Published: 06th December 2020
Here's how Tarkeybein Education Foundation and India Education Collective's MoU will improve teaching skills across ten Indian states
Akanksha Agarwal of Tarkeybein Education Foundation speaks about their collaboration with India Education Collective to improve teachers' skills, which in turn impacts student learning
While there are many factors that impact the academic performance of children, teachers' innovative teaching skills play a key role in improving this performance. That's why Tarkeybein Education Foundation and India Education Collective have been working together to bring about a change in teachers' skills across ten states in India. But before these two non-profit organisations signed an MoU in 2018, Tarkeybein Education Foundation was working individually to help children develop reading skills by implementing language learning.
Akanksha Agarwal along with other like-minded people, founded Tarkeybein Foundation in Delhi with an aim to provide quality education to kids in government schools. She says, "Our unique programmes have impacted many kids in both Delhi and Bengaluru. But the idea of collaboration came only in 2018 when we were selected by the NSRCEL for their start-up incubation programme at IIM Bangalore. We were introduced to India Education Collective and signed an MoU to implement our programmes across different states."
Soon after this, the NGO implemented their Quality Learning Initiative in Uttar Pradesh government schools. Under this programmes, they initially focused on improving the teachers' skills by forming Teachers Collective. Akanksha explains, "The Teachers Collective is a forum for teachers from 10 to 15 schools lying within a three to four-kilometre radius. These schools are divided into two clusters and the teachers in this forum meet at least once a month to discuss how they can improve the learning process. One of the unique factors of this programme is that there is no third-party trainer. It is a peer learning group and the teachers get to learn skills and ideas from each other. The teachers plan the content to be taught and activities to be conducted for a month. We facilitate this practice for three years until it becomes sustainable in those schools."
Not just hosting the meetings, the two NGOs provide them with the folders they need to store the activities done by the kids. Using this, teachers get to analyse the data by comparing the kids' performance in terms of marks or grades. Currently, the programme has been running across ten states and 30 districts among 263 clusters of schools. Now, that's a huge impact covering a large section of the country. Akanksha who is happy about the programme and its implementation on a large scale, says, "We cover Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Bihar, Assam and a few others. In total, we impact 1.5 lakh children."
But what about the implementation of this programme during lockdown? To this, Akanksha says, "From the time of implementation of our different programmes, we are in touch with the Gram Panchayats of particular states. During the lockdown, we have been designing worksheets and sending them to these Gram Panchayats who, in turn, send them to the kids through volunteers and teachers, to work on them at home. The volunteers also collect the worksheets once they're done to track the performance of each child. Also, the way we plan a worksheet is that through one topic they learn different subjects. For instance, if it's monsoon season, then we try and design the worksheet in a way that the child is able to learn languages, Science and Maths at the same time. In languages, they might learn poems related to monsoons, while in Science and Maths, we might ask them to observe what grows around in nature during monsoons and count them too. We design the next worksheet based on the previous month's performance."
Meanwhile, the NGOs are quite happy about impacting a large number of students and teachers. All they are hoping for is to expand their programmes across different states and villages in India.