Delhi’s civic body education system is working to develop a mentor-teacher programme along the lines of a system introduced in government schools a few years ago. Mentor-teachers are picked to train other teachers in teaching methodologies and pedagogy. The programme was introduced in Delhi government schools in 2016, and 200 teachers were selected for the job in over 1,000 schools.
The State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) has started training these selected teachers. “We have done some capacity building programmes with a group of around 130-140 teachers. We will also be sending them to schools in Singapore so they could learn innovative teaching practices. However, that is in the pipeline,” said Dr Sunita Kaushik, director, SCERT.
According to an official in the education department of the North MCD, they are also in talks with a software developer to collaborate over a teaching app to benefit all teachers under it. “The app already exists. It has all CBSE modules, along with reference material on how they should be taught to students. We are likely to finalise this tie-up soon. All our teachers will be required to download the app, but the training on how to utilise it...will be done through our mentor teachers,” said the official.
According to the official, the primary focus of the programme is to enable personalised teaching. “The most basic thing is the way of teaching. We have a big learning gap in our primary schools and we need to be equipped to teach accordingly,” the official said.
There are over 1,600 primary schools in the city being run by the North, East and South MCDs. Most of the students who complete primary-level education then move to Delhi government schools. The Delhi government has frequently pointed to the low levels of learning in MCD schools, claiming that this leads to a “learning backlog” in students.
“Around a lakh children leave MCD schools to enter other schools, which is why it is so important to address teaching-learning in them. Only after we address the gaps at the primary level can we address the elementary and secondary levels,” said Dr Kaushik.