Focus group discussion with students during needs analysis in 2013

The Government of Madhya Pradesh, in partnership with UNICEF and the British Council launched a three-year English Language teacher training programme in November 2014. The programme aims to improve the quality of English language teaching and learning in primary schools in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam, Shajapur, Agar, Dewas, Sehore and Ujjain districts. It aims to develop 9000 primary teachers’ use of learning-centred classroom approaches, improve their confidence in using English and offer increased opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD).

Project objectives

The objectives of the project are:

  • Build a sustainable infrastructure to support improved in-service teacher training (INSET) and the continuing professional development (CPD) of English teachers with the potential to provide a model for other subject disciplines and other bodies.
  • Build the English language skills and confidence of primary teachers in Ujjain division and Sehore. 
  • Develop these teachers' skills and knowledge so they conduct more child-centred and child-friendly lessons in line with the recommendations of the NCF.
  • Build a cadre of Master Trainers that has the English language skills, classroom pedagogy, training skills and mentoring competencies to support ongoing in-service professional development of English teachers in primary schools.


Key activities

  • Selecting 221 suitable Master Trainers, based on their English proficiency, pedagogical understanding and motivation
  • Master Trainers develop their teaching and training skills, English language confidence and engagement, via a range of CPD inputs including 37 days of training facilitated by the British Council
  • 9,000 primary teachers develop their classroom methodology and English language confidence, via 13 days of training in their districts facilitated by Master Trainers, with other CPD inputs
  • Orientation of key district officials to familiarise them with the project and enable them to support the project activities on the ground
  • Building the capacity of the government to design, plan and monitor and evaluate future teacher development initiatives by selecting a State Resource Group comprising faculty from District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and other key teacher education institutions. This group will receive 25 days of training and a range of other CPD tasks.
  • Baseline, midline and endline observations of Master Trainers and teachers’ classrooms and training rooms to identify project impact and understand further training needs



EMPower has made substantial progress in the past two years. It has laid the groundwork for an effective programme of in-service training for those primary English teachers that it has been able to reach.  EMPower has so far included the following outputs and achieved the following impact.

  • So far 221 Master Trainers have attended 28 days of training that has developed their English language proficiency and subject knowledge, their teaching skills, training skills and practice, and awareness of continuing professional development opportunities. As a result, the capacity of state partners, Rajya Shiksha Kendra to conduct in-service teacher development projects is being enhanced.
  • Around 7623 primary teachers from Ujjain and Sehore have been successfully trained by Master Trainers. Overall, Master Trainer performance while delivery training to local teachers included positives such as their use of English, rapport building, encouraging and praising participants, being open to feedback and committed to CPD.
  •  Data reveals that teachers were actively engaged and  interested in the training. 
  •  Master Trainers, observed by the British Council while delivering EMPower Year 1 teacher training, partially or fully met 89 per cent of performance standards, including their planning and preparation, their training room management, their use of interactive training approaches and their appropriate use of language in the training room.
  • Primary teachers observed by the British Council after having received EMPower Year 1 training, partially or fully met 63 per cent of performance standards in the classroom, including their use of learner-centred approaches, their appropriate use of English and their classroom management of activities and tasks. During the baseline study before the start of the programme, teachers only partially or fully met 33 per cent of performance standards


What the stakeholders have to say:

When teachers were asked about similarities and differences between British Council’s training and previous in-service teacher training initiatives, the following was reported from a focus group in Kannod, in Dewas district:

‘This training was very different. This training was interactive, lots of activities, Teachers were engaged. This was the first training where we had to switch off our mobiles. We used a lot of gestures in the training, Discipline was maintained and Master Trainers were very friendly and not dominating.’

In the words of one of the Training Consultants delivering the training, 'The training was very well received. The participants were enthusiastic, motivated and eager to learn. They were very happy with the first block of training and were looking forward to Block 2. The Master Trainers participated in discussions, co-planned during microtraining sessions and successfully delivered their parts. They were open to constructive feedback and were very positive of their peers.'

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