EMPower - Developing English Teaching in Madhya Pradesh

Rajya Shiksha Kendra Bhopal in partnership with Unicef and British Council India has launched a three-year English Language teacher training programme in November 2014 in Madhya Pradesh. The programme will improve the quality of English language teaching in primary schools in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam, Shajapur, Agar, Dewas, Sehore and Ujjain districts.

The programme aims to familiarise 24,000 primary teachers with learner-centred classroom approaches, improve their confidence in using English and offer increased opportunities for continuing professional development.

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

As part of the EMPower project the following activities have been organised till date.

  • Master Trainer selection- selection was based on language level and motivation. 
  • Master Trainer Training- Training was given to 163 selected Master Trainers in four phases of 7 days each.  The training aimed at improving their classroom methodology and English confidence.
  • A trial teacher training was delivered by Master Trainers to a small group of teachers in Sehore and Ujjain divisions. 
  • Monitoring of Master Trainers and teachers at different stages of the project to identify further training needs and analyse impact.
  • Training of 7500 teachers across Ujjain and Sehore divisions. 
  • Observations of teachers implementing new methodologies in their classrooms.
  • Master Trainers and teachers have been introduced to a range of continuing professional development activities and resources, including accessing digital resources and online communities of practice.

  • In order to build capacity in the education system, faculty from District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and other key institutions have been selected to form a State Resource Group. They are attending twenty days of workshops in order to develop their materials writing and project management skills.


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.  The first year of EMPower has been included the following outputs.

  • So far 163 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 Siksha Kendra to conduct in-service teacher development projects is being enhanced.
  • Around 7500 primary teachers from Ujjain and Sehore have been successfully trained by  Master Trainers. Overall, the Master Trainer performance while delivery training to local teachers included plenty of positives such as their use of English, rapport building, encouraging and praising participants, being open to feedback and committed to CPD.
  • Also the teacher trainees were actively engaged, interested and learning was taking place. The materials were very good and effective as the activities, games, and practical work, the pronunciation of numbers and words, all of it was very relevant to their contexts.
  • The teachers who received the training were observed using specific activities and techniques in their classrooms.
  • 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.'