TODAY -

Transforming education in Manipur

Sonny Chungkham *



In Manipur, a silent revolution is underway in Government schools. In 2022, the Manipur Education Department's Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan introduced the STAR Education Program as a component of the Chief Minister's School Fagathansi Mission.

Its mission ? To revolutionize teaching and learning in Government schools across Manipur. The vision was visionary and long term: to elevate teaching standards, enhance learning outcomes, and ensure equitable access to quality education for all students.

STAR Education is a part of CM's School Fagathansi Mission under the Government of Manipur. Key Components of the program are 360-Degree Support Teams, Technology Platform Empowerment, Teacher Tablet Integration, Global Benchmarking, Teacher Trainings & Empowerment, and Continuous Monitoring & Feedback.

The STAR Education Program: A Visionary Approach of the Manipur Government

Since its inception, STAR Education has yielded remarkable results. Starting with 253 Government schools under its wing, the program was successfully implemented for 24,290 students and 1,172 teachers in 16 districts. The Manipur Government and the Education Department continue to assess the implementation of the program. Just within the first 18 weeks of implementation, the program showed significant progress in learning outcomes among students in STAR-supported Government schools.

According to the Midline Survey done last year, schools under the program have experienced an almost 4x acceleration in fluency outcomes compared to the status quo. Numeracy skills also increased by 8%, surpassing schools not utilising the STAR Education teaching methodology. Moreover, enrollment in schools under the STAR Education program has increased by 45% within the same timeframe.

Building on this success, the STAR Education program will expand to an additional 108 schools, spreading its impact far and wide.

The Samagra Shiksha initiative STAR Education Program is not just a story of success in Manipur; it is a blueprint for educational reform worldwide. Its impact transcends borders, reminding us of the transformative power of education in shaping societies and empowering students. The program is locally contextualised and globally benchmarked to ensure students are set up for a globally competitive future.

Each Headmaster/Mistress is supplied with a smartphone synchronized with digital teaching guides, facilitating access to daily lesson plans. With tablets in hand, teachers can now access planned guides that are tailored to each class and grade, offering carefully designed lessons that cater to the unique learning needs and developmental stages of students at various academic levels.

Also critical to STAR Education's success is the emphasis on monitoring, feedback, and coaching, creating a continuous improvement cycle in classrooms. Furthermore, district-level supervisors and tech support teams offer steadfast assistance, empowering schools to overcome challenges effectively.

This commitment to transforming the State's education system is evident in the constant monitoring of learning outcomes, a fundamental pillar of STAR Education.

Teachers' Induction Training: Empowering Teachers and Headmasters STAR Education believes in the power of well-trained and supported teachers. The approach is simple yet profound: offer consistent and expert training and support to teachers and headmasters, empowering them to deliver effective lessons, monitor student progress, and create engaging learning experiences.

STAR Education's training methodology is grounded in the science of learning and shaped by global insights acquired over a decade. The multi-day intensive training sessions are meticulously designed to equip government teachers with essential tools, technology, and techniques tailored to Manipur's educational landscape.

The first training for the induction of teachers into the program is the Teachers' Induction Training, a transformative journey for educators.

Till 2023, more than 1300 teachers and 270 headmasters have been trained. This year, as part of the program expansion, over 600 teachers and headmasters from 154 Govern- ment schools across 11 districts of Manipur have undergone Teachers' Induction Training, 2024, Wave 1.

In this first wave of Induction training held from 30th January to 9th February, the participating Government schools were from the following districts : Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Kakching, Ukhrul, Tameng-long, Kamjong, Noney, Tengnoupal, Senapati.

During the course of the Induction Training, the Zonal Education Officers of Imphal East, Imphal West, Kamjong, Bishnupur, and Thoubal interacted with the teachers and expressed optimism about the positive impact the Teachers' Induction Training will have on the teachers.

Additionally, representatives from the Education Department and Additional Director, Sama-gra Shiksha, Smt. Khumuk- cham Renuka Devi paid a visit to the training site, further demonstrating the Govt's commitment to the betterment of Govt schools. Their words of encouragement and support serve as a source of inspiration for educators and students alike, reaffirming the importance of collaborative efforts in driving positive change in the education sector.

The graduation ceremony held at Kamakhya Pemton College, Hiyangthang, was a celebration of the dedication of these educators. 470+ Teachers and 130+ Headmasters graduated from the 10-Day Training on the 9th of February 2024. They are now equipped to implement the STAR Education Program in their respective schools.

Distinguished dignitaries graced the occasion, namely, chief guest L Nandakumar Singh, Director of Education (S) GoM, also including honorable guests: Dr Wahengbam Nimai Singh, Principal, KP College, Sujatha Muthayya, VP, Policy and Partnerships, NewGlobe, and Renuka Khumukcham, ASPD, Samagra Shiksha, Director of Education (S) GoM.

Certificates were presented to participating teachers and headmasters, marking the successful completion of the Teachers' Induction Training program. Over 100 smart- phones and 700 tablets were distributed to the teachers reflecting the program's commitment to empowering teachers with technology-enabled teaching tools.

The need for better Government schools: A call to action

The Government of Manipur's dedication to improving education standards Statewide is evident in the successful culmination of the Teachers' Induction Training, which is the first step into the program. This initiative emphasizes the Government's commitment to elevating the quality of education in Government schools.

As we celebrate the achievements of this program, we are reminded of the pressing need for better Government schools in Manipur. While significant progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. A proven system-wide program such as STAR Education works across geographies delivering rapid yet radical results and at scale.

Standardizing improved quality of education enables us to deliver impactful results on a large scale, potentially propelling Manipur into a league of its own among other Indian states. This transformation not only promises to elevate Manipur's education system but also forecasts a significant boost in the State's GDP growth if we can effectively sustain these improvements over time.

It is evident that better learning methodology can produce better learning outcomes for students. And when students are better educated, the economy benefits significantly.


* Sonny Chungkham wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The Writer is Director of Policy & Partnerships, STAR Education
This article was webcasted on February 14 2024.



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