♦ A Study of Student-Teacher Classroom Interaction in English Language Classroom
This research study investigates how increasing classroom interaction can produce a significant improvement in the use of various techniques and methods in English language classroom in general, and semi-urban and rural English medium schools with Khasi speaking students in particular. The area of study covers the state of Meghalaya. Its focus is on those students sharing a common linguistic, economic, and socio-cultural context that is apart from Urban Shillong. These semi-urban pockets and rural areas in society are areas of cultural transition where a single language and culture is dominant and their openness to other cultures is not as strong as other mixed societies of Shillong. A few aims and objectives of the study highlighted here are: to discern the techniques teachers use to involve students in conversation in the classroom and to find out how much the students are exposed to the English language in general, and communicative English in particular. At present, the research is being compiled.
♦ A Study of Factors Affecting Enrolment in the Government Schools at Elementary Level in Tripura.
The main objective of the study is to study the factors contributing to gradual decrease in enrollment rates of the government schools at elementary level in Tripura. The main factors affecting school enrolment in the government school in Tripura is the preference for English Medium School, in which many of the private schools; their medium of instruction is English. It seems that there is always a competition between Government schools with private school especially in urban school where many of the parents felt satisfied may be because they prefer to send their children to these schools that have from pre- primary level (play school), KG to X/ XII; since they do not have to shift their children from one school to other school. It was found out that in many Government schools they have classes from I to VIII only. In rural school, parents sent their children to the school because of the Mid- Day Meal. In other words parents are sending their children to the school just for the sake of food. Other problems in these schools include irregularity of the teachers, less number of teachers where Head teacher or teachers have to be engaged in all the official work, since there is no group D or peon or clerk in some of these Government schools. Communication problem is one of the main problems that students are facing and the school authorities did not provide any transportation to the students. They have to walk many kilometers in order to reach the school. Another factor in rural areas we found out that early marriages are very common and these students are studying in Class VII.
♦ Documentation of Sign Language for School Education in the North East Region
This is a two-year research-cum-documentation initiated in January, 2017 funded by PAC, NCERT. Data were collected from the Sign language native signers from the different states of NE region. The method of data collection was carried out through a series of video recordings of a selected vocabulary. The objectives of the study are to strengthen educational materials and resources in the education of hearing impaired/Deaf children and to provide relevant linguistic information to teachers particularly language teachers. The documented Sign languages operating in the region has been compiled in a web-based application known as ‘NESL Sign Bank’. This NESL: SignBank provides online access to sign languages in the context of school education. It is an online educational resource that contains information regarding the types of sign languages used by the deaf community. This Web App has been developed using free online software programs (open source) which aim at supporting the education of d/Deaf people across the region. The App was awarded with the Jury Appreciation Award (New Media/ICT category) at the 22nd All Indian Children’s Educational Audio-Video Festival & ICT Mela, 2018. This documentation although completed and compiled, it still need further investigations into the language use amongst the deaf community. Due to limited time, the App incorporates only a limited data of 3000 words approximately. It has potential for increasing the database and integration of supporting materials in sign language for school education.
♦ Impact of Training Programmes conducted by NERIE during 2010 - 2015
Objectives of the Study are to assess the impact of the training programmes conducted by NERIE in the period 2006- 2013 with regard to the intended objectives, to identify the reasons for low impact if any and to suggest measures to make the training programmes more effective. The study will use a blend of qualitative and quantitative techniques. A baseline impact will be ascertained in terms of number of persons trained and the extent to which they have further trained others as well as their own assessment of the benefits of the various training programmes. Apart from this, a qualitative in-depth analysis of the nature and extent of impact of the training programmes in terms of changes in the pedagogy used, attitudes and actual implementation/ use of the training will be taken up. The study will follow the steps of a program evaluation study. The programme theory, programme logic model, evaluation framework etc will be developed to outline the study. The counterfeit will be explored. The sample size would be decided in the planning exercise as there are eight states. The random sampling technique would be used to derive the sample.The tools such as, interviews schedules, questionnaires, focus group discussion, achievement tests, classroom observation schedules etc will be developed. The above study has been initiated towards the end of the year.
