A partnership for mutual learning

Twinning concept under NEP already piloted by Pratham Mysore and 3 schools are implementing it

The proposed initiative in the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 of twinning/pairing a government school with a private school to enhance cooperation, learn from each other and share resources where possible, has a forerunner in a similar move already in vogue in Mysuru district since nearly an year.

The objective of the twinning as enunciated under the NEP is to document, share and emulate best practices of the private school in public or government schools and vice versa.

Pratham Mysore, an NGO involved in the field of education, has piloted a ‘twinning’ programme since early 2019 and 3 schools are already implementing it.

Ashwini Ranjan, who is the founder trustee of Pratham Mysore, said the programme was to expose students of government schools to certain best practices in education including computer skills. For students from the privileged section, it was to help imbibe a sense of social responsibility from an early age.

He said the inclusion of the the ‘twinning’ programme in the NEP is now a validation of Pratham’s ideas implemented by a Mysuru-based private school (Excel Public School) by pairing with a government school in Manche Gowdana Koppal.

Methodology

Explaining the methodology of the initiative and the groundwork that went into it, Mr. Ashwini Ranjan said a preliminary assessment of the shortlisted government and private schools was made to evaluate the aspirations of the children and teachers to ensure a proper match.

From the government school, children of class 5, 6 and 7 were chosen for the programme and from the private school, students selected were from Classes 9 and 10 so that older kids could display greater empathy and patience in dealing with younger kids of the government school.

Pratham Mysore ensured that the programme’s objectives – to teach the government school children to improve conversational English, computer skills and interpersonal skills – were clearly communicated to all the stakeholders.

Students of the paired schools would meet at their respective institutions once a week and engage in various activities including playing games and learning computer skills.

Mr. Ashwini Ranjan said after an year, there is a visible change in students from the government school as their aspirations have changed and their horizons, broadened. In the case of the private school students, there is a greater sense of empathy which is expected to make them more responsible to the society. Students from the paired schools have developed a bonding and are in touch with each other, according to Mr. Ashwini Ranjan.

K.G. Mathew, Principal, Excel Public School, which took forward the twinning programme, said the institute would continue its association with the paired school and added that interaction with his students indicated a change in their social sensitivity and responsibility.

Mr. Ashwini Ranjan said other NGOs, including a few from Rajasthan, have expressed interest in the concept and Pratham Mysore was keen to share its learning and outcome so as to spread the concept. In future, this could also result in sharing of resources where possible, he added.

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