UKIERI is a collaboration of the governments of United Kingdom and India in improving the educational standards in India. As a part of this partnership, a school leadership programme is being piloted in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. The Teacher Foundation conducted the first phase of training for 64 Tutor Facilitators from 21-25 October 2013 at Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development in Sriperumbudur .
The programme commenced with the inauguration by the Principal Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Smt Sabita giving the presiding address. Ms. Kavitha Anand, Executive Director, Adhyayan and Dr. Rashmi Sinha of UKIERI, spoke of the role of UKIERI in supporting the 1200 principals in two states who have been chosen for the pilot project. This would be done by recruiting 64 Educationists like Senior Principals, Retired Principals, DIET officers, Officers from The Education Department as Tutor Facilitators who would in turn support the 1200 principals in becoming Instructional Leaders. The Principal Secretary spoke of the importance of empowering the principals so that they in turn will help in better and all round development of children through education.
The training commenced after the inauguration and the TTF facilitators took the tutor facilitators through the schedule of five days. Day one was spent in helping them understand the role of a School Head as a leader of Education and not a mere manager. They were also made aware of their role in this venture.
On Day Two the tutor facilitators were introduced to the four skills of facilitation viz. Listening, Asking Questions, Debriefing and Summarizing through various group activities. All the facilitators enthusiastically took part in all the activities forgetting their age, designations and positions. The workshop was very lively with their active participation.
Tutor facilitators were taken through various methods of facilitation like Snow balling, Jigsaw reading etc. One of the participants quipped that he did know that facilitation meant all these interesting methods and he was under the impression that mentoring meant advising and policing.
On Day Four the tutor facilitators were taken through the module of Coaching process. They were shown the actual classroom teaching, enactment by two facilitators to comprehend how coaching and mentoring had to be done. At the end of Day four there were a lot of self reflection by the tutor facilitators and clearing of their misconceptions.
The last day or the Day Five was a half- day session which began with a recap of all the previous sessions. Then they had a practice session on Coaching with the help of assessment sheets. The workshop ended with the information given to them about the further training sessions, the availability of support and resources etc. The participants then wrote an appreciation card to one of their fellow participants and gifted it to them.
Circle time was a very enlightening activity as each tutor facilitator spoke very candidly of the doubts each had about the workshop, the content of the workshop and the methodology of the workshop but after five days of training, the amount of knowledge each one gained and the responsibility each had in supporting the 1200 principals. One participant said that after attending the workshop he realised that he had not done much for the empowerment of student community and teaching community and pledged that he will bring a change in the system. Another participant felt that all of them were bound by the thread of ground rules and twirled like a top all the days filled with interesting and varied activities. Yet another participant felt that the facilitators kept their spirits high with words of encouragement and the three of them were actually modelling the right way of facilitation and that they were taken by the tutor facilitators as role models.
The workshop concluded on 25th October with a valedictory programme in which the RMSA officials and the TTF Facilitators were felicitated by the Tutor Facilitators.