♦ A Study of Functioning of School Management Committees in Elementary Schools of Ri- Bhoi and West Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya
The main objectives of the study are to know the diverse functions performed by SMCs and the attainment of the members of SMCs about their roles. To study the perception of school functionaries on the roles of SMCs and to study the problems faced by members of SMCs in discharging their roles/responsibilities. The population of the study will include all the Elementary schools in Ri Bhoi and West Jaintia Hills District. For the present study purposive sampling was adopted. 6 schools (each) 3 from rural areas and 3 from urban areas of Ri Bhoi and West Jaintia Hills District, Meghalaya respectively, Headmaster, SMC members, 5 parents from each school and State Education functionaries. Students were included. The tools were prepared by the investigators -questionnaire, interview schedule. According to the study it was found that government and government aided schools have constituted school management committee with specified number of members as per prescribed by the guidelines of the government. However from the study it was seen that there were no student’s representation in the committee and this may be due to the lack of knowledge or information or maybe due to some practical problems. The study also shows that not all members know about their functions and duties to be performed as members of neither SMCs nor the specific objectives for forming this committee. The reason for this maybe that there was no awareness programme or meeting or training to apprise them of their roles and functions and also may be due to lack of interest on the part of the person to know about the functions of SMC and what is expected of them. SMCs has to performed diverse functions which as per the RTE guidelines as well as the guidelines given by the State. Some of the general functions of SMCs were to look after the welfare of the students, to see to the performance of the teachers- regularities, punctualities, development of infrastructure and see that the school acts as per the RTE norms, monitoring the school work, preparing school plan and monitoring the utilization of the school grants received from the government and monitoring the implementation of the various schemes received from both state and central government. In nutshell the SMCs have to see to the all-round Development of the school. Looking at the data collected it was seen that even though majority were aware of the roles and functions of SMCs however still there was a gap between the role they performed and the roles that was perceived by the members. In this present study it was seen that the members felt that their main role is to attend meetings and provide suggestions to the schools. However, for effective functioning of SMCs it is important for all members to know their duties and functions as prescribe. Since all members are required to play a crucial role in the functioning of SMCs it is therefore essential for members to be aware of their expected roles and participate actively in every area as well as contribute positively towards the committee and school development. From the study it was seen that majority of the parents and students were aware of school management committee, however they were not aware about their specific functions and roles in the school. The reason for this may be due to lack of awareness and also the school does not take the initiative to inform or make aware of the functions and roles of SMCs members. However when asked from the parents and students regarding the school environment as a whole it was found that parents were satisfied with the progress of the school even if they do expressed the need for improving the infrastructure of the school, more teachers to be recruited. When it comes to students majority expressed that they are happy with their schools but felt that the school need to provide more facilities such as playground, more classrooms, library, laboratory, proper drinking water and toilet as these will enhance their overall personality. This shows that SMCs need to work for the improvement of their schools and ensure that students get the best from their schools. One of the major findings of the study was that there are schools where the SMCs does not function actively or there were no SMCs, the reason may be due to shortage of teachers or due to less number of students that the school felt there was no need for the constitution of school management committee or maybe due to some other related problems. When it comes to the performance of SMCs as well as their achievements it was interestingly found that fifty percent felt that they could perform their expected roles and achieve the goals but another fifty percent felt that their performance as members of SMCs was not satisfactory and has failed to achieve the expected goals and this may be due to various reasons such as lack of support from the authority, lack of funds that the schools were unable to develop and also may be due to lack of awareness on what exactly is expected from them. Another reason may also be due to the frequency of meetings held by the school. The study also indicates that there is a need for better performance of SMC members for better quality as well as quantity of elementary schools. Interestingly as per the government guidelines meetings of SMCs should be held once a month to monitor and assessed the development of the school etc., but from the study it was seen that members of the SMCs hold meetings of not more than two or three times a year. This may also act as one of the reasons for non- performance of the members and schools. Again, the data shows that state/district education functionaries does not have regular meetings with members of SMCs. The state/district education functionaries expressed that since the SMCs exercised their duties and performed their roles as per the prescribed guidelines hence they perform as per their capacity and power given to them. Another interesting finding was regarding teachers’ performance in the classroom that is the teaching learning. From the findings it was seen that teachers were being monitored by the SMC members during teaching learning inside the classroom as well as their overall performance. The present study showed that teachers also felt that since teaching learning materials is one of the tools which help or enhance students learning these are not made available in the schools. Through observation it was seen that schools lacked resource materials, supplementary materials and no proper library. Again the study also shows that SMCs does interact with teachers even individually and show their appreciation to teachers who performed well and try to bring new things to enhance their teaching as well as those teachers who contributes toward the development and progress of the school. When it comes to the problems faced by the members of SMCs in discharging their duties it was seen from the study that SMC does not play a leading role in the development of the school for example SMCs does not have any role in recruitment of teachers. Therefore as it was seen from the study that majority of the parents and students expressed about the shortage of teachers but SMCs has no power to recruit teachers as per the need of the schools. Another interesting finding of the study was the shortage of financial aids which may prevent the SMCs to see to the development of the school, to ensure that schools have the basic requirements such as playground, library, better classrooms, toilets, drinking water etc. Again from the study the SMCs were of the opinion that in order to reduce the problems and ensuring smooth functioning of their roles there is a need for proper coordination and meetings of state as well as district functionaries so that quality of elementary education is improve both qualitatively as well as quantitatively. A study of the Perception and Attitude of Community Members and Educational Stakeholders on Mother tongue Education in the North East India The research was conducted to study the attitude and perception of the community members (parents, students, teachers/teacher educators and educational stakeholders) on Mother tongue education and to ascertain the views of community members on their status vis-a-vis language education. The communities studied in this research are: Ao, Angami, Sumi, Rengma, Lotha, Chokri and Kheza from Nagaland, Bodo, Karbi, Mishing, Bishnupriya Manipuri from Assam, Hmar, Kom, Mao, Mizo, Paite, Rongmei, Tangkhul, Thadou-Kuki, Vaiphei, Zou from Meghalaya and Khasi and Garo language from Meghalaya. The study reveals that the implementation of the mother Tongue education programmes in the region is problematic as the numbers of languages are more at the same time languages are very small and the community members despite wanting to retain languages and culture are very much threatened with the impact of globalisation. Looking from the Job opportunities and the further higher studies in many instances the students are bound to compromise learning of their mother tongues with the regional or the school languages.
