New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) India Lecturers Akshada Chitre and Ishrat Shaikh recently spent a week in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh supporting the professional development of Jagriti Academy Ballia teaching staff.
Jagriti Academy Ballia opened in November 2015 with the support of Jagriti Foundation. Hundreds of children from preschool through to year five now attend the school as first generation learners.
A week full of workshops was planned for the Jagriti Academy Ballia teaching team including practical language, music, movement and play-based sessions, role modelling teaching time and parent engagement.
Akshada and Ishrat visited each classroom to interact with the children and their teachers while also spending time connecting with parents and the wider community. It was a week of both learning and support as the lecturers became increasingly aware of the needs of the community and the incredible difference Jagriti Academy Ballia is making in the lives of the people of Ballia.
“A visit to the community was an overwhelming experience as we were welcomed by children and parents of the village into their houses. We interacted with parents who were looking forward to sending their children to school in the new academic year,” shared Akshada.
The Jagriti Academy Ballia teaching staff also shared their appreciation for the professional development opportunity.
“I have learnt how to better implement practical ideas in the classroom after my experiences this week using puppets and songs,” said Pramod Sampat.
The benefits of the week were evident in the teacher’s feedback.
“I learnt how to make every topic simple for the children. I loved all the activities conducted during training, especially the practical volcano activity and using play to help children understand maths,” said Satanjay Masih.
A particular highlight for the lecturing team was seeing the nursery children identify parts of the body and letters of the alphabet in English towards the end of the week. The speed at which the children absorbed new knowledge illustrated both a strong desire to learn and the presence of untapped knowledge within them.
Jagriti Foundation will continue to provide support to the Ballia community to enable the village’s children to realise their full potential through education.