GOHER FOUNDATION STARTS TRAINING PROGRAM FOR PRIMARY TEACHERS OF BACKWARD AREAS

KANWAL SALEEM, Lahore
Sep 24 - 30, 2007

A two day training workshop under the title of "Effective Teaching Skills for Primary Teachers" was conducted in the main secretariat of GOHER Foundation (Global Organization for Human Empowerment and Rights).

As many as 40 male and female teachers from the Government and Private Schools of Districts Bahawalpur and Lodhran attended the training workshop. The staff of GOHER Foundation trained the participants on importance of teachers training, Child Psychology, Character building of students, Anger Management and Modern Teaching Methodologies.

Addressing the course participants, the CEO of GOHER Foundation, Mr. A.G.Chohan said that teacher is the backbone of educational system and teachers deserve the utmost respect, regard and attention from the society as they are the builders of the nation. Proper teacher training is a key to have good teachers and ultimately to have a prosperous society.

Among all the cadres, primary teachers are the most important part of the academic machinery. But unfortunately they are neglected and maltreated which causes degradation of educational system and this is the reason that our educational standard is falling rapidly. Since GOHER Foundation believes in community empowerment through community education so it places primary teachers at the highest level of importance. Currently GOHER Foundation is operating Free Education Community Model Schools in district Bahawalpur successfully and intends to establish a network of 1000 Community Model Schools in 20 most backward Tehsils by involving different stakeholders. This effort can never be successful without training the educated youth as efficient and skilled teachers to lay the foundation of children on solid basis. Though having limited and scarce resources GOHER Foundation is determined to provide quality education to the poor masses of the Southern Punjab by preparing a corps of well trained and skilled professional teachers and this training program will help in achieving this goal. He emphasized on the teachers to play their role dedicatedly and with a sense of nation building.

He hoped that participants will get maximum benefit with this state of the art professionally designed training program and will apply this training in their routine working. He appreciated the involvement and dedication of resource persons in designing and conducting this training program. Education advisor Noor-ul Ain Saba described the importance of Teacher Training. She described the characteristics of a good teacher. She said that teachers should be experts in their subjects, good communicators, good managers of resources and time, able to inspire and enthuses students. The desirable teaching qualities are enthusiasm, patience, reliability, sense of humour, adaptability, tolerance and good class management. She said that training gives a teacher, the prerequisite experience, intrinsic value in volunteering, offers insight & addresses reality, develops skills and widens knowledge and they better understand their role and responsibilities.

She said that it is the first and utmost requirement of a better education system that the teachers should be well trained and expert in their profession. So that they can not only provide good students but effective members to the society.

Clinical Psychologist Miss Shumaila Hasan described the importance of understanding child psychology for a teacher. She said that to understand the child's psychology is an art and for a teacher, the understanding of child's psychology has its own importance. She said that every child needs individual attention. Now a days the main reasons for the rude behaviour of students are abusive/poor parenting, decay in family structure/values, psychological disturbance, poor teaching and societal violence.

She said that a teacher should create a classroom in which kids feel welcomed, valued, befriended, useful, challenged, respected, and physically and psychologically safe. She said that if any problem comes than teachers should treat their students with dignity and respect, consider the student's best interest, seek solutions, not blame. She said that children will always one-up you, if you raise your voice, they will talk louder, if you act angry, they will act angrier.

Career Consultant Mr. Ahmed Raza Saleem described the role of teachers in students' character building. He said that teachers are advocates for character education. They should have a strong believe over it that it is essential to students' future success and also to a healthy, humane society. He said that character development is not a simple matter.

One's character develops over time, and is formed in many ways. One way is through exposure to the actions and attitudes of others, particularly those whom we have come to care about and trust. Another is through engaging in moral action, such as service to others. A third way is through open, considered dialogue about the complexities of moral situations and alternative responses to those situations. On the other hand, there is little evidence that moralizing to children or giving them direct instruction in moral principles has much effect.

He further said that the essential challenge for teachers is to help students want to grow as moral beings, and to equip them with the internal resources to act effectively on that desire. It's not enough to ask students to become polite and law-abiding. Teachers also need to help them develop a deep regard for themselves and for others, an abiding commitment to the core values of justice and caring, and the resolve to live by and speak up for what they believe while also hearing, understanding, and accommodating the beliefs of others. Most fundamentally, teachers must engage and inspire students' hearts as well as their minds, and this requires that teachers should get better training to meet students' basic, legitimate needs their needs for safety, belonging, competence, and autonomy. And this all can be done only if the teachers will get proper education and training to equip their students with all the tools essential for being a powerful personality.

Education Technologist Ms Maria Malik explained the modern teaching methods and their importance. She said that teaching is a wonderful profession. It makes enormous demands on your energy, tenacity and patience. As with most things in life, you get out what you put in.

She said that teachers should be familiar with the modern teaching methods and should have the capability to evaluate, select, devise and deploy teaching materials and methodologies which will maximize the effectiveness of pupils' learning. A teacher should plan his teaching to achieve progression in pupils. He should assess record and report pupils' progress appropriately, and use the outcomes of assessment to prepare future planning and delivery of lessons. He should review and evaluate critically and systematically the development of teaching competences with the support and guidance of experienced practitioners. He should develop his IT skills and apply these effectively to the teaching. He should maintain and develop competences in his main and second language. She said that after learning all these modern methods of teaching a teacher can improve his teaching quality and his students can compete with the world more boldly and confidently.

At the end, an extensive questions and answers session was offered to the participants following the presentations and group discussion sessions.