ISLAMABAD: KOULU Education Group and Train2Impact started a first ever early childhood education (ECE) teacher training from Finland in Islamabad, Pakistan. Teachers, coordinators and management from four renowned private schools –Froebel’s International School, Headstart School, Lahore Grammar School and The City School– attended the contact days from 24th to 27th March 2017. The second part, 15 weeks of online learning and practical assignments, will start from April 3rd. The contact days were organised at one of the Headstart’s campuses is Islamabad.
KOULU’s and Train2Impact’s aims is that, at the end of the programme, the teachers and managers will have the tools to develop their teaching environments and pedagogy. During the contact days, the participants learned for example about child agency, ECE learning environment and language immersion. These concepts were also considered as the highlights of the programme so far.
How can the Finnish style work in Pakistan?
The participants were eager to learn about the world-famous Finnish education system. However, the question remained: will it work in Pakistan?
It will not – at least, not as such. It is all a matter of adaptation. The first step is to learn the backdrop of the Finnish system and the reasons why these approaches work in the Finnish context. The second step is application of the approaches to the Pakistani environment. In this phase, the participants have an active role; they are guided in finding ways to apply what they have learned into their own teaching environment.
Humarah Khalid, IB PYP from Lahore Grammar School understood this perfectly when stating that “I feel that some of the practices that we have come across today do not align with our culture, our mindset and the mindset of some of the parents, and our state requirements. Having done the course, and learning everything that I have learned, there is nothing stopping us from aligning Finnish ideology into our own teaching practices because the theories are backed by science and they work. And having studied their cause we can see evidence that they work.”
The result: a Finnish-Pakistani co-creation
The result will be a co-creation by Finnish and Pakistani experts. And, most importantly, a co-creation between the Pakistani experts. Peer learning is a key factor of the programme. There is no better expert of the local environment that the participants themselves. That is why, during the programme, the participants are encouraged to work to together: to do joint experimenting, to discuss methods and approaches and to brainstorm new ideas.
“This is exactly what I was expecting: that we are here together learning from each other’s experiences”, states Fareeha Khalid, teacher of Headstart.
In fact, according to the participants, another highlight of the programme was the creation of a peer learning network. Many of them were happy to meet and share the days with teachers from other schools. The supportive atmosphere was especially appreciated.
On April 3rd, the programme continues with 15 weeks of online learning in a participatory online environment. During the online weeks, the participants will deepen their understanding of the pedagogies and, most importantly, get to apply them in their teaching environment and continue co-creating.
About the organisers
KOULU Groups is an expert organisation providing first-class education solutions for learning and development. KOULU combines Finnish education expertise, digital solutions and life-long learning. Train2Impact is a consulting and training organisation which promotes Pakistan as a destination for impactful exports from Finland and beyond focusing on education sector.