♦ A Study on Environmental Attitude of Elementary Students and Pre-Service Teachers in Meghalaya
To investigate the concerns of pre-service teachers is as important as to investigate the beliefs of teachers and students toward environmental
problems, since pre service teachers will soon become teachers. When their knowledge and concerns toward environmental issues are determined,
some regulations can be made in teacher education (Ünal, 2008). This study directs attention to the environmental concerns and awareness of pre
service teachers’ and elementary students’ in regard to gender and subject area. Therefore, the educational problem we set out to address is to
propose suggestions to improve the quality of environmental education in school education department by considering the pre-service teachers’
current status of awareness and attitudes towards the environment.
The main objectives are:
• To measure the environmental awareness and concerns of elementary students and pre-service teachers.
• To compare the awareness and concerns toward environmental issues by looking at some demographic factors such as gender and subject area among the students and the pre service teachers.
• To also investigates the pre-service teachers’ understanding of the environment, and gathers their suggestions for the integration of the environment as a concept into their subjects.
• To study their attitude imply in terms of improvement of environmental education of pre- service teachers.
The research sample included 400 pre service students and 200 elementary students from different Institutions of the state. To collect data ‘Environmental Attitude Questionnaire’ was used as a research tools. The questionnaire is a 45-item test adapted from the one used by Worsley and Skrzypiec (1998) which was originally developed from Herrera’s (1992). The instrument is comprised of 4 dimensions (Tuncer et al., 2005) as (1) General awareness of environmental problems (AEP), (2) General attitude towards solutions (GAS), (3) Awareness of individual responsibility and attitude through changing lifestyles (AIR) and (4) Awareness of national environmental problems (ANEP). The questionnaire comprises 45 items, which were scored using a 5-point Likert-type scale.
♦ A Study of English language learning of Deaf/Hard of hearing in inclusive settings at the elementary level
Funded by PAC, NCERT, this study was conducted for two years and it covers mainstream schools and special schools in mainly 8 districts of Meghalaya. This research has two main objectives and these are to find out the challenges of Deaf/HH children in English language learning in an inclusive settings for possible guidelines to the school administrators and teachers; and to understand and analyse the existing English teaching-learning methods and to assess its role in learning language. Since, sign language is the medium of communication for Deaf/ Hard of Hearing children, this research investigates the feasibility of Deaf/hard of hearing children in an inclusive situation in an environment dominated by spoken language. Part of the study involved the placement of a sign language interpreter in the classroom. This placement was conducted to find out the feasibility of interpreters in classroom settings and how an interpreter can work alongside a teacher. Findings from the study revealed that guidance on the role of interpreters in classroom settings need to be formulated. Modulating an inclusive classroom in the presence of Deaf/Hard of hearing requires lesson plans which are designed to accommodate sign language skills of communication, and negotiating with the interpreter in order to fulfil the needs of such children. Further, the study reveals that whether inclusive or special schools, there is a blatant neglect to the linguistic rights of Deaf children in the classroom. Supporting materials for both teachers and students is still minimal.
