1. Is ACP secular in its approach? Will students from all religious faiths be comfortable?
Ans. Yes, ACP believes in including all children within its fold. Every child, irrespective of religious faith, economic background, social status etc. has infinite possibilities, which can be awakened. Throughout the modules, role models and explorations include people from all faiths. Currently this programme is running in schools regardless of the religious affiliation of the management.
2. Why have Classes 7,8 and 9 been considered appropriate for implementation of ACP?
Ans. Ideally children of all ages should benefit from ACP. However, since resources are limited and a start has to be made, it was decided that children in std. 7 are old enough to understand how to make responsible choices if they are exposed to various options. This is the age at which cognitive experts thought it best to introduce a program of discovery of new ways of thinking. These ideas could be deepened in std 8 and further, in std 9 children could be shown various pathways which will help them awaken all their infinite possibilities.
3. Generally, in schools ACP is spread over middle (Class 7 & 8) and high school (Class 9). If schools have problems for taking it up in class 9, then what?
Ans. In such cases, the graded program can be taken up in middle schools (stds 6,7 and 8). This means that ACP modules in std. 7, 8 and 9 can be used for implementation in std. 6, 7 and 8 respectively.
4. Many schools request ACP for junior schools also, say from Class 4. Can this be taken up?
Ans. Yes, in due course, this may be taken up. We at Ramakrishna Mission are keen to encourage volunteers to come up with ideas on how to go about this. A think tank could be created after the present program has stabilized to see what can be done for other classes. Meanwhile ideas and plans are welcome.
5. ACP has been billed as a graded and structured program. What is the meaning and implication of "graded and structured" program?
Ans. A structured program is one where there is a clear outcome intended at the end of the program. The program has 48 modules in all, to be covered, over 3 academic years and in each module there are key learnings to be assimilated. ACP is a graded program because the awakening takes place over 3 consecutive years and children (as well as teachers) have to go through the program step by step in a sequential way to get optimum results.That is why it is important for all ACP facilitator-teachers to take the training for the entire 3 year ACP program.
6. How has the ACP been piloted before implementation?
Ans. Before starting ACP RKM, Delhi conducted pilot program of 5 modules in 50 schools of Delhi NCR. The success of this program led to the development of ACP. Further while developing ACP, Illumine knowledge Resources Private Limited(a highly reputed HR company) completed pilots in several schools in Bombay including some in Dharavi slum. Based on the pilot study, modifications were made and the program was firmed up.
7. What is the expected outcome / impact of ACP?
Ans. The students are able to take crucial decisions in their life based on values, which they freely choose to live by. Their choices are well thought out and responsible ones, which benefit not only them but also large sections of society. They awaken all their universal and unique possibilities and live extraordinary lives, which are inspirational to others.
8. How do we track these outcomes?
Ans. Outcomes cannot be tracked fully during the three year period the child undergoes this program. Impact on life can be gradually felt by the children themselves and all those who are closely connected with their growth like teachers, parents, relatives and friends. Some efforts are made to capture how children are slowly awakening their possibilities by understanding that they can do so if they try. However it is our earnest belief that these little seeds of value will help awaken the children to be the kind of citizens India and the world can be proud of.
9. How is the approach to ACP different from other Value Education programs? Is it more extensive in its approach?
Ans. ACP does not believe in a high moral stand where children are told what is right and what is wrong based on societal norms. On the contrary, the children are shown different scenarios which show them different approaches in life. They see for themselves that choosing the higher path makes them happier and fulfilled, not to mention highly respected by all.
10. Why is it important for school teachers to be trained for the yearly ACP programs (Class 7 / 8 / 9) separately?
Ans. For a teacher to be able to facilitate the class, they need not only the conceptual understanding of the modules of each class, but they should have actually had the experience of facilitating ACP in a class room set up before they take up the training for the next year. The entire program is about experience and assimilation not about learning concepts.
11. Is it acceptable for teachers to attend Class 8 and 9 programs without taking the training for Class 7 Program?
Ans. No since it is a graded program, unless a teacher is trained in class 7,he/she will not be able to comprehend the depth and key insights of class 8 and 9 modules. Further the teacher should also conduct class 7 modules before attending class 8 module. Similar is case for class 9.
12. Can a teacher not trained for a particular class take the sessions in that class, even if he has had some training for other classes?
Ans. No because the approach to facilitation is different in each class – teachers learn how to enable discovery in std 7, to assist in deepening the learnings in std 8 and to open up pathways for children in std. 9.
13. Where all is ACP currently running?
Ans.Delhi,Bhopal,Chennai,Hyderabad,Bengaluru,Mysore,Mumbai,Varanasi,Haryana,Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan),Ranchi, Kolkata & Vadodara, including the sub-urban and district locations covered in those regions.
14. What is so different in ACP that requires special ACP implementation training for teachers? What is the focus in our training programs?
Ans. Please see answer to Question 10. ACP focuses on self exploration of ideas by children- the teacher merely enables this discovery by providing the right environment and encouraging all children to open up and express their views without fear of judgement.
15. CDs containing power points will be provided to teachers for slide presentation in class. Why are the related Guidebook Manuals and CFTs so important?
