A joint programme by the Maharashtra government and the British Council, TAGs (Tejas), aimed at improving English language proficiency of in-service primary and secondary school teachers and students has revealed that 95 per cent of teachers feel that their English has improved. The programme started in 2012 and has shown remarkable results in 10 years.
Teachers reported that they were able to identify the class needs, use textbooks more creatively and use activities to increase student motivation. The programmes successfully trained nearly 2,000 master trainers and 1,46,000 teachers, benefitting 4.38 million learners in government schools across Maharashtra.
Further, according to the evaluation report released on Thursday, 95 per cent of teachers met expectations in terms of their use of English (ELISS), usage of English in the classroom by teachers increased from 40 per cent at baseline to 82 per cent by Year 2, increased use of learner-centred and interactive teaching methods and a more balanced ratio of teacher talking time (TTT) and pupil activity time (PAT).
The programme resulted in improved understanding of how to design and deliver training that develops and reflects learner-centred pedagogy, increased understanding of the role and importance of English language in their daily life, future education, and employment. It also led to increased use of English outside the classroom and enhanced exposure to English language, especially those coming from rural and tribal areas.
In case of students, the programme led to wider access to self-study or school English resources such as the Learn English series. It also created opportunities for increased use of English in the classroom with a greater emphasis on communication and fluency. There was also more active engagement and participation in English language lessons.
School education minister Varsha Gaikwad said, “The state government is dedicated to improving the standard of teaching and learning for millions of students. We are pleased with the impact report presented by the British Council. Our partnerships with the British Council have led to a significant improvement in the competency of teachers, which has resulted in higher quality education for our students year on year.”
Dr Jovan Ilić, Director West India, British Council, said “We are delighted to be a long-term partner of the Government of Maharashtra, to improve the level of English proficiency in government schools and supporting the state government’s knowledge ambitions.” He said through British Council’s projects, they have strived to bring in long-term reform to support the creation of a school education system that enables sustained positive outcomes; and through teachers’ sustained development, prepares students to succeed in an increasingly competitive world of education and employment.
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