♦ A Study of Factors Contributing to Student Absenteeism at Elementary School Level in Tribal Concentrated Areas of Tripura
The objectives of this study are to identify the factors contributing to student’s absenteeism at the elementary school level in tribal concentrated areas in the state of Tripura vis-à-vis the common factors such as gender, location of schools, etc. Such factors may contribute to students’ absenteeism at the elementary school and this study aims at providing suggestions to reduce absenteeism. Random sampling of 20 schools in four tribal blocks of Tripura, i.e., Mandwi RD Block, Jampuijala RD Block, Chawmanu RD Block and Ganganagar RD Block was the main focus area of the study. Students, Parents, Teachers and Heads of Schools constituted the sample of the study. Qualitative type of method was adopted in this study and the tools includes viz, questionnaire to capture information on the socio-economic conditions, the linguistic and cultural backdrop, the geographical background, etc. Interview scheduled (un- structured) and focus group discussion were also used. The findings of this study showed that some of the students were found attending schools only 2-3 days in a month. For those who are regularly absent, they were always absent for many months altogether from their schools. According to the information given by the students it was found out that they were regularly absent due to repeated failure, some of them get very low percentage and even fails in most of the subjects. Poor economic condition at home is another reason where the main occupation of the parents of the students who are regularly absent are laborers, farmers, daily laborers, cultivators, wage laborers, woods cutters, jhum cultivators and rubber planters. As per the findings it reveals that majority of the parents are illiterate whereas some of them are semi-literate (able to write their name). Their monthly income ranges from 1000 - 4500 per month. Because of these reasons parents are not supportive in their children’s education, they have to go to market and sell vegetables and they are busy in household work. It was also found out that during jhum cultivation the students have to help their parents and there were mass students’ absenteeism as their families have to shift from one place to another place. Some parents view education as unnecessary since they prefer their children to look after their siblings and to help them in the fields rather than sending them to the school. They do not attend the parent teacher meeting (PTM).Hence, unsupportive family environment and lack of parental guidance. Another major factor faced by the students which may lead to absenteeism in these tribal blocks is the medium of instruction and communication problem. Many students speak and communicate in their tribal languages like Kokborok, Reang, Tripuri, Rupini,and Chakma whereas their teachers teach them in Bengali. Another major reason contributing to student absenteeism is early marriages. As early as class V, VI, VII and class VIII. Their age ranges from 12-15 years old. This is a very common factor in these tribal blocks. Other causes responsible for student absenteeism include distance between the school and the home which is very far. Since, there is lack of transportation facilities and in some places there is no bridge to cross the river they have to walk on foot and being a hilly area it is too difficult for them especially during bad weather. Some of the students have to travel a long distance per day to reach their school. The study indicates that there were few cases such as a school admitted a mentally challenged student without any minimum required facilities thus, due to this reason the student was regularly absent from the school. Further, in another school there was a student who is regularly absent from the school because he is addicted to alcohol, he’s only 15 years old and studying in class VIII. His parents want to send him to the school but he is not willing to go and he prefers to work in a nearby factory. Through Focus Group Discussion, it was found out that lack of motivation and lack of healthy school environment is another factor since there is no proper library and laboratory, lack of teachers, no electricity in the school, no sports facilities and equipment’s, inadequate facilities for recreational activities, no proper Mid-day Meal (MDM), poor infrastructural facilities which include no roof top in the school and there is leakage especially in rainy season, no toilet and drinking water facilities, death of parents, parents ill health, students acute/ severe sickness and poor health condition. Some of the students were found malnourish which may lead to lack of interest in studies and lack of concentration. The data also reveals that some of the students do not know how to read and write properly, they feel shy before their classmates and this make them not to attend their school regularly. Whereas some students attend the school just to appear only for their exams. Poor relationships with teachers/ head of school, teacher’s irregularity and frequent absent on the part of the teachers may cause students not interested to go to their school. Due to the above mentioned factors students were found regularly absent from the school. Educational Implications of the Study: Based on the findings the investigator suggested some remedial measures to enhance and improve the quality of elementary education with special reference to students’ absenteeism in the state of Tripura. The Government may organize awareness programme for the heads of school, teachers and parents; making them aware of the factors contributing to students absenteeism and the importance of education respectively. The school may call for a general meeting with parents, community members and other stakeholders from time to time discussing about the different issues, concerns in elementary education and in particular on students absenteeism. Teachers may pay a visit to student’s home, meet their parents and talk with them on the importance of education. The school may create guidance and counselling cell, to properly guide and counsel the students. The school infrastructure may be improved with more facilities like proper library and laboratory, drinking water, separate toilet for girls and boys, electricity, sports facilities, proper Mid- Day Meal (MDM) and other facilities may be provided. The problem of teacher’s irregularity and frequent absent of teachers may be address seriously. Teachers should try their level best to ignite the students’ interest in the classroom. Child- centered and activity- based approach may be adopted while teaching. The Government along with all the stakeholders should work together cooperatively to enhance the quality of elementary education and to make it universal. Student- teacher, parent/ guardian- teacher relationship should be closed. Residential schools may be set up. PTM may be organized at regular intervals. Parents, teachers should motivate and encourage their children, students respectively so that their academic performance will improve. Parents should not engage their children in jhum cultivation or in any household work; instead they may support them in their education. The school itself should provide a conducive environment for the students all round development and it needs ample of teachers; because due to scarcity of teachers the classes were hampered.
