It is the new initiative of BRAC to develop trained English teachers into trainers. It is based on the theory of “The mother who gives birth to a child knows best the pain of childbirth”. This initiative has sparked hope and enthusiasm among the rural secondary English teachers. To speak the truth, we have discovered the hidden potentialities among these teachers who received training from BRAC. These teachers dared not speak English before the audience before receiving training but now they have started speaking English and in this way, they have started exposing their hidden talents which can be utilized in the greater interest of the nation. This is not a mere talk but can be implanted very practically.

Post Primary Basic And Continuing Education (PACE) Programme has so far trained twenty-eight hundred Rural Secondary English Teachers. Out of these teachers, ninety teachers have been so far (July 2005) identified as potential teachers on the basis of their speaking ability with accuracy, subject knowledge, familiarity with training materials, attitude and behaviour and length of service.

PACE imparts English training to the rural secondary teachers by its Head Office staffs who are masters in English having teaching background in reputed educational institutions at home and abroad, Field level Teachers Trainer who are also masters in English having some professional training and RTs ( Resource Trainers) who are invited from different colleges and universities but they are to undergo special training to be acquainted with the BRAC training materials. Now BRAC has decided to pick up trainers from the trained teachers of secondary level. The headmasters of some schools have warmly congratulated the step of the BRAC and they feel proud of their teachers. Of course, some teachers have shown a little bit of a cold attitude as they think their better teachers will be taken up by BRAC. Actually, the case is not that, BRAC will employ those teachers only when they are free and absolutely on the consent of the headmasters.

So far three batches of teachers numbering ninety have been identified as potential teachers. The first batch was given a TOT (Training Of Trainers) at Rajendrapur BCDM ( BRAC Centre for Development and Management)  and ten teachers have been graded into A who are now serving in different TARCs as co-trainers. During their serving as co-trainers, they are paid as per BRAC rule which is somewhat greater than that of a trainee. After the completion of this responsibility, they will be given a special orientation to be conducted by a foreign consultant named Andrew Morris who is an expert in this line. On successful completion of their TOTs, they will be assimilated as full trainers and their remuneration will be just like other full trainers.

This initiative has sparked enthusiasm among the teachers as they have got this sort of opportunities for the first time in their lives. Undoubtedly it is an excellent opportunity for them to show their sleeping talents and we have got the opportunity to utilize the sleeping and latent qualities of the rural secondary teachers in the broader perspective of the nation. We like to bring them into the limelight of the nation and mainstream teachers of the country. The teachers of city schools and better educational institutions enjoy all sorts of opportunities offered by the government and society. Whereas the rural teachers remain neglected throughout their lives living away from cities. They cannot contribute to the decision making process of education in the country and the broader perspective of the nation. This is ventilation for them to expose their qualities.

Teachers are responding very positively. in the first batch, we invited thirty teachers to receive too.  Objectives to develop the best teachers into trainers:

1. To develop the professional skills of secondary school English teachers.
2. To make a real bridge between training and teaching. In other words, from theory to practice.
3. To make the training more pragmatic and participatory (as the teachers are more involved in teaching and they know better the syllabus and psychology of the secondary level students)
4. To build up their confidence.
5. To encourage them to be more involved in training, learning and teaching activities.
6. To expand their horizon of the working arena.
7. To create a real environment to share the real experience of teaching.

Criteria to select best teachers

1. Formative and summative assessment
2. Report on the observation of TTs/RTs.
3. Academic background ( those who studied  English as a compulsory or special  subject
4. Report of the respective Head Masters
5. Reports from the students.
6. Reports of POs
7. Through filling up a questionnaire
8. Taking a viva-voce test/assessing their ability to communicate in English.
9. Observing classes in the original situation.
10. Participation in the Teacher’s Development Forum/role in the Teacher’s   Development Forum

Tools to develop them

1. Arranging special training/orientation session (three/four days)
2. Arranging classes to be conducted by them in better schools
3. Engaging them in micro-training sessions
4. Holding regular sessions/experience sharing sessions/meetings with them.
5. Arranging different competitions (debate/ essay competition etc.)
6. Encouraging and involving them more in the activities of Teachers’ Development Forum.
7. Involving them as co-trainer with better RTs.
8. Arranging special TOT

About the author

Masum Billah

Masum Billah works as an Education Expert in the BRAC Education Program, BRAC, and President of the English Teachers' Association of Bangladesh (ETAB), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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