District Institute of Education & Training,  Thadlaskein,  Jaintia  Hills,  Meghalaya    


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Branches: Planning & Management, DRU and Textbook Group of the DIET Thadlaskein.

Programme: DIET Initiatives for Strengthening Speaking, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic for Early Primary Learners in Jaintia Hills

No. of Schools Covered so far

The DIET Thadlaskein is targeting a total number of 873 lower primary schools across the five blocks of the district. Special emphasis is also being given to schools from the more backward pockets like Saipung, Thadlaskein and Laskein blocks. So far a total number of 160 schools have been provided with the Language and Number development kit developed by the collaborative efforts of the different branches of the Institute. 

Table – 1: No. of Lower Primary Schools Block wise


Govt  incl local bodies

Govt,. aided

SSA 02-03

SSA 04-05

SSA 06-07

Pvt. unaided


















































Source: AWP&B  2007-08


Planned Duration of the Initiatives

 The Institute plans to cover all the 873 lower primary schools by the year 2012 by targeting 80 schools in two cycles per year. 

Results of Study undertaken by DIET

 In the year 2003, a pilot study was conducted by the Planning and Management Branch of the DIET Thadlaskein, covering five blocks of Jaintia Hills. One of the mian objectives of the study was to diagnose the most common learning problems in specific areas at the early primary grades. A total of 1183 learners were selected from a hundred Primary schools and specially designed tests were administered to find out learning difficulties of early primary school-going children in specific areas like language and arithmetic. No attempt was made to interpret the results of the tests as only the mastery and non-mastery aspects of specific skills in the two subject areas were recorded. The following are some of the areas in which the learners experienced difficulties: 

Common Language Problems at the Lower Primary Level:

          Handwriting development

          It was observed from the worksheets that a large number of pupils had illegible handwriting that could be best described as ‘unreadable’. There were many who had not developed even basic ‘letter’ writing. Even in classes three and four there were students who did not know ‘cursive writing’.


          A lot of children especially in class one, had trouble spelling short and simple words made up of say, two to three letters. Even though learners had no problems identifying shapes, persons, animals and objects, they however faced numerous problems spelling them. 



          In every case of spelling mistakes it was observed that most pupils spelt the words exactly as they pronounced them. For example some spelt ‘cow’ as ‘caw’ etc.

          Use of Capital and small letters when writing

          Many students did not know when to use capital and small letters while writing. For instance a word would be written and would contain both capital and small letters: mAsI; lEt; bAJe etc.  Another common problem for many pupils especially in classes 3 and 4 was writing all letters in capital: LET; BAJE etc.

          Making sentences

          Even learners, who had no problems with spellings, could not construct the most simple of sentences in almost every case.

          Parts of speech

          This is another area in which a lot of students faced difficulties. Many could not identify proper nouns, adjectives etc. There were many occasions where the learners could not even distinguish proper nouns from common nouns.

Common Learning Problems in Arithmetic at the Lower Primary Level:

          Number writing

          In many worksheets apart from illegible handwriting, even number writing was indecipherable. As a result of this, many pupils themselves made countless errors that could have easily been avoided.

          Place value

          Apart from teachers who described it as a problem area, it was found that the concept was not clear in many classes. This was also one of the most common carry-over problems in the area of mathematics.


          Though there were not many students who had problems in this area, it was found that in some cases, because of their inability to grasp the concept of place value, some pupils found it difficult to compute carry-over exercises. Most children found it difficult to compute when problems were arranged horizontally.


          The major problem was in the area of take-away exercises. Some learners could not compute borrowing sums especially when they were arranged in a horizontal manner.


          Many pupils did not understand the concept of multiplication as a short method of addition. Problems arose whenever a pupil’s knowledge of the different tables was not thorough. There were also a number of problems that arose when multiplying two digit numbers by two digit numbers.


  1. Properties of division

  2. Rupees and Paise conversion

  3. Measures of Length, Weight and Capacity

  4. Practical Geometry 

  5. Fraction

  6. Multiples


The Teacher Training Processes


In Meghalaya, the medium of instruction is in English including all prescribed texts except for MIL. Because the Khasi script has been developed from the Roman script, teaching language is relatively easier as the Khasi alphabet is phonetically very similar to the English one.  The methodology to introduce both the languages is essentially the same. The ‘Language Modules’ have been designed for Primary Teachers to promote speaking, reading and writing skills. Child Development has helped us understand the normal sequence for children learning to read.

  • From infancy to age three, children listen, learn many new words spoken and also learn how to speak.
  • At ages three and four, children have growing vocabularies and also learn to rhyme.
  • In Class 1 children blend letter sounds, ‘sound out’ new words and memorize sight words. They also start to read simple sentences.
  • In Classes 2 and 3 they are able to read chapters in readers and read fluently with comprehension.

Many people think that children learn to read with their eyes. However in reality reading is actually learnt through the ears.

  1. Talking to pupils
  2. Reading to them
  3. Narrating stories
  4. Playing auditory games like rhyming etc.

When language teachers ‘converse’ with children with the help of pictures, stories, etc. they introduce children to new words and gradually increase their vocabulary. A bigger vocabulary enables a child to recognize words while reading. The larger the variety of pictures, themes and stories used, the bigger the vocabulary becomes.