♦ Documentation of Sign Language for School Education in the North East Region
This is a two year research-cum-documentation initiated in January, 2017 funded by PAC, NCERT. Data were collected from the Sign language native signers from the different states of NE region. The method of data collection was carried out through a series of video recordings of a selected vocabulary. The objectives of the study are to strengthen educational materials and resources in the education of hearing impaired/Deaf children and to provide relevant linguistic information to teachers particularly language teachers. The documented Sign languages operating in the region has been compiled in a web-based application known as ‘NESL Sign Bank’. This NESL: SignBank provides online access to sign languages in the context of school education. It is an online educational resource that contains information regarding the types of sign languages used by the deaf community. This Web App has been developed using free online software programs (open source) which aim at supporting the education of d/Deaf people across the region. The App was awarded with the Jury Appreciation Award (New Media/ICT category) at the 22nd All Indian Children’s Educational Audio-Video Festival & ICT Mela, 2018. . This documentation although completed and compiled, it still need further investigations into the language use amongst the deaf community. Due to limited time, the App incorporates only a limited data of 3000 words approximately. It has potential for increasing the database and integration of supporting materials in sign language for school education.
♦ A Study of Student-Teacher Classroom Interaction in Semi-Urban and Rural Schools of Meghalaya
This study is targeted at how increasing classroom interaction can produce a significant improvement in the use of various techniques and methods in English language classroom in general and semi-urban and rural English medium schools with Khasi speaking students in particular. Whatever the pedagogical approach or method a teacher might use, it is essentially the classroom interaction that mediates between the teaching and learning process. The main aims and objectives of the study are to discern the techniques teachers use to involve students in conversation in the classroom and to find out how often teachers conduct 'Task-based' activities in the language classroom. Structured interview was adopted for the study for both teachers and students. Hence, a questionnaire was used as a tool (according to the Likert scale) to collect information from both the teachers and the students. Classroom observations through video recordings and group discussions were also conducted in this research. The major findings from this research are summarized as follow— English language classrooms in both semi-urban and rural mono-cultural schools are predominated by teacher-centered methods. Despite the teachers being trained in other learner-centered methods, teaching becomes only a series of knowledge transactions in preparation for the final written examination for example dictation, rote learning, etc. Teachers claim to use language activities in the classroom but data reveals that there are hardly any interactional activities happening in the classroom. Based on classroom observations, teachers tend to select only a few students (usually the intelligent ones) to ask questions. Students rarely ask questions or initiate discussions. From group discussions conducted with teachers in rural areas, opportunities to speak in English at home and their immediate surroundings are limited. A monolingual and monoculture community cannot provide a platform to use English. Hence, it is a drawback. Further, there are schools located in interior areas such as the school in Diengsong and Wahtyngai (East and West Khasi hills respectively) which has difficult terrain and to access the schools. In Diengsong, teachers have to walk down the small steps towards the deep valleys of Cherrapunjee to reach the schools. Hence, teachers informed that frequent support to such schools can be rarely seen. The SSA school in Wahtyngai, do not have proper classrooms, when it rains children have to move to the corner of the classroom to sit as there is no proper roofing. Most BRCs/CRCs also pointed out that travelling allowance to visit such schools is limited to which at times, are incurred from their own salary. One important finding of this study which needs to be highlighted is the evidence of urban and rural disparity in terms of reading materials, the classroom strategies, the teacher’s proficiency, etc. The materials and textbooks developed by the state which covers themes closely related to what students are learning are unreadable to students in the rural areas. Concepts of a morning walk, historical events and places in the urban areas are alien to most of the students in the rural areas.
♦ RTE Implementation in Lower Primary Schools of North Eastern States (Assam & Meghalaya): Issues and Challenges in terms of Quality, Access and Equity
The Objectives of the study are; To study the extent of implementation of RTE in Assam and Meghalaya with regard to quality of education (in terms of infrastructural facilities, the status of community participation, teacher training, availability of teachers, teacher regularity, etc.); To study RTE implementation with regard to Access to free and compulsory education (availability of schools in the neighbourhood, fee, learning material, etc.) and To analyse the related issues and concerns in the light of RTE Act recommendations and suggest strategies to mitigate/overcome them. The proposed study was delimited to the North Eastern States of Assam and Meghalaya. 6 (Kamrup Metro, Morigaon, Dima Hasao, KarbiAnglong, Bongaigaon, and Barpeta) out of 28 districts of the state of Assam and 2 districts (East Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills) out of 11 districts of the state of Meghalaya were purposively selected ensuring that differences in the population are represented in the sample. Two Blocks (one urban and one rural) from each of the districts were taken and 10 government LP schools in these blocks were studied. The tools used for the study were School profile, Interview schedules for parents or community members involved in the School management Committee and Focus Group Discussions with different stakeholders. Apart from collecting data through the tools mentioned above, field–notes were extensively used to capture first-hand experience and observations by the researchers. Findings: For any Quality education system, the ultimate measure of the system is not how many children are in school, but what they learn and how well they learn. But with the promulgation of such ordinances there is growing evidence that we are moving more rapidly to get children into school and keep our papers right rather than making the effort to improve the quality of the education that we are offering in our schools. Some immediate strategies in the context studied would be for the State Government to take the quality issues seriously and providing the infrastructure specified in the Schedule on priority basis since successful implementation of the RTE to a great extent depends on these school facilities. Systemic Reforms in Teacher Recruitment policy and deployment in field should be rational. There are also frequent allegations of government schools being riddled with absenteeism and mismanagement and of appointments made on political convenience. Quality teacher training by competent authority should be seriously dealt with. PTR should be strictly followed. The Government should do away with the Single Teacher schools to effectively transact in constructive manner.
