CHINA’S WAY IN ELT CLASSROOMS

CHINA’S WAY IN ELT CLASSROOMS

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ACTIVITY-BASED LEARNING IN GILGIT BALTISTAN
ACTIVITY-BASED LEARNING IN GILGIT BALTISTAN

سردار تنویر الیاس کے ساتھ سیاسی شخصیات کی ملاقاتیں جاری، بانی صدر پی ٹی آئی ڈاکٹر لطف الرحمان نے بھی ناراض کارکنوں سمیت کندھے سے کندھا ملا دیا۔
اسلام آباد( اڑان نیوز ) پاکستان تحریک انصاف کے سینئر رہنماء و وزیر اعلیٰ پنجاب کے معاون خصوصی سردار تنویر الیاس خان سے آزاد کشمیر کی مختلف سیاسی شخصیات کی ملاقاتوں کا سلسلہ جاری ہے، پی ٹی آئی آزادکشمیر کے بانی صدر ڈاکٹر لطف الرحمان نے بھی سردار تنویر الیاس خان سے ملاقات کرتے ہوئے اپنے ساتھیوں سمیت ان پر اپنے اعتماد کا اظہار کرتے ہوئے ملکر پارٹی مضبوط کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا ہے۔ سردار تنویر الیاس خان نے ڈاکٹر لطف الرحمان کی پارٹی کیلئے خدمات کو سراہتے ہوئے کہا کہ اب وہ وقت آ گیا ہے کہ پارٹی کے بنیادی و نظریاتی کارکنان اپنی جدوجہد مزید تیز کریں اور پارٹی کو الیکشن کیلئے نمبر ون پارٹی بنائیں۔ ڈاکٹر لطف الرحمان نے کہا کہ چیئرمین عمران خان نے آپ پر اعتماد کرتے ہوئے آزادکشمیر میں سیاسی کردار کیلئے منتخب کیا ہے ہم آپ کو خوش آمدید کہتے ہیں۔ سردار تنویر الیاس خان نے کہا کہ وزیر اعظم عمران خان نے پاکستان میں کرپٹ مافیا پر ہاتھ ڈالا ہے تو ان سب کی چیخیں نکل گئی ہیں، پاکستان میں ترقی اور تبدیلی کا سفر کامیابی سے جاری ہے۔ موجودہ پی ٹی آئی حکومت نے غریبوں کا احساس کرتے ہوئے سب کو بلا تخصیص ہیلتھ کارڈ جاری کرنے شروع کیے ہیں، ایسے اقدامات ہی فلاحی معاشروں کو پروان چڑھاتے ہیں۔ سردار تنویر الیاس خان نے کہا کہ آزادکشمیر میں عمران خان کی بنیادی و نظریاتی کارکنان اور رہنماء نے مشکل سیاسی حالات کا سامنا جرات کے ساتھ کیا ، ہم تمام پارٹی کارکنان کو عزت دیں گے اور ساتھ لیکر چلیں گے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ موجودہ وقت کا تقاضا ہے کہ پارٹی کو جنگی بنیادوں پر مضبوط کیا جائے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ پی ٹی آئی سمیت جو بھی لوگ آزادکشمیر کے لوگوں کی اور ریاست کی بہتری کیلئے کام کرنا چاہتے ہیں وہ پی ٹی آئی کی چھتری تلے آ جائیں، ہم سب ملکر آزادکشمیر کو بدلیں گے۔ انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ پارٹی رہنماؤں اور کارکنان کی اس وقت صرف ایک ہی تریح ہونی چاہیے کہ پارٹی میں صاف شفاف لوگ زیادہ سے زیادہ شامل ہو سکیں ۔

A great attention was given to TBLT in EFL classrooms in the recent years (Zheng, 2008) in China especially in mainland China. How TBLT was used and its applications were benefitted. There were many researches which were kept in mind in this regard. The level from primary to tertiary was kept in mind (e. g. Li, 2005; Qian, 2008; Wen, 2009; Wu, 2011; Xiao & Pan, 2009). But out of all those some were of great importance that had explored TBLT in school’s classrooms. These studies had been investigated by the teachers who were supposed to teach and they focus on their issues that constrained the implementation of TBLT in their classrooms. These studies highlighted the facts about teaching too. The implementation of TBLT was affected by the beliefs of the teachers. The context factors in China were different as compared to other areas of the world. Language proficiency level needs availability of resources in the rigid national examination system. Everything was fine except what was lacking in them was a more comprehensive picture how teachers had to across varying instructional levels to implement government-mandated and task-based language teaching.

