It is now seven years since Elizabeth and I first went to India to visit some schools run by Operation Mercy (Mobilisation) India which were created for Dalit and Backward caste students. In that time, there has seen many successes and many failures. We have tried to establish a world class education system in very difficult circumstances with few resources, poorly trained teachers and massive cultural restrictions. Today I am noting that our work can never be finished but we are calling an end to it so that Indian educators can take charge of the systems and training that we have introduced and develop them further.
What we have been able to do is:
- train science teachers to use experiments and equipment in the teaching of science
- deliver professional learning for principals in educational management
- set descriptive standards for schools to achieve in 12 areas of schooling
- develop a school evaluation process against these standards
- train Indian educators in the evaluation process
- develop a Bible based moral education curriculum for Grades 1 to 10
- develop student workbooks for moral education for Grades 1 to 5
- develop teaching activities for teachers of moral education Grades 6 to 10
- develop achievement standards based on student work samples for English, Mathematics, Science, Hindi and Social Studies for Grades 1 to 10
- developed a training module and school presentation module on standards-referenced reporting
- train Indian presenters to deliver professional learning to 104 schools about the standards-referenced reporting
We have laid the best foundation possible and geared all our work to the culture of the Indian schools, but for it continue and develop the Indian officers must carry it forward. Over recent months I have been unwell with another two stents placed in my heart and complications from the operation for other parts of the body which threaten to recur through long air travel.
If our health holds out, we will visit again but the work is finished. We want to thank those who have encouraged us, prayed for us and those who have given funds for the work. We have been self funded and the work we have done in India was at no cost to OM India but we appreciated the gifts including from TCFNSW which brought hope to individuals and families in particularly difficult situations.
John and Elizabeth Gore