♦ A Study on Perception and Attitude of Community Members and Educational Stakeholders on Mother Tongue Education in NE region, (ongoing).
This research focuses its investigation in four states in NE Region and these are Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur. This study aims at promoting mother-tongue education at the primary level. Hence, this study tries to look at the perception of community members towards their own language, the benefits from learning through one's own language, the prospects, vis-a-vis the English language, and so and so forth. Data collection from the states of Nagaland and Assam is completed. Compilation of report is still being conducted.
♦ A Study of Use of Science Laboratories in Government Secondary Schools of Meghalaya in 2016-17.
The objective of the research was to identify the Govt. Secondary Schools of Meghalaya that has science laboratories (Labs); to study the use of Science Labs in these schools and to provide steps in improving the science laboratory facilities and their use in such schools. As sample, 10 Government/ government aided Secondary Schools were selected randomly located in rural and urban areas in the state. The subjects for this study include, teachers and students from the selected schools. The tools used in collection of data include the School information schedule and an interview schedule (Teachers and Teachers of the school having science laboratory and without science laboratory. A focus group guideline was prepared and conducted with students of the schools having science laboratory and without science laboratory. Laboratory Observation Schedule/Check-list was used for general observations. These tools for this study were developed in reference to the tools developed by RMSA (Availability and utilization of laboratory facility for teaching-learning science at secondary level). The data collected were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. It was found that many of the schools have Labs but they do not use it for secondary level. Some of the schools allow these labs to be used only twice in a year (during terminal exams). In most of the schools, the classrooms are conventional and a teacher rarely conducts any activities.
♦ Perception of stakeholders about ICT-Pedagogy Integration at Secondary School Level: A Case Study
A Case study on the perception of stakeholders about ICT-Pedagogy Integration at Secondary school level was to study the availability of ICT infrastructure in secondary schools of Assam, i.e. the study area, to study the ICT knowledge of secondary school teachers and students of the study area and to study the perception of secondary school teachers, students and headmasters/principals about the factors contributing to ICT-pedagogy integration at Secondary school level. Findings: Even though computers have been introduced in schools in India, the education system has largely not been influenced by the potential for pervasive change intrinsic to ICTs. At the level of our learning systems, ICTs can enable activity-based and collaborative learning processes(suggestedbyNCF2005), which can help us move away from the traditional 'rote-based learning' that dominates much of our current education system. ICTs can also indirectly, although substantially, support education through relevant use in teacher education and education administration processes. To enable such possibilities a greater range of actors from the education sector, and others interested in education policy, need to engage with ICT in the school education policy process.
♦ Teacher Education Curriculum of North Eastern Region in the Light of NCFTE, 2009: An Analysis.
The present ERIC research project entitled ‘Teacher Education Curriculum of North Eastern Region in the Light of NCFTE, 2009: An Analysis’ was carried out with the to analyse the existing secondary teacher education curriculum of all the North Eastern States with reference to the guidelines of NCFTE, 2009, to find out the gap that exists in secondary education curriculum of North Eastern States, to study the curricular areas (Curricular Area A) of teacher education curriculum of North Eastern Region in the light of NCFTE, 2009, to study the pedagogical component (Curricular Area B) of teacher education curriculum of North Eastern Region in the light of NCFTE, 2009, to study the school internship (Curricular Area C) of teacher education curriculum of North Eastern Region in the light of NCFTE, 2009, to study the transactional modalities of teacher education curriculum of North Eastern Region in the light of NCFTE, 2009, to study the evaluation process of teacher education curriculum of North Eastern Region in the light of NCFTE, 2009 and to find out the perception and suggestions of different stakeholders (principal, teacher educators and pre-service teacher trainees) regarding the secondary teacher education curriculum of North Eastern States. The methods which was followed in the present study are - first all the B. Ed syllabuses of the entire secondary teacher education curriculum from all the central universities located in all the eight north eastern states were collected. The central universities situated in the north east region