Workshops for teachers could leave syllabus incomplete


 The Goa Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has begun an avalanche of workshops for teachers of the primary and upper primary sections of schools, in a bid to meet targets set by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, leaving most teachers unhappy as they have to sacrifice completion of syllabus ahead of the final examinations.
To allow teachers to attend these workshops, some schools close as early at 12noon these days since as many as seven to eight teachers from each school leave early to attend the workshops making it difficult for managements to conduct all classes. However this year, there is a marked improvement in meeting SSA targets over the previous year. 
“The previous year only 3% of the targets were reached. This year we will complete 80% of the targets– 65-70% for primary teachers and 90% for upper primary teachers,” Farrel Furtado the State Director of the SSA said. 
For the SSA targets mean giving each teacher ten days of training in a year on topics such as the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), Computer aided learning, preparation of school development plans and workshops in career training for the teachers. 
“We are training as many as possible,” Furtado said adding that it is mandatory for each primary and upper primary teacher to attend 10 days of training programme. 
However, the avalanche of workshops being held towards the end of the year has left the teachers unhappy since they have to complete portions before students go in for final examinations. 
“We are not against the holding of workshops. But February-March is not the time of the year to hold the workshops. During this time the teachers have to complete the portion, students are preparing for exams,” a teacher from Salcete told Herald.  
Furtado admitted that all the workshops got concentrated towards the end of the year, but said it was because their staff was busy with other activities. 
“We started holding the workshops only in September. The workshops are supposed to be an ongoing process. In July-August we were busy with the Shiksha Haq Abhiyan, community mobilization programmes, headmasters’ meet and other programmes,” she said. 
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan avails Rs one crore from the central government for the conducting its workshops, and which has to be utilized before March 31. 
According to Furtado, the previous year the Goa state got a rapped for its paltry achievements on the SSA front by the Centre. 
But the teachers say that the workshops are being held not with serious intentions, but just to show that the funds are being utilized. 
“They are holding workshops on topics such as “be-positive”, “be a step ahead” and others topics unrelated to teaching just to show that workshops are being held to claim the money,” the aggrieved teacher said claiming his view represented that of majority of the teachers who were made to attend the workshops being held these days.  [H]