Fifth Needs Assessment held at Hotel Trident, BKC, Mumbai, 15.11. 2016

Fifth Needs Assessment held at Hotel Trident, BKC, Mumbai, 15.11. 2016

Challenges and concerns faced by schools:

  1. Less children as the school is Urdu medium. Students prefer English medium.
  2. Aided school –overcrowded classes, children are from slum areas, parents are illiterate. Excess burden on the parents to educate children.
  3. Children’s atmosphere at home affects their learning in a negative way especially for children from deprived backgrounds.
  4. Class is full of 60-70 students. Teachers can’t devote more time. How to develop the reading skills of students?
  5. No reinforcement at home. No In-school tutoring system.
  6. Municipal School cater to Economically backward communities. Difficulties in transition from vernacular medium to English medium. After 8th, there are no Tamil medium schools. Difficulty created when Teacher who does not know Tamil has to teach English to students who are only comfortable in Tamil.
  7. Government Schools: teachers are overburdened since they also have to perform non-teaching duties. Teachers have limited opportunities for learning. Teachers are interested but do not have time.
  8. Classroom Management for different children is a challenge: unequal abilities of children, above 40-50% children can’t read or write. Difficult to give individual attention.
  9. Problem of teacher motivation due to poor salary. Lack of sense of ownership among teachers. Teachers sometimes take leave for trivial issues.
  10. Teacher shortage is a problem for unaided schools but not aided schools, according to one principal.
  11. Resource problems: late arrival of grants, school leaders sometimes pay out of their own pocket for stationary etc.
  12. Obstacles in children developing their interest/talents – e.g. no teacher for drawing, sports
  13. Lot of need for professional development, in house research and development. Attrition of the teachers is a constant. Last 5-7 years a bigger problem. (Private School)
  14. Maharashtra state has 199 night schools. Children are working in daytime. Attendance is very low. Average attendance was 40%
  15. Absenteeism is a major concern.
  16. There is little communication with parents. Little attendance in parents meeting. “Even if we call, they don’t show up”. Parent teacher Meetings are very scant. 80% parents can’t come to school. Hand to mouth existence of parents of children studying in municipal schools. Parents do not feel empowered to ask questions to the school authorities.
  17. SMC formation is not adequate, due to the lack of implementation.
  18. Non-teaching staff is very less.
  19. Training of teachers isn’t matching language of instruction.
  20. Not enough qualified teachers
  21. IB School: Community work is not taken seriously
  22. Competition between schools can push schools to perform better.

Leadership Challenges/areas where training can help:

  1. Lack of Delegation
  2. Problem of “applying power” on staff (especially non-teaching staff). Some such staff also answer back and refuse to follow orders. Leaders are answerable but these staff are not (cannot be removed).
  3. Dealing with Budgeting pressures (prisoners of process), How to make use of existing funds of government?
  4. The core function of a leader is to observe Teaching Learning Methods. Leaders should observe what is happening in the 4 walls of a classroom. Leaders should be trained to observe and give feedback on classes and do follow up on the same. Such inputs of leaders are more important for pedagogy than for content, to see whether child is being engaged.
  5. Inculcating creativity in children.
  6. Legal rights and legal immunity of school leaders. Also how should principal communicate with/handle media?
  7. How to handle sexual abuse?
  8. Issues of discipline and alternative methods of discipline.
  9. Need to appraise involvement of school owners/trustees in school activities and functions.
  10. Content framework should include aspects of child protection.
  11. Preparation of School Plan and calendar of activities. (Municipal schools function within framework of plans prepared in centralised manner).
  12. Principal should be able to observe school from different lenses: infrastructure, teaching-learning processes, using and raising resources.
  13. The importance of school needs assessment: to generate ‘locally mined data’ for thorough understanding of school needs and resources
  14. School leaders should know learning standards and outcomes for different levels.
  15. School leaders should form and benefit from communities of practice
Calem Team

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