Residential Teachers’ Orientation Workshop (RTOW)

Residential Teachers’ Orientation Workshop (RTOW)for Teachers of Tribal Schools on Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) - A programme conducted by Science Communicators’ Forum, Kolkata from 22nd to 25th January, 2016 .

IBL was catalyzed & supported by Vigyan Prasar and was collaborated by the School Education Department, Govt. of West Bengal and District Inspector of Schools (SE), Koch Bihar. ANASRISTI, the District Coordinator, Koch Bihar District for NCSC also cooperated.

To ensure learning enhancement through participation in activity based science learning by using low-cost-no-cost readily available materials, an innovative pedagogical approach, designed by Science Communicators’ Forum (SCF), Kolkata, to improve the quality of science learning in the upper primary level in the State of West Bengal, an ambitious Pilot Project, titled Activity Based Learning Enhancement Programme (ABLEP), was implemented during 2011-2013. The State School Education Department, selected 255 Front Runner Schools (FRSs), for the Pilot Project. SCF was nominated by the State Sarva Shiksha Mission (SSM) as the State Nodal Agency (SNA) for ABLEP.

The SSM sanctioned, for each such FRS, Rs.4.23 lakh for setting up a Science Activity Room (SAR) and to equip the SAR with activity materials, furniture etc. In 4 (four) Workshops more than 1000 subject teachers of physical science, life science, geography and mathematics, deputed by the FRSs, were oriented by the SNA to take the activity based science learning into class room transactions in eighty minutes’ classes.

In implementation of the innovative pedagogical approaches in classroom transaction launched through ABLEP covering all the 20 (twenty) education districts of West Bengal, including Jalpaiguri, Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad, Bankura, Paschim Medinipur, Koch Bihar and Puruli a districts dominated by SC/ST population, the 255 FRSs, are now equipped with large size ICT compatible SAR. The teachers of the FRSs are oriented in hands-on-experiments following the guidelines of NCF, 2005. Already a primary level sensitization has been completed in these FRSs and the Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) will help these FRSs to extend the joyful science learning activities both vertically and horizontally among the students from tribal community also.

One four-day Residential Teachers’ Orientation Workshops (RTOWs) on Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) in the Koch Bihar district of West Bengal dominated by tribal population was proposed by SCF to Vigyan Prasar (VP). The Project Proposal inter alia proposed the following components for the RTOW:

  1. A considerable no. of students, on roll in the selected FRSs, shall be from tribal community;
  2. Total no. of FRSs to be selected for the RTOW shall be 25 (twenty-five);
  3. Each selected FRS to depute two science teachers to the RTOW;
  4. The total no. of teachers to be invited in RTOW shall be 50 (fifty);
  5. The teachers from the FRSs will be oriented on IBL in this RTOWs of four-day in duration;
  6. After orientation the teachers shall be expected to take IBL to their class transactions with special emphasis on the students from the tribal community of their schools.

The prime objectives of the RTOW were capacity building of participating teachers -

  1. To encourage the students in Inquiry Based Learning (IBL);
  2. On verification of basic scientific principles through hands-on-experiments using low-cost-no-cost and easily available materials, which will ultimately lead to IBL;
  3. On study and measurement of nature and simple environmental parameters;
  4. On Telescope Making, Sky Watching & Micro Photography

The programme schedule of the RTOW was planned to use about 32 hours in four days on:

  1. Sky Watching, Telescope Making, and Micro Photography using Micro-microscope.
  2. Nature Study,
  3. xplaining the Anti-Superstation beliefs,

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