Smile Foundation organized a 2-day teacher’s training workshop during 27-28 November, 2003. The topic of the workshop was “Adolescent Health Promotion And Counseling”. The workshop was organized at city’s Safdarjung hospital in collaboration with smile’s partner – the association of obstetrics and gynecology, (AOGD), New Delhi. The participants of the workshop (about 40) included teachers from the government and private schools of Delhi and NGO education centers.
The aim of the workshop was to sensitize and orient schoolteachers about adolescent problems and associated issues, need and relevance of reproductive health education, crucial role of teacher and suitability of school classroom for bringing this subject matter along with mainstream education. The workshop aimed to facilitate awareness and knowledge among teachers with particular focus on adolescent’s need and bridging the information gap.
The first orphans of free India, before the news of Independence reached them, reached the order to vacate their land to make space for one of India’s first hydroelectricity projects. And hardly before reconciling a new place, wholly created in remote hilltops by themselves, another dam dashed their hopes.
The workshop also impressed upon the significance of listening, understanding, appreciating and suitably incorporating the adolescent’s viewpoints. While addressing the subject matter either in a classroom setting or one-to-one interactions and counseling.
The workshop, starting with an introductory remark by a Dr. Pratima Mittal of Safdarjung Hospital, advocated the need for approach and be more innovate and creative while handling the issue. Teachers need themselves to be convinced and then equipped with correct knowledge.
Dr. Pratima Mittal further added that teachers should know and respect diversities in learner’s background and respect their viewpoints rather than imposing her/his own views.
The workshop was divided into various interactive session addressed/facilitated by various speakers such as teachers, doctors, NGO representatives as well as adolescent students.
The workshop started with a specific session on experience sharing. One of the most interesting sessions was addressed by a few adolescent boys and girls where in they very candidly put forth their view points, problems experienced and their expectations both from the workshop and consequently from their teachers. Preceding the session addressed by adolescent has been one addressed by principals of Navyug schools (in Laxmi Bai Nagar and one at Peshwa Road respectively) where in they shared their experiences about adolescent programme started in their respective schools. Both of them admitted that initially the programme did face problems from teachers who were not favourably inclined besides being unhappy with perceived additional work load. Also the program led to certain obscene comments made by male students and posters appearing on school walls, in the beginning but apt handling by teachers and counseling stopped such things subsequently.
Other sessions, equally important and information covered subjects like eating practices for staying healthy; physical growth and puberty; adolescent body image concerns; menstrual disorders; sexual roles and responsibilities; coping with stress; peer pressure and managing conflict.