This 7th September 2019 marked the official beginning of Cluster sessions for 5 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in Mewat, Haryana as a part of an official partnership between Haryana School Shiksha Pariyojna Parishad (HSSPP) and SwaTaleem for the ‘Saheli Ki Udaan’ program. The session was conducted in KGBV Punhana. It saw a participation of 13 teachers including wardens and principals. The cluster sessions take place in KGBVs on a rotational basis, so it gives a chance for teachers to cross-learn from each other.
The session focused on 3 major themes:
- Cross learning on School-based issues through guided school tour followed by the discussion.
- Basic introduction of Self-Awareness.
- Understanding the basics of Language Acquisition and strategies around that.
The session started by the principal of KGBV Punhana, Mr. Tejram, showcasing their work to other school teachers. This was the first time for a lot of teachers to come out of their block and visit Punhana too.
Teachers were impressed by the interesting innovations the Principal exhibited during the school tour such as:
- Clean Dorms for girls: They have in-house help to keep the dorms clean and the resident girls also have shared the responsibility to help in various chores of the hostel.
- Hygiene: Sanitary Napkins Disposal Machine has been installed in the toilets
- The infrastructure of the kitchen is built to enable an efficient and comfortable cooking environment
- A separate pipeline for fresh bathing water.
After the school visit, the discussions revolved around the effective utilisation of funds despite administrative constraints. Mr. Tejaram shared about his practice of utilizing the funds for maintenance which otherwise gets lapsed in a year.
When asked about the issues that teachers face in school within their Circle of Influence, they mentioned that girls who come in class 6th for the first time are not equipped with language reading, and writing, and it becomes difficult to handle the situation. Hearing about these issues the SwaTaleem team moved on to its discussion on Language Acquisition and it started off with discussing a case study of Janki and how she learned a second language.
The discussion of the case study resulted in interesting answers from the teachers and they were excited to use the discussed techniques in their classroom. The question of what stops someone in the classroom/schools to practice English in their schools, the idea of ‘shyness, shame associated with committing mistakes was touched upon.
It was highlighted that Language Acquisition takes place via a Stress-free environment and comprehensible inputs. The teachers discussed how they learn language during their childhood days – reading newspapers, storybooks, teachers who worked hard on improving the vocabulary while some mentioned that the curiosity to explore new words until and unless it is not understood.
Post this discussion, a storytelling session was organized for them. The catch was that one of the teachers would recite a story and the others would act like class 6th students. Teachers found it to be an interesting exercise and it made them understand a few aspects which they should keep in mind while doing a reading session with their students.
The session ended with a guided meditation. At the end of the session the teachers seemed positive about the cluster meet and are looking forward to the next one.
By Team SwaTaleem
SwaTaleem is a non-profit organization in EduMentum’s Cohort ’19 based in Mewat, Haryana. The organization works with Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBVs) to create thriving communities of teachers, girls, and other stakeholders.