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Working with Government                                                                                          Go Back
An improvement in the education for all inevitably requires an improvement of the government school system; thus for VBERC to work with the government structures is both important and imperative. In its work with various state governments, VBERC role is one of providing support, encouragement and the necessary push to institutions for attainment of higher standards of quality in all their endeavors.
Thus the major objectives of working with state structures and institutions are:
  • Capacity building of the state system.
  • To build an understanding with government personnel about ‘quality education’ and to support them in putting this new thinking into action.
  • Developing an understanding of educationally disadvantaged children and their needs.
  • To facilitate inter-institutional and intra- institutional communication and synergies.
  • To remove the shadows of cynicism and lack of enthusiasm and help them see the future road with clarity.
What has been done? Work with Governments of Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat has been multifaceted and has had varying degrees of intensity:

Textbook development

After work on textbook development with Chhattisgarh SCERT, SCERT Delhi, NCERT (Mathematics), Bihar and Jharkhand Governments work with SCERT Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh has been initiated. The textbooks that have been developed have enough space for children to think and work independently. Concepts in the textbook have been explained by taking examples from daily life experiences of the children keeping in mind that there should be exercises that encourage peer group learning. Children are asked not only to do sums/questions but also to make new sums/ questions on their own.

Teacher training

Teachers trainings were organized in all the states with the objective of preparing resource groups at state, district and block levels sharpening their understanding of concepts, nature of subjects, textbooks, syllabus and curriculum. Through these trainings VBERC has established direct contact with teachers on some of the core issues of ‘quality in education’. We have partnered in training of about 8-10 thousand teachers directly at state levels and we have been involved in training of around 2000 resource persons. We have also worked with the Chhattisgarh DIETs in strengthening their pre-service D.Ed. programme.

Developing Training Modules and Teacher’s Guides

Reading materials have been prepared to support and encourage self-learning amongst the teachers. In Gujarat reading sessions were also planned for teachers to continue the effort initiated in the trainings.

Developing the Curriculum Framework and Curriculum

The state of Bihar felt the need for review and revision of the curriculum and textbooks in the light of National Curriculum Framework 2005 and keeping in mind the specific needs of the state. Similarly in Chhattisgarh, the need for formulating a curriculum framework was felt to respond to the needs of a newly formed state. VBERC continues to support these efforts and for the purpose has conducted workshops with SCERT faculty, DIET personnel and teachers to trigger a wider discussion on curriculum, syllabus and textbook writing.

Developing Workbooks

VBERC has developed workbooks supporting the textbooks of both Rajasthan and Haryana, for all the subjects up to Class VIII. The objectives with which the contents were designed are:
  • Children get an opportunity to express themselves.
  • Children understand the concepts in the textbooks and are also encouraged to move forward and explore other concepts.
  • Children get space for self-learning and peer group learning.

Research Work

Work with the government school structure under the Quality Education Program(QEP) in Baran district, Rajasthan is being mapped through a baseline-endline study to build understanding about the overall educational scenario of the district and how the issue of ‘quality’ education can be addressed. Support to SCERT and DIET faculty at Chhattisgarh is also being provided for research.

Developing Bridge Course

VBERC has developed Bridge Course supporting the textbooks of Bihar, for subjects Hindi, Mathematics and English up to Class V.

System Reform

Support has been provided to the state of Chhattisgarh in formulating its policy document for Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) and Work and Education. Support has also been provided to these institutions for setting processes and forums for internal planning and review.

Examination Reform

Most teaching in the Indian classroom is geared for information recall in examinations forcing children to learn by rote without understanding. It is anticipated that a change in the emphasis of examination from memorized facts to conceptual understanding and skills will have a positive effect on the teacher student interaction in the classroom. In Rajasthan this idea is being worked upon with the Learning Guarantee Programme of the Azim Premji Foundation in more than a 1000 schools of Sirohi and Tonk district. In Chhattisgarh also, work has started with this idea.
The interventions mentioned above should not be seen in isolation of each other. For example, if we are involved in the process of developing better textbooks, then it is important to complement this with teacher training to facilitate usage of the books by the teachers. The decision of taking on a task like textbook or workbook development can be seen as an entry point of our work with the state governments as we see that most of the states these days are involved in tasks of this nature. At the same time it helps the resource centre develops an understanding about what constitutes a good textbook or workbook and how concepts should be presented with clarity.