By Dee Keane
CCE is currently involved in the fourth year of a long term education intervention in Lahore, Pakistan in partnership with the Care Foundation and Alif Laila Book Bus (AL) and last year that project reached 95 schools. Together they’ve introduced new ways of working in schools which have succeeded in shifting the focus of both the school leadership and teachers to enable a new and innovative way of working which has not only enhanced opportunities for creative learning but also resulted in improvements in test and attendance results.
I, along with CCE’s Chief Executive, Paul Collard and Director of Programmes Di Fisher-Naylor, have worked closely with CARE and AL over the whole of this period and I took my second work related trip to Lahore to spend time with and support the CARE project management team in delivering training to the new batch of teachers and artists for 2018-19. The training followed tried and tested practice from our Creative Partnerships (CP) programme but as always was tailored to meet the needs of the individual country. However, having said that, I’d also say that the similarities in the challenges and concerns teachers and artists face in every country is always very obvious.
The teachers and artists participating in the training were engaged and present from the start and most of them soon lost any shyness that they may have had at the beginning, accepting that if they couldn’t take risks then how could they ask and expect their students to? The one thing that was immediately noticeable about this training compared to past courses was the speed with which most of the participants were able to identify aspects of the High Functioning Classroom (HFC) and the Habits of Mind (HoM) along with their ability to adapt them in small ways to their Curriculum. I think that this is down to a number of factors including the depth that CP is percolating through CARE as an organisation in general, including their Area Managers who had already delivered some training to schools throughout their schools areas.
The difficulties and time taken (some had travelled up to 2 hours to get to the training sessions) by some of the participants to get to the training became clear as time went on much to their obvious frustration. However, by the end of the training, and even though it was taking even longer for them to get to and from the training, with parts of Lahore being brought to a virtual standstill with lots of animals being driven in for Eid, they were happy and energised with a number of them determined to try out new techniques from Monday rather than wait for the project to start in October!
I was also there for Pakistan Independence Day, which was exhilarating and wonderful to be part of. I’ve never seen a city so alive with colour, energy and pride in their country.
I also took the opportunity to catch up with the Alif Laila team while I was in Lahore, whose plans are scheduled to roll out later but are as always impressive in scope and ambition.
At the end of the last academic year, we were able to obtain attainment and attendance data relating to the classes in all 95 schools who had participated in the programme. Two operational models were deployed in CARE schools. Overall in CARE Model 1 schools, the average score achieved by students in the intervention subject rose 13 points from 59% to 72%. Average attendance rose from 80% to 94%. In Care Schools Model 2, the average pass rate of the class rose from 73% to 87% and average attendance rose from 83% to 90%. In Alif Laila Schools, the average score achieved by students in the intervention subject rose from 65% to 75% while attendance rose from 71% to 79%. In all cases the test scores are taken from standardised assessment, being use across all the schools, which are marked by a teacher other than the class teacher.
“CCE has transformed the students’ experiences of schooling and has provided them with an opportunity to be imaginative, inventive and inquisitive by introducing creative learning within the classes.”
Seema Aziz, Founder, CARE Foundation, Pakistan