The British Council in partnership with Sarba Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) West Bengal and the West Bengal Board of Primary Education embarked on an ambitious programme – West Bengal State English Project (WeBStEP) – to develop new English textbooks for use in government primary schools across the state in 2003. This project involved preparing teachers' books and classroom textbooks for Standards 1-5, with accompanying training for teachers.
West Bengal State English Project
This project aimed to:
- help students across the state from rural to urban contexts learn English in a fun and joyful way, using interactive methodology, group work and games
- develop teacher’s ability to create more opportunities for their students to interact in English, within the existing curriculum
- encourage teachers to use more child-centred and activity-based methodology in the classroom
- develop new materials for the teachers and students
- improve teachers’ confidence in using more English in the classroom
- supplement these materials with audio-visual materials aimed at teachers' continuing professional development.
Reach and impact
- 300 Master Trainers trained to work with teachers, orienting them to the approaches and activities within the new textbook.
- 220,000 primary-level teachers trained using the new textbooks.
- 15 million students using the new textbook across the state (until 2012).