Kuruvila Jacob Initiative For Promoting Excellence In School Education

Dr. Venita Kaul who was the Chief Guest, and who delivered the 9th Memorial Oration under the auspices of Kuruvila Jacob Initiative addressed over 300 teachers of various schools both private and corporation schools who had gathered at City Hotel, Chennai. Dr. Venita spoke about the Challenges of 21st Century. And touched on the few points given below, which according to her are the main challenges to education in India.

The present status at each stage of education?

The shift required in this 21st century?

The specific 21st century skills that children will need as adults for ‘Life, Learning and Livelihood’?

How should these be addressed in our curriculum at all stages – Some suggestive ideas and principles.

Dr. Venita Kaul spoke about

Preschool:  Most Aws are nutrition centers & PSE in hands of private sector. Rote learning of 3 R’s the mode play or developmentally of appropriate practice of rarely seen.  Outcome: Children enter school not ready with conceptual or language foundation. And no second chance.

Secondary: 17% drop out, especially girls. Parallel tuition industry and exam driven teaching. Holistic education on the back burner. Outcome: 99% marks but also Rote learning and weak higher order thinking and communication skills.

Higher: Only 25% enrolment. Inequitable standards  and inadequate preparation – eg. Plagiarism, Expression, Critical thinking etc. Curriculum not relevant to job  market. Outcome: Graduates emerge unemployable.

Main Objective of the Kuruvila Jacob Initiative:

The basic objective of this initiative is to enhance the strategic and operational performance of schools in the process of imparting holistic education to students.

The initiative has 6 major teacher centric programmes to date

  1. Education Excellence Cluster Programme
  2. Model School Accreditation programme
  3. Education Leadership Programme-Programme for Correspondents, Principals
  4. Multimedia–Enhanced Elementary Science
  5. ‘A Class Apart’ – Skill development and competency enhancement programme to

guide children with learning difficulties

  1. ‘Mainstreaming Ecology and Environment into School Curriculum and Pedagogy’-

Programme for middle school teachers

7.’I Can make a difference ‘-Programme for middle and high school teachers

8.’English Evolution ‘–Programme for primary, middle and high school teachers

9.’Heart of the Matter’-Programme for teachers of Grade VIII to XII

The programmes of the Initiative are targeted at teachers and administrators of schools.

An outline of the Initiative’s activities

Ø   Education Leadership Programmes- One year open learning Post-Graduate Diploma cum Training Programme for Management Representatives, Principals and senior teachers to provide the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for school Principals and Administrators to shape the future of the schools and the students therein – interactive, participatory and experiential learning process in three contact sessions distributed over twelve months, followed by practicum and portfolio. We are done with ten batches.

Ø  ‘A Class Apart’ –Certificate programme  designed for the  Skill development and Competency Enhancement of  heads and teachers of Kindergarten and primary classes  in regular schools to identify and guide children with learning difficulties which include specific learning disabilities, to  help teachers keep up-to-date with current thinking in pedagogy, to  reinforce the teachers’ confidence in their career choices and to make them more aware and knowledgeable about the nuances of early childhood education and become completely available to the children in the classroom  . We are done with Eleven batches

Ø  Environment Education – Certificate Training and Capacity Building Programme for middle school teachers  to facilitate the science and practice of ecology into existing pedagogy of schools  for one academic year on a referral and extension mode   with  a judicious combination of theoretical and practical sessions conducted in field situations and context .The second batch is going on .

Ø  Education Excellence Cluster Programmes – School clusters of Government and private schools to learn principles and practices of Total Quality Management to accelerate their journey towards excellence

Ø  Model School Accreditation programmes –Training Support for  Chennai City Schools run by Corporation of Chennai for  accreditation by Quality Council Of India based on Quality School Governance Frame work

Ø  Multimedia–Enhanced Elementary Science Modules prepared by teachers and experts from IIT(M) – curriculum-based interactive learning modules in Physics and Chemistry for children in standards six to eight to cater to CBSE, ICSE and Tamil Nadu State Board streams of education  freely downloadable in the public domain at http//:kji.iitm.ac.in and  also available as DVD ROMs

Ø  ‘English Evolution Course’ for teachers. The objective is to enhance all aspects of proficiency in the English language. Our partner for this project is British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. This professional development programme is for  40 hours spread over  10 weeks  at the   British Council’s English Language Teaching Centre, British Deputy High Commission, 737 Anna Salai, Chennai .This is launched in August ’14.We are done with five batches

Ø   ‘I can make a difference’ by Strides is a facilitated journey that enable teachers relook at their role afresh and help them explore their experience and wisdom. It is an effort to help them move from the feeling of “I am just a teacher” to “I am a teacher”, and not just say it, but say and feel it with pride. This 3 day programme is a highly experiential program designed for middle and high school teachers.  The methodology used in this program is a combination of workshops, action learning projects and follow-up discussions to help teachers reach deep in to their experience, reflect on their journey and reinforce their personal and professional mission. This is launched in September’14. We are done with six batches.

Ø    ‘Heart of the Matter’ –  Certificate Programme  customised for Principals and Senior teachers aimed at empowering them to understand and mentor adolescents and support them to grow into conscious, responsible adults as well as to be the first point of reference for conflict resolution – Resource Partner: V Excel, Chennai.



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