Ans. In order to assess the impact of this program on children, we need to conduct this program nation wide in a uniform (standard) manner using facilitation methods that are best likely to bring out the expected key learnings. Since teaching and facilitation are fundamentally different, teachers need to be constantly aware of the new technique of facilitation. The manuals and CFTs offer enough tools and trigger questions to help teachers.
16. Why has the "teaching mode" given way to 'facilitation mode" in the implementation of ACP?
Ans. Values need to be freely chosen and assimilated by children. They cannot be taught in a top-down fashion. There is no “right” and “wrong” which is applicable to all children at all times. Further, all universal possibilities are inherent in them and all they need is someone to guide them to understand this and awaken these by themselves through open discussion and peer learning.
17. Implementation as we have planned requires smartboards / projectors, availability of power supply, and of classrooms equipped with the equipments for ACP. What if any of the factors being absent in a school whereby slide presentation is not possible? Will we still advise implementation and how?
Ans. At present, these facilities are required for the successful conduct of the program. Other methods have been tried but are not scalable.
18. What about children who can't read?
Ans. Facilitators are expected to tell them the explorations in a narrative style and enable discovery through peer discussion.
19. Which organizations have signed an MOU with RKM, New Delhi on ACP?
Ans. CBSE, and Govt of Haryana
20. Why is RKM New Delhi dealing with a pan India program?
Ans. The program was started by RKM Delhi. CBSE endorsed the program. There are CBSE schools all over the country. Hence the program became pan-India.
21. Is the ACP being followed in other RKM schools across India? If not, why?
Ans. RKM schools already have values being introduced to the children in a consistent and well thought out manner. Like all other schools, they too are free to choose ACP and some of them are doing so. Some RKM schools are affiliated to State Boards and do not have the endorsement of their Boards yet. In some cases, their language of instruction is other than Hindi and English and at present ACP does not have kits in regional languages.
22. How is implementation of ACP monitored?
Ans. ACP is monitored in private schools by RKM resource persons, who visit schools for class observations. In Govt schools and KVs, along with this handholding by RKM resource persons, some government officials also report the implementation of this program to Government.
23. Any reporting requested from the various schools on a monthly / quarterly basis? Why?
Ans. Ideally schools should periodically report their implementation details with us. Schools have found monthly reporting too taxing on them. Right now there is no such requirement, which is being uniformly applied throughout the country. Ideas on this are welcome from schools before we firm up a workable policy.
24. Who are the stakeholders and how do we reach out to them?
Ans. All citizens of India are our stakeholders. Government, Parents, Teachers and children are immediate beneficiaries of the program.
25. Is it important for the parental support for this Program too? How can the schools r each out to the parents?
Ans. Yes it is important. Schools can reach out to parents during PTA and tell them about the program. The program can find mention in the School Magazine. If required, our RKM resource persons can be invited to address PTAs.
26. Why is it important to have a steady flow of regular classes throughout the year for ACP?
Ans. It is not advisable to finish all the sessions in a week or two. Adequete time should be given to the child to explore and assimilate values. One class of 40 minutes a week is the ideal recommended way to spread the classes and should be included in the timetable as such.
27. For government / KV schools, there is a shortage of TGT teachers. Can part time teachers be trained for this purpose?
Ans. The program will be a success if teachers are facilitating the program over a long term.
28. Is there any restriction on the language of communication for facilitator-teachers and students during ACP sessions?
Ans. No, facilitators are encouraged to use local language wherever English is less prevalent. This will ensure better exploration, discovery and deepening.
29. What is our policy on handing over the ACP implementation kits? What do these kits consist of? Are these the property of the school, rather than of the teachers? Our guidelines for preservation of the kits in schools.
Ans. These kits are expensive and have copyright. Currently we give each school 2 kits free for each year, provided at least 2 teachers have been trained. Where more kits are required, if the management write to us with full justification, case by case consideration is possible.
30. What if some schools face serious problems in maintaining class flow owing to shortage of kits?
Ans. They may request in writing to Swami Shantatmananda, Secretary, RKM, Delhi with full justification for more kits for consideration on whether this is possible.
31. How will the program work without tests being conducted? How will assessment be done without tests? Will the significance of the program suffer without the tests?
Ans. ACP is based on assimilation of values by children who choose to do so without fear or compulsion. No one judges them on what they choose and no comparisons are done with others. The assessment of the program can be done only after many years when the children who undergo this program are observed to be qualitatively different from those who have not been fortunate to go through this program.
32. Government schools are not charged the annual support fee, but private schools are. Why?
Ans. Government schools, which take up ACP are answerable to Government if they undergo training and then do not take up the program. The various departments of education at the Central and State level ensure their participation. In the case of private schools, the Mission needs a commitment from the management that they are serious about conducting the program and this is one way to show commitment.
33. How is the current annual support fee very small compared to the direct costs incurred?
Ans. This is just a nominal amount expected from private schools to ensure that they are earnest about taking up the program. In no way, does this amount of Rs 1000 per year cover training expenses let alone kits for the program. The program is duly sponsored and audited.
34. Are the commitment charges expected to be maintained at this level in the foreseeable future?
Ans. Yes, since cost-push inflation will not affect the support fee.