Literature training for govt schoolteachers

Premji Foundation will train 40 instructors in unique project

Shwetha Domnic and Suganya Srinivas Bengaluru: Many of us read works of literature, but how many can grasp the nuances and subtle meanings they convey?

Forget lay readers, even teachers of literature are not quite well-versed. To address this shortcoming, the Azim Premji Foundation has launched a project called ‘Teachers as Readers’. To begin with, it has selected 40 teachers from various government schools in Bengaluru for a training programme of sorts that aims to help them improve their understanding and teaching of literature.

“Most teachers that we have encountered over the course of our work are not consistent readers themselves. The power, beauty and magic of literature have not touched their lives, for the most part; or, if it has, the environment has possibly not been conducive to maintaining a rich relationship with literature. Teachers cannot bring the power of literature to other lives, when their own lives are untouched by it,” the Foundation said in a statement to Deccan Herald.

As part of the project, the selected teachers will attend forums and workshops to be conducted by the Foundation over five to six months. Afterwards, they will work in small groups to read and discuss and talk about short stories, poetry, short plays and children’s literature in Kannada or English. 

Anitha, who teaches at the Government Higher Primary School in Dommasandra, hoped the project would help keep Kannada language and literature alive. The training and discussion will also help in better grammar and vocabulary, she said.

“Over the next few months, we will engage with different forms and genres of literature. We realise that we cannot reach out to all the children at the same time. This programme is therefore a way to reach them through their teachers. When teachers themselves become good readers they will appreciate its value and pass on the same to their students,” said S V Manjunath, head, Karnataka State Institute, Azim Premji Foundation.

S V Manjunath, head, Karnataka State Institute, Azim Premji Foundation: This programme is a way to reach out to students through their teachers. When teachers themselves become good readers they will appreciate its value.

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