Innovations stir up minds. Solutions, as a consequence, surface on the horizon. There’s an urgent need to enlarge the impact of education in India—for the larger benefit of society.
To galvanize the education sector and raise its bar further, a programme under Parivartan was crafted called Teaching The Teachers (3T) with teachers at the core. It was implemented by Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry with financial support from HDFC Bank across India.
Initiated in 2015, the focus of 3T is to inculcate value of innovations among school teachers. The intent is to trigger grass root innovations in education and its systematic implementation across India. Such an endeavour refines existing systems and processes at zero or minimal cost.
“Teachers are an important part of the Nation building process, for it is education that creates the most significant impact in the overall economic and social development of society,” says Ms. Ashima Bhat, Group Head – Corporate Social Responsibility, HDFC Bank.
“The Teaching-the-Teachers (3T) programme under Parivartan, we believe, makes education more contemporary and dynamic by involving teachers to think of innovative ways of imparting knowledge in class rooms. This one-of-its kind initiative is a part of the Bank’s sustained endeavour to be a catalyst for change or ‘Parivartan’ and create a positive impact in the lives of the local populace,” she says.
Beginning from one state—Uttar Pradesh, 3T model is replicated in 22 states of the country. Along its transformational journey, it has also introduced the concept of ‘Innovative Pathshaala’.
The figures tell its tale of influence. About 1.3 million teachers and principals are now a part of 3T movement in India. Over 13 lakh teachers were involved. About 7 lakh government teachers submitted their zero investment ideas.
The beauty of the initiative is that the scattered, isolated and unrecognised, but effective solutions created by teachers at the grassroots were scaled up to millions of schools. The 3T Navachar Pustika comprising these case studies was provided to five lakh schools through distribution drives and face-to-face training. Consequently, 1,50,126 teachers implemented zero investment innovations in their schools.
The impact of the country-wide programme was assessed by Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai in 2018. It conducted a third party assessment study of the project and reported that “The programme has created a strong network of energised teachers, principals and administrators; these groups could be further mobilised to create strong leaders within the education department.
3T is unique initiative, which focuses on better utilisation of resources available in Government Schools—the teachers—thus unleashing the immense potential of educators by instilling self-belief and making innovation a core value..”
India’s diverse culture needs innovative solutions to cope with the challenges of today as well as those arising tomorrow. Human capital could play a big role. Catalyzing innovation could create significant ripples among students, parents and community.
The teachers understood that they have to adopt a holistic approach to teaching. Focus should be not just on acquisition of bookish knowledge but also on the all round development. This would help a student not only perform in the class but also manage his life with confidence.
Venkateswaran’s initiative could be a replication model. A teacher with 15 years experience at Government Higher Senior Secondary School in Thippampalayam village in Erode district of Tamil Nadu, he wants his students to develop knowledge and good values and succeed in professional as well as personal life.
He started implementing children’s parliament—a zero investment innovation—soon after attending 3T in June 2018. “We had the first meeting of the cabinet in July and would be having the next one in the coming month. The children’s parliament has different departments, including health and hygiene, discipline and sports,” narrated Venkateswaran.
He said that he had heard of this but was not aware of how to implement it in the school until a 3T instructor came and demonstrated the whole process for them. The teacher said that he has been experiencing change in students in this short span of time.
“Students are more confident now, they have started expressing themselves and some are even able to bring out their leadership skills. Another benefit of this innovation is that children listen more carefully to their fellow mates than teachers, building harmony among students,” he elaborated.
Teaching innovations to teachers helps students in understanding, how to use knowledge. It also connects with parents and the community at large. Active involvement of parents helps further in addressing challenge of health and nutrition of children. It also cements the life of children after school with the hours spent at school.
The community engagement and involvement in schools is an important facet of the education process. It helps in maximum utilization of resources.
3T connects all the dots. It brings together teachers, students and the community in touch with India’s age old values, culture, heritage and diversity, yet with an eye on the future possibilities.