- Responding to a variety of capacity building and technical assistance needs;
- Developing innovative and effective approaches and analytic tools; and
- Establishing and sharing research, communication, and networking capacity.
This is accomplished through three distinct yet interrelated awards:
EQUIP1: Classrooms, Schools, Community;
EQUIP2: Policy, Systems, Management;
EQUIP3: Out-of-school Youth, Learning, Earning
(EQUIP) Educational Quality Improvement Programme, Nagaland.
The Government of Nagaland in collaboration with the UNICEF conducted a series of workshops under the theme “Imagine Nagaland” in 2001. An appreciative enquiry was one of the most important exercise which involved children, adult and youth. Identification of educational system in schools as a priority concern for the state was recognized and the quality of education in Nagaland was discussed.
Out of the many factors accounting for the poor quality of education prevailing in schools today, the poor professional standard of our teachers was seen to stand out as a singular most important contributing factor. Thus, the relevance and need of a total paradigm shift from the prevailing teacher centred to a learner based activity approach came to light. This revelation was the result of a feedback from a frank opinion poll.
As a result, in 2002 the Government of Nagaland in collaboration with the UNICEF Front Office Education Section and the NE-NW unit agreed on the urgent need for engaging the services of an educational expert who would be responsible for formulating and implementing a new pedagogy. To this end, Mr Subhir Sukhla, a UNICEF consultant was appointed as a resource person and facilitator. He first visited Nagaland in October 2001 to study the primary educational set up in the state. Based on the findings of his visit, a strategy was designed and formulated which was expected to incorporate elements of tribal life, local environment and culture in the curriculum.
Keeping the above stated objective in mind, the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) launched a collaboration programme with the UNICEF entitled, Educational Quality Improvement Programme (EQUIP). This was to effect qualitative change in school education by evolving a Nagaland specific version of a learner centered and activity based pedagogy.
This programme expresses the adoption of a pedagological approach wherein the child is given the opportunity to learn from the totality of his/her environment and not be constrained to learning mainly from the textbooks. For eg: In this approach, also termed ‘learning by doing’, a definition is not taught first, but activities are provided for observations by which the same definitions will be arrived at, as a result of the child’s personal discovery. This approach also being learner centered gives importance to the child, wherein the teacher gives consideration to the interests and abilities of the pupil and from there, he/she will relate these interests to the subject in hand.
Identification of SRG:
- In order to successfully implement the EQUIP – Nagaland project with the long term objective of complimenting and tying up with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Project for the purpose of mass scale training programme for elementary school teachers, 25 foundational programmes have been conducted till date covering the training of all categories of personnel who would matter.
- Firstly, the capacity building programme began with the task of identifying and training a State Resource Group (SRG) drawn from the different echelons of the school system in Nagaland. The identification process was done in two phases with 52 members inducted in the 1st phase being augmented by an additional team of 43 members in the 2nd phase bringing the effective strength of the SRG to a total of 97 members. The SRG were then put through a series of workshops wherein key areas such as visioning, Beliefs and Assumptions, methods and approaches to teaching etc fundamental to a sound understanding of the new pedagogy were thoroughly deliberated upon.
- All the 97 SRG members who were trained in two separate programmes were then sent on a training programme in which training materials developed were tested to gauge its relevancy and efficiency. The entire SRG group was divided into 11 teams who then spread out to cover all the 11 districts in the State. The feedbacks received from the training programmes were then reviewed and relevant points drawn from the exercise was used to improve upon the draft materials.