Life Skills Collaborative hosted a two-day engaging workshop in Maharashtra from December 7-8, 2021. The workshop, hosted at the Shantilal Muttha Foundation Office, Pune, introduced LSC’s Assessments tools to experts from 11 State Council of Educational Research and Training and District Institute of Education and Training.
Our collaborators – Shantilal Muttha Foundation, Centre for Science of Student Learning, Dream a Dream, The Teacher Foundation, International Center for Research on Women, and Sattva Consulting – made the Pune workshop a successful interaction for all those involved.
During the workshop, we received some interesting insights from different participants. They shared views on the need for life skills and the effectiveness of our Assessment tools.
Vikas Garad, Deputy Director, SCERT shared his views on the importance of life skills, “Life skills are essential to help a student become a good person and a good citizen. It is amazing that 18 organisations from different fields have come together to work on Life Skills in this collaborative and build assessment tools. It is very important for pedagogy and dialogue in the classroom to change and become conducive to developing Life Skills in students.”
On the learnings as well as the reflections from the workshop, one of the experts said, “We’ve worked on a lot of tool development processes, but the questions in this tool are made such that students don’t have to prepare for it and these were made very well for the Maharashtra context.”
The questions in the assessment tools received much appreciation. One expert shared a valuable observation. “When we cross check tools, we only look at questions and answers, but the kind of research and analysis that will be done after we get responses is something I learnt about.”
Discussion on Assessment Tools
Day 1 of the workshop began with an introduction to the Life Skills Collaborative and the work that is currently underway. We also introduced the India Glossary, it’s genesis, and relevance in the education and Life Skills space. We explained our partnership with Harvard EASEL and their involvement in the mapping of SEL frameworks in the Indian context on the Harvard EASEL India website. The Glossary introduction invited a lot of interesting questions on its use and application in schools. We wrapped the day by introducing the three assessment tools to the participants.
On Day 2, SCERT and DIET experts were split into three groups to review and discuss the three tools i.e. Future Readiness, Wellbeing, and Teacher tool. We received feedback from them on the language used in the tools and how we can better contextualise them for our stakeholders. There were dedicated group discussions on each of the items in the tools, bringing out valuable inputs and suggestions.
The 2-day workshop in Maharashtra ended with a debrief session with all the experts on their experience and the tools they reviewed.
LSC believes these assessment tools can be a powerful gateway to change how students develop life skills in India and help measure students’ outcomes on the key focus areas at different systemic levels.
Data Collection Exercise in Thane and Nashik
After the Pune workshop, our team carried out the data collection exercise with over 800 students in the districts of Thane and Nashik. Future readiness and Wellbeing tools were administered in schools. Students answered the questions within the time allotted and enjoyed answering them. Teachers and principals of the schools admired the tool questions and gave their inputs too.
All these inputs from the ground and experts will help us in further sharpening our Assessment tools.
"The educational systems should rely on three solid foundations: enhancing values, life skills, and formal educational curriculum. Each of these bases completes the other, none of them can stand on its own. "