Activity-based Learning / Teaching is considered a comprehensive approach to classroom teaching and learning. In this teaching style the students were kept busy in investigating of authentic problems that create hurdles in the way of learning environment. According to an article, there was an argument in it why projects had the potential to help people in their learning process. It was indicated in this article, that there are some of the factors in activity that affect motivation and thoughts, examine difficulties that students and teachers may encounter with activity based teaching and learning. It described how technology supported the students and teachers as they work on activities.

A study revealed in the domain of teaching and learning as a result of Whole School Improvement Programme. These include the teachers, the teachers plan their lessons with clear objectives and activities in their minds, and they reflected them on their executed lessons to find strengths, shortcomings and limitations. They gad some alternatives to overcome those limitations and shortcomings. They were applying activity- based methods in teaching and learning process. The environment that was created for them was a conducive learning environment. They involved their students in teaching and learning process with this method. They were also enriching the curriculum by using low-cost, no-cost and existing resources in their schools to develop students’ relational understanding and for student-centered teaching instead of teacher learning atmosphere. Head teachers of different schools were very supportive in using activity- based learning and teaching. That’s why through these practices teachers and students changed their behavior towards teaching and learning process and enforced participative approaches in their classroom teaching.  There were some of the factors which supported the change from lecture to activity-based teaching and in both sample schools and also there were some the factors that were creating hindrance in both types of schools. Furthermore, some other factors that these changes were noticed not only in the practices of head teachers, teachers but also among the students in teaching and learning practices in favour of activity-based teaching in which they learn a lot with speed.

2.8 ACTIVITY-BASED TEACHING IN PAKISTAN

According to a study, it is the duty and responsibility of every school that it has to bring improvement is the most powerful tools to improve the quality of education in the field of education.  The importance of school improvement was recognised all over the world today. The improvement was brought particularly in the developing countries because these countries are having and meeting many challenges in their education field and plan. The developing countries had many issues with human resources and also in their infrastructure.

The monitoring and evaluating system in these countries and the proper use of available and valuable resources are not satisfactory and up to the mark. This is main reason of low quality of education in developing countries. The Education Systems in these countries and under developing had experienced tremendous changes and expansion over the last three decades of education. In developing countries many such reforms had been implemented to increase the access and improvement of the quality of their education and that is Universal Primary Education, Early Childhood Education, Education for All, and Nai Roshni (literally meaning new horizon) in Pakistan, all these were the systems used in their educational institutes. But unfortunately the most of these reforms had been failed. These Transition from Lecture method to Activity-Based Method through whole School Improvement in Gilgit Baltistan. Pakistan had tried many reforms and were implemented in a fragmented way or without building the capacity to maintain and sustain them. Now they are improving their learning and teaching methodology.

One of the main reasons for the relative failure of the educational reforms, despite their good intentions and excellent content in many cases, was the implementation of single change programmes or lack of integration of many programs initiated in schools and so on. There were many plans and desires for bringing positive change in educational system, are often guided by powerful ideas and ambitions but only rarely is attention paid to the need to build capacity education system and learning. To implement these ideas and develop the skills and attitude of the implementers in the course of action is much needed. Resultantly, the quality of education had been suffered at all levels from primary, secondary to tertiary level.

Most of the educationists acknowledge that without the focus on capacity development or internal conditions of the school, there is a need of innovative work to marginalize these out dated methods and problems of new system of education. Many researches had shown that the internal capacity of schools become helpful in sustaining reform of the school. Having these ideas in view and mind Aga Khan University-Professional Development Centre North started a Whole School Improvement Program in different districts of the Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) specially, aiming to enhance the quality of teaching/learning process.

