Teacher Led-Content Development Training:
ICT in Primary Education
With the permission of the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Save the Children initiated a pilot project 'Transforming Children's Future: Infusion of ICT in Primary Education' in selected government primary schools in Meherpur district under Sponsorship Program to see the effectiveness of ICT on student learning. The project aims to make lessons joyful and effective by piloting ICT and interactive multimedia contents in the classrooms so that students stay and learn in school. One of the major components of the pilot project is 'Teacher led Content Development (TLCD) Training'. With the technical support of A2I and approval of DPE, Save the Children has organised two batches of Teacher-Led Content
On training grounds. Courtesy: Save The Children
Development Training, first time for the teachers of primary schools, one at the government Teachers' Training College (TTC), Dhaka, and another one at the government Teachers' Training College, Jessore. Both training programs were attended by participating teachers of pilot schools, Instructors from Primary Training Institute (PTI), Kushtia and Upazilla Resource Centre (URC), Meherpur and Gangni. AKM Adul Awal Mazumdar, the Secretary of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME), Mohammad Nazrul Islam Khan, National Project Director, A2I, Ms. Mahbubun Nahar, Director, Training, DPE, Mufad Chowdhury, Joint Program Director of Second Primary Education Development Program (PEDP II), Nazrul Islam, former Project Director, Teaching Quality Improvement (TQI-SEP) project, Dr Safiqul Islam, Director, BRAC education programme and Jeser Ali, DPEO, Meherpur, appreciated the intervention by visiting the sessions on different training days.
The aim of the 12 day residential training is not to make the teachers computer literate but to provide them with the skills to use ICT in enhancing classroom teaching skills. The aim is to stimulate and provide the skills of web browsing to teachers so that they are able to develop their own materials to deliver interactive and effective lessons in the classrooms using presentation software. There was a fear prior to the commencement of the training that the primary school teachers of Bangladesh might not be ready for developing e-contents on their own; however it proved to be completely incorrect. The success of the training was seen in the amount of output and content the participants developed. 26 participants of the first session came up with 38 different contents and the 19 participants of second with 43! At schools these newly trained teachers began to develop such monthly content not out of any sort of obligation or requirement of their job, but out of their own free will and enthusiasm. With the use of multimedia projectors students can now very easily understand how earth moves around the sun and other difficult concepts of mathematics, such as, fractions or unitary method from the lessons developed by these teachers. It was amazing to see the initial results, when teachers of rural schools, who had never touched a computer before, were collecting relevant pictures and video clips from the Internet and delivering that using presentation software in the classrooms. The whole process of content development subconsciously improves the teachers' pedagogical ideas. It helps the teachers to design the sequence of activities to make an interactive classroom.
During the training all the teachers are taught how to upload materials on the professional networking website for teachers. This, as a result, promotes a great opportunity for collaboration and networking in education and professional development for the teachers of rural primary schools.
The project of Save the Children is still in its pilot stage and it is documenting the impact and challenges of the overall interventions to the students and teachers to have evidence based model. However, in terms of sustainability, these trained teachers become life-long learners and the ICT training instills in them a sense of innovation and pride of sorts. They enthusiastically seem to choose to create new and innovative contents for their classrooms, and the enthusiasm is carried forward on to their students.