Barve Nagar MPS is a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) English medium school in Mumbai. The school has both, primary and secondary sections. The total strength is about 500 students with 13 teachers. There are a sizeable number of first generation learners in the school. Mr Sanjay Chavan has been the Principal of the secondary section school for around five years. He began his journey of ISLI Fellowship in 2018.

Challenge faced by the School Leader

Like most BMC schools in Mumbai, the School Leader, Mr Chavan also faces a challenge of irregularities in student attendance, partially due to less invested parents. Though what is unacceptable for the School Leader is that even though the school is an English medium school, most students weren’t able to read or write in English. The School Leader decided to tackle the issue head-on with support from ISLI.

ISLI Intervention

Post the introduction of ISLI’s School Improvement and Development Plan (SIDP) template in the workshop, the ISLI Programme Manager and the School Leader had a discussion on how they could customise it to the BMC context. The BMC schools are expected to track student performance on 25 aspects like reading, writing, addition, subtraction, cleanliness, etc. Out of which the School Leader picked improvement in reading levels as one focus area based on the data highlighted for grade 3 students. During the in-school support, ISLI Programme Manager and School Leader brainstormed on the SIDP, identified strategies that can be utilised, assigned specific timelines to it, and discussed on how the grade 3 language teacher can monitor the progress.

School Leader, Mr Sanjay Chavan - Principal of the secondary section school

Steps taken

The School Leader did one-on-one conversations with the teacher to check for any challenges that she was facing and visited her classroom to check for progress in reading levels of the students. Even while creating the plan, the principal probed the teacher for ideas for improving the reading levels rather than imposing his own ideas.

Impact on teachers and students

The goal was to improve the reading level of at least 75% of the students in grade 3. By the end of the planned period, 80% of the students in grade 3 could read their grade level textbook. The class teacher and the language teacher worked together to implement the strategies in the classroom (flashcard reading, phonics, group work for reading, etc.). Both the School Leader and the teachers noticed that focusing on one aspect and creating an action plan with specific action steps and timelines leads to promising results.

Next steps

Post the analysis of the student’s end term results, the School Leader realised that the project was so successful. He encouraged every teacher in the school to create a plan for the next year with a focus area relevant to their classroom.

- Written by Swati Mohan, ISLI Programme Manager, Mumbai

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