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Training Programme for Teachers - Organized by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia in Collaboration with the Faculty of Christian Education and Sports Management of St. John's College, (5 Days From 7th to 11th August 2017)

On 23rd February 2017, Rev. Dr. V. Maher. Spurgeon Nesapandian (M.A., M.A (Eco.), M.Phil., M.Th., Ph.D), Chaplain and Regional Programme Consultant for South Asia programs and Vice President for Programs, Dr. Wai Ching Angela Wong visited St. John’s College. They were both representative of the United Board that was instrumental in admitting four Displaced School Children from St. John’s to Madras Christian College in August 2016.

The duo had a meeting with the Principal, the Rev. N.J.Gnanaponrajah. The meeting was aimed at understanding Sri Lanka’s higher education landscape and enriching the educational experience of students.

The discussion was based mainly on three program areas: leadership development for higher education; faculty development for enhanced teaching and learning; community partnerships. The discussion also centred on helping educators to increase the effectiveness of their teaching. The need to design and implement programs that enable students to connect their classroom learning to the needs of communities and Peace Education were also discussed.

At this meeting the Principal suggested, ‘Instead of inviting 8 teachers from the North to India to attend workshops, 8 resource persons from India can come to Jaffna and conduct workshops for numerous teachers. The number of beneficiaries will be much higher this way.’ The representatives agreed it was a good idea. After a little deliberation, it was decided to send some resource persons from India to have workshops in Jaffna soon after the school closes for the second term in August.
As planned in February, 7 resource persons from India came to Jaffna on the evening of 5th August 2017 and conducted a series of leadership workshops from 7th August to 11th August 2017 (Monday to Friday).

94 teachers participated; 23 from Chundikuli Girls’ College, Jaffna, 9 from Mowbray College, Kandy, 4 from Nuffield School, Jaffna, 5 from St Patrick’s College, Jaffna, 9 from Jaffna College, Vaddukkoddai, 19 from Uduvil Girls’ College and 25 from St. John’s College The teachers were divided into two groups – Arts and Science and the sessions were conducted in parallel.

A summary of the programmes that were aimed at developing the whole person – intellectually, spiritually, and ethically, is given below.

 

 

Arts Group

Day – 1: August 7
• Presentation on Communication Skills by Dr. Jeyakar Chellaraj
• Presentation on Microteaching Skills by Dr. W.S. Bawani
Day – 2: August 8
• Presentation on Teaching Methods by Dr.P. Nithila Devakarunyam
• Presentation on Whole Person Education by Dr. M. Spurgeon
Day – 3: August 9
• Presentation on Human Relations by Dr. M. Spurgeon
• Presentation on Understanding Students by Fr. Xavier Alphonse
Day – 4: August 10
• Presentation on Classroom Management by Dr. Jeyakar Chellaraj
• Presentation on Soft skills Training by Fr. Xavier Alphonse
Day – 5: August 11
• Presentation on Evaluation by Mrs. J.Jasmine
• Presentation on Effective Teaching by Dr. Spurgeon

Science Group

Day – 1: August 7
• Presentation on Whole Person Education by Dr. M. Spurgeon
• Presentation on Teaching Methods by Dr.P. Nithila Devakarunyam
Day – 2: August 8
• Presentation on Microteaching Skills by Dr. W.S. Bawani
• Presentation on Understanding Students by Fr. Xavier Alphonse
Day – 3: August 9
• Presentation on Communication Skills by Dr. Jeyakar Chellaraj
• Presentation on Human Relations by Dr. M. Spurgeon
Day – 4: August 10
• Presentation on Soft skills Training by Fr. Xavier Alphonse
• Presentation on Evaluation by Mrs. J.Jasmine
Day – 5: August 11
• Presentation on Effective Teaching by Dr. Spurgeon
• Presentation on Classroom Management by Dr. Jeyakar Chellaraj

Towards the end, the United Board got a feedback for the following questions:
• What was the most useful aspect of this Training Program?
• What topic(s) were not covered in the training that you would like to know more about?
• Please suggest other topics/themes for future programs in Sri Lanka.
• Please comment on arrangements and logistics provided for this training program.

The five-day Training Programme for Teachers organized by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia in collaboration with the Faculty of Christian Education and Sports Management of St. John's College, Jaffna was deemed extremely useful by all the participants. The high turnout at these workshops during the August vacation speaks volumes of how effective they must have been!

The valediction was on Friday, 11th Aug 2017 at 2:15 p.m. The session that began with a Prayer Song “];Njhj;jpuk; ,NaR ehjh,” was followed by the Welcome Address by the Principal, the Rev. N.J. Gnanaponrajah.

The Principal extended a cordial welcome, thanked all the attendees for participating in the five-day programme with a lot of enthusiasm and invited the resource persons on stage to receive small tokens of appreciation

A representative from every school was invited to share their feedback. All the seven feedbacks received were very positive and heartening.

He thanked the Principal of St. John’s College who had organized everything with meticulous care at this end. He thanked everyone for their active participation and said he was pleased that everyone found the session to be useful.

Next was the distribution of certificates by the resources persons from India.The Vote of Thanks by the Vice Principal, Mr. A. Harry Gnanarajan and the Prayer & Benediction by the Rev. V. Daniel Jeyaruban brought the leadership programme to an end. A teacher who attended this workshop was overheard by the Editor, saying, ‘This is one workshop I wish hadn’t ended so soon!’

According to the United Board’s website, ‘The Board helps to develop institutions that offer multidisciplinary education and that nurture a spirit of compassion, equity, reconciliation, social responsibility, and mutual respect among religious and cultural traditions.’ The United Board came forward to help St. John’s. Hence it goes without saying that St. John’s possesses all the virtues listed above…thanks to all the well-wishers who helped to give the world this image of St. John’s…

 



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