be conducted once in 15 days in govt school
· GP – gothra sarathi, breakfast for tribal children.
· Group study around the colony. Every Sunday they have to study 10-4 they need to work. PTA would go for monitering.
· Saturday will have staff meeting and CRC meeting.
· School cleanliness is very good.
· Children are fearless and able to bond with us.
· Panchayth appointed tribal promoter.
· Use of ICT is very good and school has broadband.
· All the circulars are being circulated through mail, HMs answer for it.
· CCE inbuilt and teacher manual incorporated. They have
· Digital collaberated textbooks and one can download the same.(DCT)
· Guest time program ; Specialists invited for guest.
· Use of library is very good.
· Learning outcome of tribal children are not so good.
- Academic and administraive lines are separate – can not interchange with out writing the eligibility test.
IX. Administrative support:
- Phases of process followed to reduce drop outs:
◦ In the first phase District Collector visits all colonies
◦ Second Phase- District officers visit all colonies
◦ In the third phase teachers visit the colonies in their respective areas
◦ Finaly S.T. Promoters, Educational Volunteers (who are in each Gram Panchayath) and committed social workers visit colonies and in turn report to the D.C. directly.
- One lecturer assigned from DIET visits the BRC center once in a week.
- Every month meeting of all District officers right from cluster level are carried out. (DD, DIET Principal, Prog EO, BRC, Trainers etc)
- ISM- Internal Support System: 1st and 3rd Thursday every officer has to be in the field in team and give academic support to the school. One from the DIET and another can be either from SSA or from DD office.