The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), recently collaborated on a joint mission for the NISHTHA capacity-building programme for Eklavya school teachers and principals.
Under the programme, teachers and principals from 120 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) from 3 States (Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh) participated in the first batch of the programme.
**What is the NISHTHA Programme?**
NISHTHA stands for National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement. NISHTHA is a capacity-building programme for improving the quality of school education through integrated teacher training. It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage. It was launched by the Department of School Education and Literacy as a national mission under the Samagra Shiksha Scheme in 2019-20.
It is also the world’s largest teachers’ training programme of its kind. The basic objective of this massive training programme is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students, handle diverse situations and act as first-level counsellors. It offers standardized training modules developed at the national level for all States and UTs.
The Integrated Teacher Training Programme is called NISHTHA.
**About Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs)**
Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India to provide quality residential education to Scheduled Tribes (ST) students from class 6 to 12 in remote areas. The initiative enables the students to access opportunities in education. The programme has been in operation since 1998, however, it was revamped in 2018-19 to expand the geographical outreach and enhance the quality of facilities.
Eklavya schools focus not only on academic education but on the over -all development of the students and ready for professional education and employment in different sectors. Each school has a capacity of 480 students.
Wherever the density of ST population is higher in identified sub-Districts (90% or more), it is proposed to set up Eklavya Model Day Boarding School (EMDBS) without any residential facility.
**Blended approach to training**
The capacity-building training was conducted in an online mode, adopting a blended approach. The course material, activities and projects were made available on the NISHTHA portal to be availed by the participants.
Further, the National Resource Group (NRG) members of NCERT used techniques of narratives, stories, quizzes, and puzzles and more as part of the training methodologies.
**Benefits of the programme**
The capacity-building programme aims to improve the learning outcomes of the students by training the faculty members and enabling an enriching and inclusive classroom environment. Further, the training will facilitate the teachers to become more alert and responsive to the social, emotional, and psychological needs of students as first-level counselors.
Another benefit of the training programme is that it awares the teachers and school heads about all the new initiatives in school education. Also, the training programme consisted of 18 holistic and comprehensive modules covering different aspects of education such as learning outcomes, assessment practices, learner-centered pedagogy, art-integrated learning, gender equality, covid response of schools, POCSO Act, pedagogy of science, mathematics, language, social science subjects and more.
**Need of the programme**
The capacity-building programme will help fulfill the long-standing vision of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) to achieve academic excellence in Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs). Further, it also trains the teachers and principals, which would help in the holistic development of the school, students, and faculty members.
The programme aims to develop teachers as first-level counsellors for students. The capacity-building program also aims to build competencies among teachers and school principals and improving the quality of School Education through Integrated Teacher Training. Further, it also helps in developing stress a free school-based assessment system that focuses on the development of learning competencies.
Under the training, the teachers learn how to adopt activity-based learning and move away from traditional learning to competency-based learning.
The training programme is also in line with the Government of India’s National Education Policy (NEP-2020) that aims to continuously expand to meet the needs of enriched teaching-learning processes for quality education.