Training of Government Teachers at SSM

Vikramshila had organized a two day orientation programme at SSA,Kolkata with the government school teachers of 53 schools both primary and upper primary schools in Kolkata district on Library, early grade reading and Integrated technology in education where Vikramshila has started working on these 3 components. On the 1st day it was an orientation on library as an active learning space and early grade reading with primary school teachers. The programme was inaugurated by the Ms.Suvra Bhattacharyya, DPO. She gave an inspirational speech to the teachers which had set an extremely positive platform for the orientation.

DPO Ms. Shubhra Bhattacharya inaugurating the programme
Sharing about the ITE programme
Teacher going through the TLM and Big books

This was followed by a theoretical introduction of why library is an important part of a school curriculum and how it leads to language development in a holistic way. Ample oppurtunities were created for the teachers to share their experiences, problems and suggestions. A gallery walk was also exhibited for them where we had displayed all the materials for language work made by our Naba Disha teachers, library books graded as per GROWBY put up in a hanging pocket library and the big books created by our Naba Disha children.

The 2nd day orientation was on ITE with the upper primary school teachers where we gave an overall concept of ITE, Naba Disha & govt. schools' experience with ITE.

Teachers Grading books according to GROWBY level
Teachers making lesson plan on ITE

The teachers were very enthusiastic and had a very positive response towards the work we are doing in their schools. They actively participated in making lesson plans integrating technology to it for students to make projects. Overall the programme was a huge success resulting into a good platform for advocacy.

Hunar Se Rozgar

Under the project of “Hunar Se Rozgar” sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Government Of India, short term hospitality courses through star hotels had been organized. The Institute of Hotel Management in Kolkata was offering the courses under several heads like food and beverage services, housekeeping, bakery etc. 


5 students (18+ age) from our Naba Disha centres applied and joined for a 6-weeks course on hospitality management-housekeeping, food and beverages at the IHM. They underwent the training for 6 weeks and successfully completed it. They all received certificates from the institute at the end of the course.


Foundation Course on NCF 2005 and RTE Act for State Action Resource Group, West Bengal Madrasah Board (July to September 2012)

A three days orientation on the RtE Act was held for 200 teachers (100 from North Bengal and 100 from South Bengal) of the Madrasah board in four consecutive batches. The orientation focused on Article 29 and its implications on classroom environment and pedagogy. This team will be considered as a resource pool which will work from within the Madrasah system on all academic issues such as capacity building, orientation of teachers, material development, field based support, etc.

This course was designed to help the teachers to understand the NCF 2005. It looked at the NCF from four interconnected lenses, namely child, society, knowledge and learning.

The participants were teachers and headmasters of Madrasahs from several districts of North and South Bengal. These teachers were eager to start the next round of trainings and felt confident about facilitating the same for a larger group of teachers. They also developed a two day 10 hour training module on the same issue.


Vikramshila in collaboration with SSA Kolkata has organised the Speaking Festival 2012 for children supported under the Naba Disha project and studying in government primary schools along with some children from government schools, not otherwise coming to Naba Disha for regular support. The Festival is the culmination of a month long process of the children’s engagement with volunteers from Suas Educational Development, an Irish NGO. 

About 120 children came from 5 Naba Disha centres (that are run in collaboration with the Kolkata Police since 1999) that have recently started a Library Project to promote the concept of 'library as an active learning space".
This year volunteers helped the children to start reading English Books. Thus in the festival the children read out from their favourite English Books- with some more children enacting and dramatising the story simultaneously with the help of props. The children also performed a bit of group speaking around and about the book. In addition to the Naba Disha children, about 50 children from nearby government schools also participated in the group presentations.


Vikramshila in collaboration with Sarva Shiksha Mission, Kolkata had organized a series of One-Day Sensitization Workshops for the teachers of government schools in Kolkata from 8th October-13th October and 16th October, 2012. The workshop was planned with a target to reach out to the teachers of 49 government schools.

On the 1st day, the head masters and head-mistresses of the 49 schools attended the workshop. The next 6 days, the remaining teachers of the schools participated in the training. At the end of 7 days, we could successfully reach out to 311 teachers from the various schools.

The workshop was primarily organized with a purpose to provide the teachers an overview of the Right to Education Act, 2009 and National Curriculum Framework, 2005. Another important part of the workshop was the exhibition of teaching-learning materials that are being made by our Naba Disha teachers to teach our children.