Auditory skills prior to reading:

1.      Rhyming.

2.      Short vowel sounds (like ‘a’ as in apple; ‘e’ as in elephant; ‘i’ as in Indian; ‘o’ as in orange and ‘u’ as in up).

3.      Different letter sounds including consonants.

4.      ‘Sounding out’ new words by breaking up words into word parts and putting them back as one word.

The three methodologies used to teach reading to children through these initiatives are:

  1. Auditory Skills: rhyming, short term memory, etc. for ear training prior to the introduction of Phonics.
  2. Phonics: Letter Sound(s) and the different phonic rules.
  3. Memorization of words as whole units. Here children are taught how to connect words and are introduced to reading.


Teachers from the selected schools are given ‘hands-on’ training at the Institute in the following areas:

·        Competencies

·        Resources and TLM

·        Playway Activities

·        Numeration

·        Teaching Multiplication, Fractions, etc.

·        Activities and Diagnostic Worksheets

·        Evaluation

·        Mathematics and Language Learning                                                      TOP  

Special Materials Developed

Audio Cassette for English Language Teachers – An Introduction to Phonics (Planning & Management):

The general perception is that children learn to read with their eyes. However in reality reading is actually learnt with the ears. A good language teacher constructs and lays the foundation prior to reading by using three methodologies.

The three methodologies used to teach reading to children are:

1. Auditory Skills: rhyming, short term memory, etc. for ear training prior to the introduction of Phonics.

2. Phonics: Letter Sound (s) and the different phonic rules.

3. Memorization of words as whole units. Here children are taught how to connect words and are introduced to reading.

Jaintia Hills has an acquisition poor environment for learning the English language. As a result the District Institute of Education and Training, Thadlaskein, designed specific English language teacher training modules for pre-school and lower primary teachers, based on a combination of the three methodologies. The Cassettes contain letter sounds and songs that are fun to learn and easy to remember. The delightful rhymes and tunes promise to capture a child’s attention and imagination.                                                                                                                                                  TOP  

Joy Bells 1-4

             The Institute has also brought out a series of books entitled Joy Bells for classes one to four. These books have integrated a number of areas covered at the primary level into one single book. There are passages for reading, pictures for developing speaking skills, themes from EVS, activities for learning arithmetic, vegetable printing and puppetry. These books also complement the methodologies adopted by the Institute to reinforce language and arithmetic skills in early and primary learners.


The Abacus Project (District Resource Unit and Planning & Management Branch):

The Abacus is an excellent tool that helps learners understand simple as well as complex mathematical concepts. It is a wonderful substitute for rote memorization of tables for young learners. It can be used for teaching other base numbering systems as it easily adapts itself to any base. Constant use and practice will enable learners achieve speed and accuracy, essential for mental maths.  

The Standard Abacus

Besides the other items included in the Math kit like:

  1. Counters

  2. Mobiles

  3. Graphs

  4. Counting straws

  5. Flash Cards

  6. Arrow Cards

  7. Learning Clock

  8. (a+b)2 Cards

  9. Number Line

  10. Geo Board

  11. Fraction Wheel

the Institute has also developed an abacus with a supplementary brochure.  Teachers are trained do simple arithmetical calculations using the two-tiered Abacus. Once a learner gets used to the movement and position of the beads, he/she would be able to do these functions without actual use of the abacus. This is because the pictorial image of the abacus gets registered in the brain. In this manner students are able to tackle the problem mentally. As a result students start to develop photographic memories which would be very helpful in their overall academic performance. Studies have also indicated that the Abacus enhances the brain power, with positive effects on

  • Concentration
  • Accuracy
  • Memory power
  • Speed
  • Analytical skills
  • Comprehensive Skills
  • Confidence
  • Creativity 


Progress/Result :  The Institute is in the final phase of a study undertaken in the year 2007 on finding out the effectiveness and impact of some of its training programmes. A more detailed study may also be conducted in the near future to review the progress of these initiatives in a more comprehensive manner.


Plan for integrating initiatives as part of regular class room practices  :Because of the nature and target of these initiatives, the question of integrating them in regular class room practices does not arise. In fact they are intended to be very much a part of school culture. The Institute is also planning to incorporate a ‘one-page’ lesson plan format based on the Constructivist format and a Cumulative Record prototype which will be incorporated with these ‘initiatives’ in an ambitious attempt to improve the physical, cognitive, social and organizational dimensions of a school.


A model ECCE Centre was set up by the branch in the year 2007. There are at present 28 children below 6 yrs. The Centre at present has:

  1. 2 trained teachers
  2. 1 activity room
  3. 1 reading room
  4. 1 writing room
  5. 1 retiring room


 Work Experience Branch


The Work Experience Branch started a tailoring programme for teacher trainees in the year 2005. One of the main objectives of the programme is to impart tailoring skills like cutting, measuring, stitching and operating a sewing machine. Teachers have responded enthusiastically and the project has also drawn the attention of some lecturers, who also take part in the programme during their free time. 

The W.E  ( Work Experience ) Branch also promotes and provides training on the following:

  1. Baking & Pickle Making
  2. Promoting traditional cane & bamboo work
  3. Basket weaving
  4. Jute work etc.




To be filled soon ....  


 Last Updated : August 13, 2016 01:53:01 AM

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