Enhancing teaching skills in Hyderabad

14 June 2011

On 30 May, 2011 the Professional Development Centre of the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, welcomed 27 participants for the Professional Learning for Educators series: Programme for Teachers of English.

On 30 May, 2011, 27 teachers of English arrived at the Professional Development Centre of the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad (AKAH) for the Professional Learning for Educators series (PLES) programme.

Fourteen of the participants, all Andhra Pradesh state school teachers, were joining the tier 1 series, and thirteen participants, from Andhra Pradesh state schools and the Aga Khan Education Services, were returning to join the 2nd tier series. The returning teachers had successfully completed tier 1 in the summer of 2010 at the AKAH. All the participants were warmly welcomed by Ms. Annie Marsh, Director and Course Developer, and Ms. Parvis Bhatia, Course Facilitator.

The PLES programme for teachers of English is divided into three 10-week tiers. The participants begin each tier with an intensive two-week face-to-face session and then return to their schools for the following eight weeks. During this time they attend weekly sessions at the Academy’s Professional Development Centre (PDC) and are also observed regularly in their classrooms by course facilitators.

New participants for the programme are selected through rigorous writing tests and interviews. The programme focuses on building understanding of effective teaching methods in language learning as well as improving teachers’ fluency in English.

According to Mr. Rupen Chande, Programme Manager for the outreach activities of the Academies, the PLES was designed to enhance the skills of teachers from the Academy as well as neighboring government schools. This allows the benefits of the training to be felt well beyond the walls of the AKAH. The PLES was first developed for the teaching staff of the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa and is now being implemented at the Academy in Hyderabad.

Two local English language teachers, Ms. Srilaxmi and Mr. Dan Arnold, were also welcomed to the program to act as shadow facilitators. The two Andhra Pradesh government teachers were selected after a long process of group and individual interviews. Building local capacity to promote best practices in teaching is part of the mission of the Aga Khan Academies.