The primary objective of our teacher training is to make it need based. Prior to the training, an assessment of children’s learning level is carried out, which helps us place our training in the appropriate level. This makes it easy for teachers to understand the content in context and implement it in class. The training is always linked with the respective textbooks.
We provide consultations on class management, how to set up an effective library, starting an open learning center, creating more holistic tuition centers (for ages 8-15) and learning programmes that teach organization methods, life skills and creativity for foster homes, children living at the margins and for personnel working with adults with mental illness.
Case Studies - On Consultation.
Anjali is a well-known NGO intervening in govt. mental hospitals to empower, revitalize and arrange better living for the adult inmates suffering from mental illness. Attracted by the learning materials and methods developed by Shikshamitra, Anjali approached us to act as consultant (July to November 2012) guide for their facilitator, who took sessions with the patients in Lumbini Mental Hospital. Patients and facilitator both responded well.
Our materials facilitate classroom learning. They are designed in ways that can be used parallel to chapters/topics of the textbook. They are used widely by teachers, initially only in West Bengal, and gradually, travelled to other parts of the country. These materials can also be used by children independently.
Our materials are low cost. We try to use diverse substance and things used in daily life, not only to make it interesting for children, but also so that teachers can make the materials themselves. For some, we have developed on ideas that we learned, others have been developed by our team.
Names of people who have inspired us
We would like to thank the following organizations and people for deeply influencing us:
- Jodo Gyan
- NCERT books
- Subir Bhattacharya
- Swati Sircar
- Prof. Jalaluddin
- Malini Mukhrejee
- Sandip Bandopadhayay
- Uma Maheshwari
Shikshamitra has a library. It is situated beside the local community in Chetla. Children of age group 8 to 12 come here. There is open access to books and material for all children during the week. It is an open time for them to explore. On Saturdays is the library class where children work with librarians on structured programmes.
The library is a hall space with books on one half and children’s work station on the other. The space is designed in a way which enables room for varied activities. Books are shelved in movable bookshelves; the shelves are on wheels for flexible manipulation of its arrangement. Sometimes they are placed as dividers. Children look forward to the library because of its openness, colours, easy access to books and puzzles, to find their art works displayed around and plenty of warmth. There is also a range of diverse books, selected over time. They are mostly in Bengali and English, and some Hindi books too. They range from picture books, early reading to literary novels. For list of suggestive books check out Book Recommendations.