HomeUpdatesAmplifying teacher education for the benefit of students

Amplifying teacher education for the benefit of students

June 2015 | Kathmandu

OLE Nepal’s teacher training program has always helped enhance the primary vision of the organization to transform the education system giving children from all backgrounds an access to high quality learning platform that is interactive, fun and meaningful. Teachers are an important aspect of the transformation envisioned. They are the key to success of the program and the training provided by OLE Nepal only enhances their role as a teacher.

This fact was further boosted by the special mention on OLE Nepal’s teacher training program being one of the good practices in the report “Teacher Education in Developing World” commissioned by Maitri Trust Organization few months ago. With the strong partnership in the field of education, particularly in the specifics of teacher training, leadership development in schools and curriculum development, Maitri Trust and OLE Nepal has been working hand in hand since two good years.

Maitri Trust is an organization based in United Kingdom that provides financial assistance to non-profit organization across developing world that have the potential to create systemic change through education and training. Following are the excerpts from the report written by John Connell with the central focus on teacher education and an analysis of what good teacher education should be depending on different education delivery scenarios.

In terms specifically of bringing good practice in teacher education and ICT together, the most impressive of the projects I looked at was OLE Nepal. Their programme of teacher training was one that took as an explicit aim the need to inculcate teachers with the necessary skills to be able to make practical use of ICT in the classroom as well as the pedagogical knowledge needed to integrate ICT deeply into their teaching and learning.

Training Manager providing hands-on practice
session for teachers

OLE Nepal began by associating itself with the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Initiative, the brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte, a project that had worthwhile intentions but which eventually foundered because of poor project management. Nonetheless, OLE Nepal was able to take delivery, over a period of years, of approximately 3000 OLPC Laptops (called XOs) out of a planned deployment of over 5000. But in addition to the distribution of laptops to schools, OLE Nepal took the essential additional step of understanding the critical requirement of building networks across the schools to allow those laptops to make use of the vast swathes of resources and applications available on the Web. Every school that OLE Nepal is involved with has an internet connection and a fully-functioning local area network (with wifi included) capable of allowing the full complement of connected devices in the school to be used effectively in the classrooms. I have seen many initiatives in many countries across the world where it was thought sufficient to ensure that every student and teacher was able to access a computer or other device without realizing that thousands of computers on desks but not on any network were simply a wasted resource.

Furthermore, OLE Nepal also understood the importance, from the start of ensuring that teachers and children had access to curricular materials that fitted with the needs of the Nepalese education system and that, of course, were produced in the national language, Nepali. To this end, they established two repositories of digital content, one aimed primarily at teachers (e-Paath – http://www.olenepal.org/e-paath/) and the other aimed at primary-aged children (ePustakalaya – http://www.olenepal.org/e-pustakalaya/). Both collections cover the full range of subjects covered in Nepalese schools, and the teacher-focused resources were produced to enable fun, effective, child-centred learning activities for children.The teacher-training programme run by OLE Nepal promotes a child-centred pedagogy that combines theory (including sessions on educational philosophers) and practice, classroom management, the integration of ICT into teaching, and the use of the digital content repositories.

OLE Nepal is a truly impressive project in its scope as well as in its philosophy and implementation.”

As mentioned in the report, the training program for integrating digital learning resources E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya in classes combines of presentation, interaction, hands on activities and practice preparing teachers to successfully conduct technology-integrated classes. The training package prepared in consultation with National Center for Educational Development (NCED) provides teachers with practice in topics such as lesson planning, basic troubleshooting, classroom arrangement, techniques for managing the class, and pre and post non-computer activities that can be used to integrate the computer-based activities more effectively.

The wonderful model of educational change found in OLE Nepal and others bring hope to many communities across the developing world.

In regards to implementing laptop based teaching process in schools, our teacher training is structured in alignment with implementation of the program. The training program divided into three levels with prior orientation consists of Initial, In-school and Refresher Trainings.

Basic teacher training program for teachers
Interactive activities for teachers to understand
how students learn better

Each of these training period varies in duration, place and objectives. Subsequent to the orientation on the program, initial training is held right before the program is launched at the schools. This sessions incorporates basic training on the use of computer, E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya with special focus on education philosophies and the way children learn. It also includes discussion on proper classroom management and sitting arrangements. Following the initial training, In-school training is held four to six weeks after the program launch. Since it is conducted after the students have had ample time using the tool, the trainers observe the ICT-integrated classes run by the teachers. This allows both parties to identify the improvements and discuss various challenges faced by the teachers while integrating the resources at the schools. This in-between training gives teachers the necessary confidence and knowledge. The third level of training is the Refresher training. As the name suggests, this training revisits various techniques of teaching while addressing the issues faced in the classrooms. Held after six months of program implementation, the training provides orientation on additional activities and encourages teachers to pass this knowledge to other teachers in the community.

So far, OLE Nepal has trained about 500 teachers through whose support we have directly benefited more than 30,000 students providing them access to quality learning resources.

To read full report, please click Teacher Education in Developing World

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