Sangeeth Kurian

SIEMET project nears completion

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A massive documentation programme chronicling the activities of various agencies under the Department of General Education is currently underway in the State.

Initiated by the State Institute of Educational Management and Training (SIEMAT), the documentation work is nearing completion, according to Johny K. John, director of the institute.

In connection with this, the institute is preparing a handbook on the activities of the Education Department including Higher Education Council and State Literacy Mission.

“We are also coming up with a book on Panchayat Raj Act and Education,” said Mr. John.

Started in 2005 as an organisation aimed at providing professional support and academic orientation, SIEMAT conducts training programmes to develop management skills of headmasters, principals, and officials like deputy directors, administrative and clerical staff. With this vision, guidelines are issued for conducting workshops, seminars, talks and symposiums.

Training

The institute, with the concurrence of the participants, has also a tradition of extending residential training programmes even up to midnight. “We strive to get the maximum results from the programmes, even if this means extending programmes after 11 p.m.,” said Mr. John.

The participants are divided into small groups of six to eight persons with each group led by a facilitator or a resource person to ensure “active” and “intelligent” participation.

Group works, case studies, assignments and role plays becomes an important component of the training programmes. Pre-session surveys are conducted by distributing questionnaires. Punctuality and regularity in participation is ensured at all the programmes.

Participatory sessions

For sessions that last for more than two days games, yoga classes, cultural programmes, field trips and tours are arranged. The institute adopts a constructivist theory while imparting training programmes.

“We focus on a participatory and interactive method of training, involving each and every participant ,” he said. The participants are evaluated daily with grades ranging from excellent to poor on a ballot paper. The institute has already completed empowerment training programme for 11,694 school headmasters at 211 centres across the State.

Pilot project

With the State government declaring the academic year 2007-2008 as the year of effective educational governance, Pulari, a research project for educational development was introduced as a pilot project in 65 schools in eight Panchayats coming under the Kundara constituency.

The programme helped to increase the average pass percentage in the Senior Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination increased to 93 per cent from 85 per cent the previous year in the 18 high schools in Kundara constituency, said the director.

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