The BLISS project aimed to address the needs of the teacher educators, teachers, learners and the wider community in Bihar by providing access to high quality teaching and learning materials as well as increased awareness of the value of English for employability. It aimed to aid the Bihar state government in devising a coherent, high quality and sustainable model for teacher development to improve the quality of instruction and ultimately raise the level of English proficiency among both teachers and learners in the state, enabling the Bihar state government to achieve its development agenda.
We worked with a core group of 200 teacher educators. We supported the state government in ensuring that specialist English teachers in Bihar have the necessary skills to achieve the National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005) and Bihar Curriculum Framework (BCF 2008) goals. Up to 2000 English teachers (Standards 9-10) were trained to use English in their lessons and provide opportunities for their students to use English in a variety of interactive and meaningful ways that are relevant to their needs and context.
Workshops were held for head teachers and District Education and Project Officers in the state to ensure that they understood the aims of the project and what was required of them in supporting teacher development. We engaged with local communities through the media and local events, which discussed the link between English and employability and the rationale behind learner and learning centred teaching methodologies.
We provided resources for learners and teachers at all levels through print, radio and web-based media. This included BLISS Teacher Development films, a series featuring teachers from Bihar showcasing learner centred and activity based teaching methodologies for reading lessons designed for low level learners and specific to the Bihar context. The British Council’s LearnEnglish Schools, a web-derived resource for learners to complement the local curriculum, was made available to teachers and learners and orientations provided to enable teachers to make the maximum use of the resource.