The sessions were designed in a way so that the teachers could have a guided reading of the RTE Act, 2009 and they were also explained each of the chapters extensively. Following that they were asked to fill in various worksheets related to RtE to have a better understanding of the Act. Certain highlighted topics in RtE like Article-29, NCF 2005, Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation, Special Training, School Readiness and School Library were also addressed separately through detailed presentation and discussions of the base documents prepared on these topics. The teachers were also shown small documentaries on classroom decoration and classroom acitivities for the school readiness programme.
The gallery work was an integral part of the workshop. The TLMs made by our Naba Disha teachers were grouped in three sections, i.e- Activity based learning, School readiness and Library. And the TLMs were in four languages-Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and English. The teachers were also shown small documentaries on classroom decoration and classroom acitivities for the school readiness programme.

Career Hub at Sakhawat Memorial Government’s Girl School, October, 2012 

Vikramshila Education Resource Society had set up a Career Hub at Sakhawat Memorial Govt. Girls School under the ‘Education to Employability Programme’ with the help of school authorities. The career hub is a physical space to provide career related information through posters and other forms of IEC materials. Students get exposed to and get educated on different types of career opportunities. Information on various vocational courses, admission procedures and scholarship programs for students and loan schemes are also made available through: wall displays, standees & career related newspapers, magazines and leaflets. Queries are also answered by the Career guide.

Director Vikramshila Education Resource Society,Introducing the guests to ‘Career Hub’ and its concept at Sakhawat Memorial Govt. Girls School.

The Secretary, MHRD School Education & Literacy, Mr. Rajarshi Bhattacharya along with his team interacted with the students. To his left is the Chairman DPSE, Mr. Kartik Manna and Secretary - Secondary Education, Mr.Arnab Roy.
The Hub was visited by Government officials on October 13th, 2012.

The Director, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Ms. Shubhra Chatterjee while introducing the guests to the ‘Career Hub’, shared about the E2E project which aims to reach out to 3000 boys and girls studying in Classes IX and X,
through a holistic engagement that seeks to work with high school students to empower them in charting their own career paths.

The Director VERS explained each of the items displayed in the ‘Career Hub’. She shared with the audience the concept of Career counseling and its need.

Further the news/ bulletin corner was shown which had latest news cut outs on jobs as well as career & competitive exam related magazines. The pictures on camps conducted by school were also displayed through K-Yan for reference.

A small skit was presented by the school students highlighting the importance of ‘Career Counselling ’in their life. This was highly appreciated by the guests. The guests further interacted with the students who were counseled, to get a sense of their understanding and feel on Career counseling.

Finally the Secretary- MRHD-School Education & Literacy, Mr. Rajarshi Bhattacharya wrote a feedback note to the school appreciating their effort.

The Mobile Library Project January-December 2012


The contribution of a well stocked and age appropriate library in a student’s life cannot be ignored. It is a wonderful outlet for the child’s natural curiosity, and can function as active learning spaces for children. The Right to Education Act, 2009 also acknowledges the importance of having school libraries.

The mobile library project by Vikramshila was a big success. It was time to take things one step ahead. It was in this spirit that Vikramshila, with support from Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, took up the one year project at the start of this year to set up functional libraries in three government run schools in rural Bardhaman. These libraries are to serve as models for the other government schools in the area.

The libraries are set up in designated rooms in the school, and there are reading corners in every class. Books for reading beginners to more advanced readers are displayed. Books have been catalogued according to the GROWBY method based on reading levels. Popular children’s magazines and periodicals like Anandamela, Suktara, Chandmama etc. are also kept. The library is maintained and managed by the students. The class elected library committee maintains records, issues books and conduct sessions.

The library is not just for the students of these three schools but also for the community members. There are books on agriculture, fishing techniques, medicine etc. for use of interested parties. Children of nearby high schools also have access to the encyclopaedias, reference books and sample test papers in the library.

Integrated text books for Khariji Madrasah 2012

Integrated text books for Khariji Madrasahs have been developed where Islamic and constitutional values have been integrated following the guiding principles of NCF 2005.

The ethical dimension of education dominates the Islamic discourse in education.  The traits that need to be cultivated among students are – humility, moderation, righteousness, etc.   One of the concerns repeatedly expressed by the Madrasahs is the near break down of values in today’s world   dominated by greed, money and crass consumerism. They feel that they are like an oasis keeping the lamp of tradition alive. This also partly accounts for their hesitation to open up their doors and windows. There is some truth is this argument and the fear is not entirely unfounded. However, one has to remember that good education anywhere in the world cannot be devoid of moral and ethical components.   In an educational system that is guided by a particular religious ideology, it is easy to draw the values from the core principles of that religion. On the other hand, while talking about values and ethics in the context of education for a multi religious and multi ethnic community, a particular religion cannot be the source or base. One has to look for something that is acceptable to all groups – and this is the reason why the NCF 2005 talks about the constitutional values.  The Constitutional ideals talk about the values of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity - and these are all broad humanitarian values that are in harmony with the basic principles of Islam. 



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