Program Profile: Tibetan Early Grade Reading

Recognizing that effective reading skills are an essential prerequisite for skill development and learning in other areas, the need for a multi-year strategy and policy support to strengthen early grade reading in Tibetan Schools was a primary recommendation of the Education Advisory Committee (EAC) constituted by Department of Education (DoE), Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at its first meeting in June, 2013. The EAC advisors noted that poor classroom practices, under utilization of school libraries, severe shortage of creative and age-appropriate children’s literature in Tibetan language in most Tibetan schools have contributed to unsatisfactory learning and achievement levels in other subjects.

To address the challenges, the Tibetan Early Grade Reading (TEGR) Program was initiated by the DoE, CTA with support from USAID first through the Tibetan Education Project (TEP) from 2014-16 and then under the TSRR Program (2017-Present)

Funds Approved:

2014-2016 (TEP): INR 39,285,392 (USD577, 725)
2017 (TSRR): INR 67,98,700 (USD 101,475)
2018 (TSRR): INR 98,58,924 (USD154,055)
2019 (TSRR): INR 110,19,846 (USD157,427)

The TEGR Program focusing in particular on Tibetan language reading in grade 1 – 3 and English reading in grade 4 – 5, the program strategy combines the following core components:

I. EGR Support and training for Educators: Following trainings were conducted for teachers to obtain effective reading skills.

  • 5-day EGR Training for more than 500+ Primary Teachers (PRTs) from 2014 – 2017.
  • 5-day EGR Training for 60+ Pre-primary Teachers (PPRTs) in 2018 and the training for remaining PPRTs will be given in the 2019.
  • 3-day EGR training for 42 School Heads by the trainers from Ignus Pahal in 2018.
  • EGR Follow-up visit: The resource person, Dr. Latika Gupta visited numerous schools and observed the teaching of language teachers who has received EGR training and provided feedback and suggestions in the presence of their school head for further improvement.
  • EGR Mentor Workshop: 19 highly skilled PRTs were selected and given the 3-day Mentor Workshop in September 2017 to enable them to lead their peers in the respective schools.
  • EGR Remedial Workshop for PRTs: 60 PRTs were given 4-day Remedial Workshop by the trainers from Ignus Pahal in 2018 followed by EGR mentoring for PRTs.
  • EGR Follow-up Mentoring for Primary teachers: Teachers who has received EGR Mentor and Remedial Workshops were selected to mentor PRTs in their schools and provide feedback and suggestions for further improvement. A total of 151 Primary teachers in 37 different schools were mentored.

II. EGR Training for Parents and Foster parents: Community outreach to increase parent awareness and support for early child reading is crucial. Hence, the training for parents were provided in different Settlements, reaching out to more than 950 parents and educating them about the importance of early grade reading. More foster parents will be included in the FY19 upcoming trainings.

III. Librarian empowerment and Professional Development:

School librarian training and mentoring in effective strategies to improve school reading cultures and child reading habits, in conjunction with improvement of school library collections. Took services of expertise from Ms. Sujata Noronha and Ms. Usha Mukunda as resource person and key advisors. Following activities are being carried out under Library program:

  • Workshop for School Librarians
  • Librarian Cluster Meeting at four different zones (North Zone, South Zone, Dehradun Zone and North-East Zone)
  • Twice exposure visit for Librarians at Bangalore.

IV. EGR infrastructure Improvement

  • Classroom Reading Corner: – Professionally designed classroom reading corner (CRC) was introduced in all primary school grades 1 – 3. Furthermore, based on the recommendation provided by ERU assessment, CRC will be installed in grade 4-5 in the coming years. Since, English is introduced as a second language from grade 4 in Tibetan schools as per BEP, these CRCs will be furnished with both high quality Tibetan and English children’s books.
  • Provision of fund to schools for internet connection in the Library
  • Improvement in the Library collection of primary schools by allocating funds to purchase child appropriate books of their choice for the school library in 10 Sambhota Schools.

V. Children’s Publication and Distribution: The first graded reading series in Tibetan language (40 books) was published in 2017 and 5 more story books (original) in 2018. Translation of high quality children’s book into Tibetan (18 books) in 2017 and 14 books in 2018. The books were distributed to all Tibetan schools and to the parents in the Settlement. The remaining books will be distributed to the parents in the coming years.

The Initial phase of TEGR Program has been carried out under the guidance of Prof. Krishna Kumar and Prof. Latika Gupta of Delhi University. TEGR Program is one of the most successful projects of DoE, CTA. The assessment report submitted by ERU Consultant Private Ltd to DoE, CTA in November 2017 has mentioned the following regarding TEGR Program.

“The introduction of EGR came in for high praise as teachers felt that many of the issues of reading, writing and speaking are being resolved. Classrooms have much more interactive material for children in Tibetan and also the availability of books in the library. This was also observed during the field visits. The most exciting and dynamic classrooms were the EGR classrooms.”

Report filed by CTA’s Department of Education through SARD