The Tejas Scale up project is a joint initiative delivered through a partnership between the Government of Maharashtra, Tata Trusts and the British Council. It aims to improve the quality of English language learning in primary schools across 27 districts of Maharashtra. Under this initiative, the main focus is capacity building of the State so that it can provide appropriate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities to teachers. This will be achieved by a blend of activities such as face-to-face training, online learning through e-moderated and self-access courses and Teacher Activity Groups (TAGs) at cluster level. The creation of online communities through popular social networking platforms and a teacher mentoring programme will further enable the state to further develop their capacity building objective.
Maharashtra: Tejas Scale up
This initiative broadly aims at capacity building of the Institutions of Govt of Maharashtra involved in teacher training; the objectives include:
- enabling the Regional Academic Authority (RAA) to plan, manage and support local communities to practice independently as an alternative to traditional cascade models of training
- enabling teachers to organise, form and implement local communities to practice, both digitally and face- to-face to improve their quality of teaching and, build on their continuing professional development.
At the end of the project, the TAG coordinators and teachers will have gained more confidence in their ability to communicate effectively in English, especially in the classroom and training room. The teachers will also have developed skills in facilitating CPD activities.
The project has been scaled up in 27 districts of Maharashtra; these include Ahmednagar, Akola, Amravati, Bhandara, Buldhana, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gondia, Jalgaon, Jalna, Kolhapur, Latur, Mumbai, Nanded, Osmanabad, Palghar, Parbhani, Pune, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Satara, Sindhudurg, Solapur, Thane, Wardha and Washim.
- Selection of Teacher Activity Group (TAG) Coordinators: to facilitate the initial establishment of TAGs in 27 districts of Maharashtra; TAG Coordinators have been selected through rigorous selection procedures which required the potential candidates to fill an online application form that was scrutinized at several levels. As a part of the selection process, the candidates were also interviewed telephonically on their performance for final selection.
- Training of 600 TAG Coordinators: A cadre of 600 TAG Coordinators who can facilitate peer-support groups and form a sustainable resource for future training. The TAG Coordinators will go through 19 days of face-to-face training course with a focus on Teacher Activity Groups (TAGs) and how these should be conducted. In addition, TAG Coordinators will access the British Council online self-access course and experience online learning and develop language proficiency. A TAG Coordinator is responsible for conducting TAG meetings in three clusters in each district. These meetings will be conducted once a month and the TAG Coordinator is responsible to uploading the attendance data and the monthly report on the Tejas App.
- Digital Communities of practice: WhatsApp, Facebook groups for TAG Coordinators have been established for digital communities of practice so that they have access to resources linked to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). These engagement forums complement TAG Coordinator training and provide on-going support, communication and access to professional development.
- Training of English Subject Assistants (ESAs): A cadre 50 ESAs across 27 districts has been established to support TAG Coordinators. ESAs’ face-to-face training includes orientation to the programme and development of project management and communication skills. They will receive 40 days face-to-face training in teacher training skills, ELT theory and practice, ELT project management, monitoring and evaluation and material development. They would also receive support in anchoring and coordination of the core group and will have access to an eight-week online e-moderated course that will develop their English ability.
- Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL): This includes classroom and TAG observations, focus group discussions and collection of Most Significant Change stories from ESAs, TAG Coordinators, teachers, students and parents. All aspects of the project will be monitored and evaluated using quality assured tools created specifically for Tejas with the support of an external consultant. The findings from TAG and classroom observations and feedback from all stakeholders will feed back into the project planning cycle.