are the Assam University, Assam; Manipur university, Manipur; Mizoram university, Mizoram; Nagaland university, Nagaland; North Eastern Hill university (NEHU), Shillong (Meghalaya); Rajiv Gandhi university, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim university, Sikkim and Tripura university, Tripura. Then to analyze the curriculum, content analysis was done on different dimensions like curricular area, pedagogy area and school internship. It was also done to find out the gaps that exist in the present teacher education curriculum. In order to find out the transactional modalities and the evaluation process of teacher education curriculum of North Eastern Region in the light of NCFTE- 2009, classroom observation was carried out. Finally to find out the perception as well as suggestions of stake holders (principal, teacher educators and pre-service teacher trainees) the data was gathered through interview, questionnaire and focus group discussion. Regarding the sample of the study random sampling was followed and representative sampling was used as it represented all the eight North Eastern States. Hence, the sample of the present research study includes eight universities (all central universities); one each from all the eight North Eastern States. This covered eight teacher education colleges/ institutions including IASEs (all government colleges and institutions). Besides, principals of B. Ed. Colleges/ institutions, twenty teacher educators and twenty pre-service teacher trainees (pass out and current trainees) from each state formed part of the sample. Thus, a total number of 8 principals, 160 teacher educators and 160 pre-service teacher trainees (including pass out) respectively constituted the sample of the study. The tool which was used in this study includes-content analysis was done on different dimensions like curricular areas, pedagogy area, school internship, working with the community, multi-cultural placement, transactional modalities and evaluation process. Observation Scheduled was prepared by the investigator for observation of the transactional modalities. Interview scheduled (un-structured and semi-structured) was developed by the investigator. The investigator also developed the questionnaire to find out the perception and suggestions of stakeholders towards secondary teacher education curriculum of all North Eastern states and Focus group discussion was done with the teacher educators as well as pre-service teacher trainees. After analysis of all the B. Ed. Curriculum of the North East, certain factors have been identified as important aspects to be considered while framing/ developing a syllabus. These are contact hours, internal assessment, course objectives, transaction mode, practical area, course content, practicum, assignment, sessional work, mode of assessment, grading and references which is mandatory to be included in the syllabus; especially with the course as has been suggested by NCFTE, 2009. The result of the present study indicates that all the universities of North Eastern states offer one year B. Ed and mostly under semester pattern. There is B. Ed. syllabuses, which do not have the courses/ course content as per NCFTE, 2009 guidelines. This calls for a revision of the B. Ed syllabuses as per the recommendations made by NCFTE, 2009.In most of the B. Ed curriculum working with the community and multi- cultural placement is not there. Looking at the internship in teaching and its duration; we can see that there is no uniformity in all the B. Ed colleges/ institution.
♦ Perceptions of Teachers and Students in Meghalaya about Instructional Approaches and Contents in History
A research on perceptions of teachers and students in Meghalaya about instructional approaches and contents in history was conducted under the Institutional research project. The objectives of the research was to understand students preferred subject in Social Science (Upper Primary and Secondary level) and reasons thereof, to elicit students views on the history textbooks and existing instructional methods in the history classroom, to elicit teachers views on the history textbooks, to understand the problems (if any) faced by teachers in transacting the history lessons, to record the resource materials/tools used by the history teachers, to understand students views on how they would like to learn history, to understand students perception of historical evidence, causation and historical explanation and to suggest ways of improving existing pedagogy in history lesson. Survey was conducted amongst to address these queries a survey research was conducted amongst 207 students (secondary level) from the state of Meghalaya, drawn from 2 Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools, one army school and one private school. To elicit response questionnaires were distributed to the students and data were analysed using simple percentage. General discussions were also held with both students and teachers. The findings drawn reflected a dismal state in students perceptions although the reasons were elaborately cited by students which included amongst other reasons the need for a more interactive and visual approach to understanding the past.
