Thermax Foundation believes and demonstrates that it is possible to get excellent results with children from low-income communities through an excellent teacher. Convinced that great teachers are not always born but made, Thermax Foundation partnered with the local government to set up a year-long professional development programme for teachers in government schools and a select few low-income private schools to share the learning from the success of 'The School Project' and to strengthen the public education system in the city. This program is called 'Leadership Institute For Teachers (LIFT)'. LIFT is designed, supported and implemented entirely by an in-house team at Thermax Foundation.
Since 2013, the LIFT team has worked with over 240 teachers across 40 schools impacting close to 8000 children in PMC Schools across Pune. While last year it worked only in Primary English Medium Schools, in the coming year it intends to work with around 100 teachers across Pune Municipal Corporation schools spanning across primary, kindergarten and Marathi medium schools. The idea of LIFT, in the short run, is to advance the skills of teachers in the classrooms that need them the most. In the long run, we hope for LIFT to work alongside with government training institutions to strengthen their capacities. Each passing year, as a result of the LIFT experience, we record a positive impact on student learning outcomes across PMC classrooms and we see teachers who're now more inspired to teach and build more joyful classrooms for their students.
Providing better infrastructure, building more schools, persuading children to come to school, providing adequate condition for them to stay in schools, these are important inputs. However, all these inputs would be meaningless without improving the quality of education, without upgrading the knowledge and skill level of the teachers and making learning fun, so that an environment is created where children want to learn.
The Lift Programme would continue till the academic year ending 31st March 2018.