2.8.1 ACTIVITY-BASED LEARNING IN GILGIT BALTISTAN

The purpose and process of change should in the notice of every one. To achieve the desired goals and objectives of (WISP) whole school improvement program, different initiatives had been taken such as the teacher professional development was considered very vital tool to enhance Transition from          lecture -based to activity-based learning and teaching through whole School Improvement in Gilgit Baltistan too.

Teachers should change lecture-based teaching and also their teaching and learning-based teaching for quality of teaching and learning and students learning outcomes. Learning strategies to activity-based teaching strategies and this change of teachers teaching practices enhanced students learning outcomes. Willis, (1996) says, activity-based teaching is a goal-oriented task where learners “solve a problem, do puzzles, play a games, or share and compare their experiences”        (p. 53). Activity-based teaching is learning through experiences where learners actively improve and play their knowledge as they interact with their environment (Vygotsky, 1978). Similarly, Piaget (1977) says, “Knowledge is bound to action”. He explained that children act on objects and this action provides knowledge about those very objects. In this way the children know and construct the meaning or knowledge of the world very easily by the help of activity designed by their teachers.

Good method of education is that process in which students’ explore their potential and help them to learn themselves conceptually. It is only possible when teachers introduce activity-based teaching in the classrooms because activity-based teaching allows the students to think and share their knowledge and understanding with their peers and other classmates and even with their teachers very easily. During Whole School Improvement Program Professional Development teachers advocated activity-based teaching because initiating activities in the classroom is most important factor for students learning. But in the project schools at the beginning, the teachers were not used to have and use activity-based teaching. A Professional Development Teacher (PDT) said, “Teachers were only using traditional methods of teaching/learning and considering themselves as only source of knowledge but now they are doing different activities in the classrooms”.

A teacher, Nizamuddin, said that before Whole School Improvement Program, they had been teaching their classes in traditional methods in their classrooms. They had been only lecturing and considered students as empty vessels. Due to this reason they were using lecture-based teaching method and strategy to teach and train them before Whole School Improvement Supporting lesson planning. Another experienced teacher said, “Before WSIP we were planning our lessons which were long and in detail and our lesson plans were mostly lecture based and teacher centered. We were writing whole content of the topic from text books, but how to write brief, precise, activity based and child centered lesson plans, we learnt in WSIP”.

The same was also observed by PDT at the initial stage and said: “Some of teachers were planning very long lecture based teacher centered lesson plans. They were writing the whole text related to the topic from text books instead of devising activities to engage students in the classroom”. Writing long lesson plans was the tradition of the school where teachers were supposed to write every step in the plan which made the teachers exhausted and teachers were no more interested in planning. Commenting on the long plans Zuhra said, “Before WSIP we used to write long and abstract objectives because we did not know how to write objectives and what these objectives are for and how to set activities to achieve these objectives”.

According to the researcher Nizamuddin, a very experienced teacher, he observes and also supports the comments that teachers were not comfortable in writing lesson plans because of its long nature and it was time consuming for them to draw and made lesson plans. They were articulating whole text of lecture in their plan. According to him a good and train teacher plan his/ her lesson in his/her mind and then formulates his / her activities according to the need, caliber and level of the class and students.

A single activity cannot be used in every class. They were developing lessons for their personal benefits not for students learning. And this is not very helpful in the learning process. He said, “We had in our mind that we have to plan 350 lessons, and people from Field Office will come, count them and on the basis of the numbers they would appraise us”. Similarly, PDT B said, “Some of the experienced teachers were just articulating their objectives without devising activities and allocate a number to the lesson plan. Teachers were just trying and focusing to complete the given target of lesson plans in numbers.

According to Nizamuddin, classroom observation confirms that teachers design innovative activities looking at their objectives, and they also develop resources as a result of WSIP. Qamar, another very dedicated and experienced teacher said, “Before attending WSIP we were running school but we were not aware of how to engage students effectively in activities to enhance their learning. WSIP helped us to learn about the teaching methodology particularly activity based teaching”. The overall purpose of WSIP was sensitizing teachers towards effective teaching and learning. The focus was on how much student’s learn in the classroom, for effective teaching/learning lesson planning is critical and teachers need to develop lesson plans. In a focused group interview a student commented that Transition from Lecture -Based method of teaching/learning to Activity-Based method of teaching/learning through whole School Improvement in