♦ Implementation of Inclusive Education at the Elementary Level in the selected States of the North Eastern region
A Study was conducted on the implementation of inclusive education at the elementary level in the selected States of the North Eastern region under ERIC. The main objectives of the study were to identify and study the different components available in the schools for providing quality education for CWSN such as teachers training, curricular/instructional adaptations, teaching learning process, teaching learning materials, evaluation system and whether inclusive education really benefits the children with disability or not. The methodology followed a qualitative approach and the sample for the study included three states that is Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura (30 Schools). The tools included questionnaire, observation schedule, interview schedule and checklist. According to the study it was found that schools have enrolled children with special needs such as visually impaired, low vision, hearing impaired, locomotors disability, mild mentally challenged, cerebral palsy, autism etc. However, the study also suggested there were no concrete steps taken for making schools inclusive in nature even though majority of the schools has ramps and ramps with handrails but there were no proper or adequate infrastructures or facilities and even teachers were not trained in the area of inclusive education. Looking at the various facilities the study reveals that nearly all schools have inadequate resources no separate toilet for the children using wheel chair and only very few schools have special seating arrangement for the children with disability. Majority of the schools were still using the traditional bench-desk and chair-table as seating arrangement for the students which proves very inconvenience for children with disability. Playgrounds are not friendly especially when it comes to children with disability. When it comes to aids and appliances majority of the schools do not have proper aids and appliances. This indicates the level of unpreparedness of not only the schools but the state authorities as well. Another interesting finding of the study was that majority of the teachers do not have the required professional degree for teaching at the elementary level, hence they may lack the essential skills in their teaching learning. Again the study also shows that inclusion of CWSNs in the regular schools will be successful if teachers are skilled and knowledgeable in handling CWSNs. The finding of the present study established that majority of the teachers taken for this study perceived that their lack of knowledge, skills and even lacked of training(s) in this area were inadequate to effectively teach CWSNs in regular schools and this might hinders their performance level, and some of them expressed that special schools are still required to cater to the needs of these children. The majority of the teachers who expressed that CWSNs can be brought into the mainstream schools were of the view that if training in inclusive education is provided to them and overcrowded classroom is taken care, these children will benefit more. Further the study indicated that teachers faced many challenges in their everyday teaching learning due to lack of required skills in teaching CWSNs for example teaching in a class where a hearing impaired child is present and for this knowing sign language is essential etc., but teachers do not have this skill so here is the challenge that a teacher faced. Another finding of the present study is the lacked of cooperation and interest from the parents of the CWSNs which act as a hurdle in their teaching learning. In an inclusive school the most important part in providing education where CWSNs will benefit is curriculum adaptation. Children with Special needs (CWSN) face various challenges, especially during the teaching–learning process due to lack of curriculum adaptation and modification. This study also showed that not only the children but also the teachers teaching in these schools faced many challenges concerning adapting or modifying the curriculum which may be due to lack of training(s), supplementary reading materials and also lack of modified and child friendly teaching learning materials. Further, looking at the instructional strategies or classroom pedagogy the present study reveals that there were teachers who modified and adapted their instructional strategies as per individual needs. However majority of them has not done any modification and still follow the traditional approach to teaching. This shows that professional qualification, knowledge and training is essential for all teachers in the field of inclusive education so as to enable and empower them meet the needs of CWSNs. With regards to teaching learning materials the study further established that very few of the teachers used modified and adapted TLM such as 2/3 dimensional figures and shapes, blocks, flash card, soft and hard fabrics, models, real objects or large print materials and any TLM which are tactile in nature which is as per the need of the child. And majority of the teachers do not used any modified and adapted TLM which may prove difficult for children to understand concept(s) and further hamper the progress and achievement of CWSNs. Again the present study reveals that very few teachers adapt and modified there method of assessment as per individual needs such as oral test, writing in braille where the resource teacher transcript the braille script into print, breaking questions into parts, simplifying questions, assessing through activities and observation and also providing additional time. However majority of the teachers still used the paper pencil test and examination which is also common to all students. This study also took into account the views and perception of children with special needs and without special needs regarding their learning experiences in the schools. The finding reveals that majority of the CWSNs expressed happiness in coming to school and making friends, participating in activities and interacting with other children which other children without disabilities also shared similar views. When it comes to their learning the findings reveals that CWSNs do faced many challenges in their learning in the classroom. They expressed difficulties in understanding lesson taught and feel anxious and hesitant to ask the teacher. They were unable to cope with the class work and have difficulties in copying down points written on the board. It was also important to examine parents of CWSNs perception towards inclusive schools because parents play a major role in contributing towards effective implementation of inclusive education. From the present study many interesting findings has been revealed. Even though majority of the parents expressed that their children enjoy studying in the regular schools with other children however they did share their concerns regarding school building and other facilities which according to them are not disability friendly. The present study also discloses that even though teachers provide regular feedback about performance and behaviour of their children but they don’t provide training(s) on how to handle and how to help their children at home. Another finding of the present study reveal that there are parents who agreed with the fact that their children are facing difficulties in learning even though teachers are supportive, but could not provide individual help because of the number of students in the class. But one interesting finding of the present study was that some of the parents of CWSNs did not find it important to attend Parent Teacher Meeting which provides a platform for discussion of problems and alternative measures for improvement of their children education.Other challenges that were revealed in this present study were: shortage of teaching materials, lack of adequate aids and appliances, shortage of teachers, used of multi-grade teaching, too much time spend on non-teaching duties, lack of cooperation and collaboration between teachers and parents. Parental resistance also came out to be strong factor among the barriers to inclusive education. The study felt desirable that the parental involvement should be increased.
♦ A Study of Views of Primary School Teachers towards Inclusion of Children with Special Needs
A small scale research entitled ‘A Study of Views of Primary School Teachers towards Inclusion of Children with Special Needs’ was conducted. The study was aimed to examine the views of primary school teachers towards inclusion of children with special needs in regular school. The sample of the study was 24 regular teachers working in various Govt. Primary schools in Guwahati, Assam. A closed ended self-rated based questionnaire was developed by the researcher named as ‘Questionnaire – Views towards Inclusion of Children with Special Needs (CWSN)’.
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