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ADEPTS – An innovative strategy to improve educational performance through teacher support

© UNICEF India/2009/Gurinder Gulati
A view of the Magodh Dungri Primary School with Vikram Bhai Rathore, Head Teacher and children

Valsad, Gujarat: “Children from English medium school are now seeking transfer to our school. Last year, around thirteen students took a transfer from private schools to our government primary school,” proudly says the Head Teacher of Magodh Dungri Primary School, Vikram Bhai Thakore.  He goes on to add, “Because of quality education being imparted, parents have developed a liking for our school. Now, there are no dropouts whatsoever in our school.”

ADEPTS strategy lays down performance standards on four basic dimensions, namely cognitive, physical, social and organization. Whereas these dimensions are school based, the most challenging dimension is “cognitive” where the teacher has to play an important role personally to achieve basic minimum performance standard in classroom processes.

Magodh Dungri Primary School is one of the ten schools in Valsad district, where UNICEF-supported innovative tool called “Advanced Educational Performance through Teacher Support” (ADEPTS) is being piloted. ADEPTS strategy lays down performance standards on four basic dimensions, namely cognitive, physical, social and organization. Whereas these dimensions are school based, the most challenging dimension is “cognitive” where the teacher has to play an important role personally to achieve basic minimum performance standard in classroom processes.

“We now maintain individual profiles of all the children regarding their performance, personal attributes such as punctuality, cleanliness, clothes, interest in team work, group work, etc. This helps us identify specific needs of children so that we can give them personalized attention. We prepare our lessons before we go to the class and promote an interactive teaching learning process by encouraging children to ask questions,” says an enthusiastic and well respected teacher of Magodh Dungri Primary School, Sumitra Ben.

One could notice a distinct sense of pride on the face of children whose work had been displayed prominently on the classroom walls. “I felt very happy and told my parents that my work has been displayed. We are also encouraged now to write news headlines on school’s main black board. This has given me lot of confidence. I just love my school and the teachers,” said a student of Class VII, Shalini.   

In Valsad, UNICEF is also supporting implementation of a comprehensive gender-sensitive quality package to improve the quality of education. The package focuses on three basic components, namely; a) a child friendly environment in school, b) building the capacity of teachers in life skills education and c) promoting active community participation in the management of the school. While the school has been equipped with innovative Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs), provision has also been made for safe drinking water and separate toilet facilities for boys and girls. This has not only helped in increased enrollment of children, particularly girls, but also in retaining them.    

There is an overall feeling of happiness amongst teachers and students alike. Not only has this helped in establishing a child-friendly environment in the school, it has also strengthened teaching-learning practices. “ADEPTS is the first-ever programme which is teacher-centric and has been developed to support them. Performance standards have been designed in a manner which caters to the expectations of the community/ society,” says UNICEF Representative of Gujarat, Dr Yogendra Mathur.

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