New Delhi, 9th July, 2020: Ampersand Group, an end-to-end school management services provider successfully concluded the five-day online Professional Development Program in Early Childhood Education under the SamagraShiksha on a pilot basis which was held from June 25-30, 2020. The teachers who participated in the training hailed from Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian, and Srinagar.
The pilot project which had the participation of 40 teachers across 40 schools was led by Dr.ReetaSonawat, Director, Academics and Training, Ampersand Group who specialises in the Early Childhood Education (ECCE) programme covered modules such as child development, special needs, safety practices in school, and curriculum planning among others. She said that the teachers were told to give students the freedom to explore, experience, experiment, and discover things at an early age. The program is highly scalable and can be expanded to the teachers across the state at any given point of time ensuring timely up-gradation of skill-sets and training mechanisms.
Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon, Principal Secretary to the Government School Education Department, Government ofJammu & Kashmir, lauded the efforts of the Mumbai-based Ampersand Group’s company Eduspark during the online valedictory session for taking the initiative by reaching out to the Government ofJammu & Kashmir and showing interest in developing pre-primary education through modern methods of learning.
Dr. Samoon interacted with a number of teachers through video-conferencing requested similar learning sessions for teachers across the state. He urged that school education has to look into several aspects like cogitative, social, and emotional growth of the child to create holistic development at the pre-primary years of schooling. “Primary years of a child are the most important as most of the development takes place there. We need to train our teachers in the latest techniques using innovative ways and make education more ‘child-oriented’ as they will be the foundation for the future of the country. We are looking for a long term partnership with Ampersand Group and want to do similar projects on a larger scale,” said Dr.Samoon.
Mr. Younis Malik, Director, School Education,Government ofJammu & Kashmir, said suggested that the existing infrastructure including that of DIETs and SIEs can be utilized for conducting such training on larger scales in future after the prevailing conditions improve. “While we speak about Right to Education, we should focus more on Right to Quality Education to make our grassroots education stronger.”
Dr.Arun Manhas, Project Director, Samagra Shiksha, Government of Jammu & Kashmir said, “I thank Ampersand Group and Director School Education, Government of Jammu &Kashmir for the cooperation and coordination rendered to make this programme a success and hope to emulate the same in different parts of the state.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr.RustomKerawalla, Founder & Chairman, Ampersand Group said that the focus should be on empowering the people of the state through such programmes under Public-Private Partnership model and create entrepreneurs by ensuring community participation. “We have to empower the people, and ensure community participation under the Public-Private Partnership model and develop the locals to become entrepreneurs so they can open their ECCE centres while we give them online training and support. We are looking forward to a long term association with the Government of Jammu & Kashmir and look to scale up projects on online and offline education, teacher training and skill development across the state,” said Mr. Kerawalla.