KATHA – Teachers Training Centre
In-service & Pre-service Teacher Training Program
This unique teachers training program is organized and run by Katha in New Delhi, India. Katha is an NGO funded mainly from contributions devoted to enabling children from poor families receive a basic education and emphasizes teacher education and the provision of interesting learning material, especially in the form of books and stories.
Katha targets children from poor, non literate families in urban Delhi and teachers working with first generation school-goers and parents. They run large schools in difficult and poor areas, and also operate in a network of their own “learning centers” located in the slum areas of the city, providing crèches in order to allow young mothers to complete their own schooling. A total of 1400 are enrolled in their schools and a further 2000 attend the learning centers.
In a unique out-reach program they operate 3 mobile units that target the street children in what are known as “pavement schools”.
An important element of Katha’s approach is the emphasis on stories and enhancing the joy of reading. Research is conducted to locate and translate stories from the numerous Indian sub- cultures and dialects. Their educational initiatives and publications have received international recognition and awards.
Katha runs teacher training workshops in order to improve teacher skills, fostering reading competence and teaching methods and motivate teachers. The In-service & Pre-service Teacher Training Program is a three year program intended to support these workshops aimed at motivating, training and fostering excellence in teacher training. The program targets over 150 teachers from the Katha School, the 10 Katha Community Schools, 20 Tamasha Pavement Schools and 22 Learning Centers all based in the slums of New Delhi.
The new Katha Teachers Training Initiative combines formal lectures and training with curriculum development and the creation of learning aids linked to story telling as the basis for a fun filled total way of teaching.
Teachers participate in a three year course with hands on training and also receive a stipend during the course. These teachers meet twice a month to share best practices, and to evaluate and assess present practices. An additional two year Katha Diploma course is offered in Educational Management. All these courses conclude with formal examinations and graduates receive appropriate certificates, the highest being the Katha B. Ed after a four year training period.
I Love Reading Project
Katha operated ILR in 75 MCD primary schools and 126 communities. The year 2013/14 was the first year of ILR’s intervention in this cohort of schools and communities. Katha also set up libraries and trained teachers for deployment in an additional 13 MCD primary schools, where operations began in the 2014/15 school year.
Baseline Assessment. In October 2013, Katha conducted a baseline assessment on the approx. 6,200 most “Reading Challenged” children given to Katha. [Note: Katha works with all MCD school children under the program, however one component of our program intensively focuses on supporting the most reading challenged children in MCD schools. These are the children for whom we track progress and results.]
Results showed that not a single child in this group was able to read at grade level at the start of Katha’s intervention.
Moreover, 99% of children in this group were below the lowest level on Katha’s assessment scale.
First Reading Championship. Katha conducted its first reading championship (Milestone 2) in 75 MCD schools in October 2013.
Results showed that after 3 months of the ILR program, 40% of children improved their reading abilities.
Second Reading Championship. Katha conducted its second reading championship in 75 MCD schools in March 2014. This marked the end of the first year of ILR’s intervention in this cohort of schools and communities.
Results showed that after 8 months of the ILR program, 92% of children improved their reading abilities
17% children in this group have achieved grade-level reading
Average attendance in schools improved to 90% by March 2014 as compared to 58% in July 2013
Katha was successfully able to discourage student from dropping-out, with an overall in-year retention of 100%.
As of July 2014, ILR is operational in a total of 88 municipal government of Delhi primary schools and 126 communities. This is the second year of ILR’s intervention in this cohort of schools and communities. And this brings the cumulative total number of schools reached by I Love Reading to 138 schools and 248 communities.
Katha’s Reading Mentors are working three times a week with the 6,800 of the most ‘reading challenged’ students from Classes I – V to move them towards grade-level reading abilities. The use of our well researched, beautifully illustrated picture books by our mentors creates affinity among children towards books/ reading and removes the fear of textbooks. The integrated approach to NCERT syllabus is making learning a joyful experience, more innovative, engaging and holistic.
Katha’s Reading Mentors and Coordinators are also working twice per week with an additional 46,395 other students across the 88 schools to provide them reading support.
Katha’s Teacher Training Team has conducted teacher training workshops reaching 1,198 government school teachers from 88 schools. Topics covered include Story Pedagogy, Curriculum Development, Continuous Assessment, and Community-School linkages. Special sessions were also conducted on Art in Education, Film Appreciation and Storytelling in Education. In addition, Katha’s Coordinators and Training Team are providing in-school support to MCD school teachers to build on workshop learning.
The ILR Community team has strengthened School Management Committees in 68 schools and facilitated Parent Teacher Meetings in 75 schools. Katha community mobilizers are working with women/mothers across 126 communities surrounding the 88 schools to ensure continued attendance by children.
Qualitative Impact of ILR
ILR has also worked with teachers to touch the creativity inside them and become Storytelling teachers. Teachers have begun to use the active story based learning techniques & actively participating in the sessions organized in school. The innovative approach to use NCERT syllabus demonstrated within the classrooms was received well by MCD teachers. The peer-learning concept has proved to be an effective way of learning. Even the MCD teachers are experimenting with Katha’s cluster teaching methodology and using Katha Marg in their day to day classroom activity. This collaborative effort has benefitted the MCD teachers to make the learning even more fun.
Over the period of time Katha Reading Mentors have developed a creative and child – centric space for holistic learning for children. Children find libraries more engaging and fun. Creation of a Story rooms in each school has made children explore and improve their reading skills. The work done by children is regularly put on the walls which has developed a sense of issuing books to their peers and through regular reading based activities they are making the process of learning fun.
Meetings of faculty clubs have helped in carving out space for sharing innovative learning and teaching practices. The formation of Principal Alliance for Creative Teaching (PACT) has become a strong platform for the principals to share their best practices and working on solutions collectively to overcome the issues of quality education. The PACT meeting has helped the Principals to understand I Love Reading and also to take most out of it.
Katha’s initiative has enthused more number of community members and parents to participate in school activities, contribute in child’s performance, become more responsive to their child’s need, actively attend the Parent Teacher’s Meet.
Katha’s initiative to hold regular PTMs has enthused more number of community members & parents to participate in school activities, contribute in child’s performance, attendance and retention; additionally it has helped parents become more responsive to their child’s needs.
School Management Committees meetings were held with an objective to strengthen the participation of the SMC members in the education of a child in the school. The committee members were encouraged to focus on various issues related to school and children like quality education, to hold regular PTMs, enrolment and retention of children in MCD schools.
Scale up of I Love Reading
In 2015, Katha plans to continue its scale up of I Love Reading by operating the program in a total of 50 MCD primary schools and 126 communities. Our plan is to continue ILR for a third year in 20 of the schools where we have already run ILR, and roll out the program into 30 new MCD primary schools. Our expected reach in 2015/16 is 80,000 children and 500 teachers, through our efforts in schools and communities.
BEI has been supporting KATHA for over a decade and is a proud contributor to the ILR program. In this period KATHA has grown in scope and impact and contributed through it’s various programs to the welfare of tens of thousands of children. BEI promotes collaboration between KATHA and other NGO it supports for the mutual benefit of all.