Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launchedthe National Mission to improve Learning Outcomes at the Elementary level- NISHTHA, National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement at Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. During the programme, NISHTHA Website, Training Modules, Primer Booklet and a Mobile App were also launched by the Minister.
Speaking on the occasionthe HRD Minister said that this is the largest teachers’ training programme of its kind in the world. Giving further details, the Minister said that the basic objective of this massive training programme ‘NISHTHA’ is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students. He said that teachers will get awareness and develop their skills on various aspects related to Learning Outcomes, Competency Based Learning and Testing, Learner-centered Pedagogy, School Safety and Security, Personal-social qualities, Inclusive Education, ICT in teaching-learning including Artificial Intelligence, Health and well-being including yoga, Initiatives in School Education including library, eco club, youth club, kitchen garden, School Leadership qualities, Environmental Concerns, Pre-school, Pre-vocational Education and School Based Assessment in a joyful learning manner.
The teachers are the powerhouse of the nation and they must be of the highest quality, the Minister elaborated. He further said that it is the Prime Minister’s dream that the quality of our teachers should be such that they should command worldwide respect.
Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ disclosed that this training programme has been included as one of the two transformative ideas from this Department for the 100 days programme of the Government. This integrated programme aims to build the capacities of around 42 lakh participants covering all teachers and Heads of Schools at the elementary level in all Government schools, faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) as well as Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators in all States and UTs.
Shri Pokhriyal highlighted that the initiative is first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs. However, States and UTs can contextualize the training modules and use their own material and resource persons also, keeping in view the core topics and expected outcomes of NISHTHA.
The Minister informed that the training will be conducted directly by 33120 Key Resource Persons (KRPs) and State Resource Persons (SRP) identified by the State and UTs, who will in turn be trained by 120 National Resource Persons identified from National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), KendriyaVidyalayaSangathan (KVS), NavodayaVidyalayaSamiti (NVS), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Non-Government Organisations.
It was observed that the expectation from teachers in the present day is different and includes many new attributes. Teachers today are also expected to be aware of the provisions regarding Gender, The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The integrated programme therefore seeks to train all heads and teachers as first level counsellors to be alert and responsive to the needs of the students, in addition to promoting joyful learning and taking special care of the requirements of special children.
The prominent features of this integrated programme are activity based modules including educational games and quizzes, Social-emotional learning, motivational interactions, team building, preparation for school based assessment, in-built continuous feedback mechanism, online monitoring and support system, training need and impact analysis (Pre and Post training).
In order to enhance professional development of teachers, special emphasis has been given on design and development of training modules. The training Modules for NISHTHA have been developed through a consultative process involving the suggestions from the States and UTs and CBSE, KVS, NVS, School Principals and Non-Governmental Organizations, such as Kaivalya Foundation, Tata Trust, Azim Premji Foundation and Aurobindo Society.
This mega capacity building programme has been integrated with technology to ensure smooth facilitation, availability of digital content and technology enabled teaching methods to support the teachers. A Mobile App and Learning Management System (LMS) based on MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) have been developed by NCERT (https://nishtha.ncert.gov.in/). LMS will be used for registration of Resource Persons and Teachers, dissemination of resources, training gap and impact analysis, monitoring, mentoring and measuring the progress online.
In order to ensure sustainable impact on classroom transactions, this integrated training programme is embedded with post training interventions including provision of mentoring. After the completion of KRP training, National Resource Persons will regularly be in touch with KRPs through WhatsApp/Facebook groups etc and will form Quality Circles that will work to share ideas, challenges and their solutions and best practices. This will help in building pedagogical skills and connecting with peers, thereby leading to improvement in learning outcomes of the students.
The programme was launched by in the presence of Smt Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and other senior officers from MHRD, all States and UTs, Senior Policy Makers and Heads of Institutions.