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SPARK workshop sparks up students’ confidence

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NGO to commence pilot progs, aims to cover 2,500 beneficiaries in government schools

Shillong, June 9: Over 700 school students from three districts completed a ten-day workshop under the SPARK initiative of the Department of Education and Samagra Shiksha – State Education Mission Authority of Meghalaya (SEMAM) held at their respective campuses recently.
The participants in this phase of the programme covered three districts and included 256 students of Sibsingh Memorial Government Higher Secondary School in West Khasi Hills; 96 students of U Tirot Sing Memorial Higher Secondary School and 150 students of Umthlong Nongthliew Government Secondary School in Eastern West Khasi Hills; and 207 students of Rongrenggiri Government Higher Secondary School in East Garo Hills.
At the end of the workshop, the participants were presented with certificates at simultaneous felicitation programmes.
SPARK (School Programmes in Articulation, Resilience, and Kindness) is a Government of Meghalaya initiative that seeks to impart soft skills that have emerged as foundational needs for the youth.
The training interventions commenced in April and, since then, teams have been deployed in government schools across districts. The modules help build confidence, basic communication skills, public speaking skills, and critical thinking using STEM.
At Umthlong village, I/C Headmistress, Umthlong Nongthliew Government Secondary School Lynette Niangti expressed her gratitude to the education department for the initiative.
“They say it only takes a spark to light a fire. In our rush to complete the syllabus, teachers often forget that fun is the key to learning. In these past ten days, the joy and laughter in the classrooms are a testament to the light and confidence that have emerged from within our students. As teachers, we are inspired and motivated to keep this spark going in our school,” she said.
West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Mark Challam attended the felicitation programme in Nongstoin, he interacted at length with the students who displayed their presentations on community concerns and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Vibhor Aggarwal applauded the students who shared their experiences with the audience.
Tejimbe R Marak, a Class 8 student of Rongrenggiri Government Higher Secondary School shared her experience, saying, “Before SPARK, I was always nervous and scared, but now I can stand here and speak with confidence. Thanks to our trainer, I have learned to use body language and power stances to build my confidence and express my words clearly.”
Stating that her favourite sessions were on STEM and critical thinking, she shared, “The projects that we had to make taught us to think of different solutions to a problem, to use available tools for measurements and calculations, and to work together as a team to make the best decisions.”
Another class X student from Umthlong Nongthliew Government Secondary School, Longshlurbanjop Kurbah stayed true to his name and bravely took to the stage to share his experience with the audience.
“If it wasn’t for SPARK, I wouldn’t be able to stand here and give a speech in front of so many people. The lessons on body language have helped me to use my hands and facial expressions to speak confidently,” he said. He went on to say that the programme has helped them to build their confidence, and courage and to be mindful of their words and behaviour.
Department officials, members of the implementing agency, and school staff were also present at the respective campus felicitation programmes. SPARK will be commencing pilot programmes in other districts and intends to cover 2,500 beneficiaries in government schools across the state.
West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Mark Challam attended the felicitation programme in Nongstoin, he interacted at length with the students who displayed their presentations on community concerns and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Vibhor Aggarwal applauded the students who shared their experiences with the audience.
Tejimbe R Marak, a Class 8 student of Rongrenggiri Government Higher Secondary School shared her experience, saying, “Before SPARK, I was always nervous and scared, but now I can stand here and speak with confidence. Thanks to our trainer, I have learned to use body language and power stances to build my confidence and express my words clearly.”
Stating that her favourite sessions were on STEM and critical thinking, she shared, “The projects that we had to make taught us to think of different solutions to a problem, to use available tools for measurements and calculations, and to work together as a team to make the best decisions.”
Another class X student from Umthlong Nongthliew Government Secondary School, Longshlurbanjop Kurbah stayed true to his name and bravely took to the stage to share his experience with the audience.
“If it wasn’t for SPARK, I wouldn’t be able to stand here and give a speech in front of so many people. The lessons on body language have helped me to use my hands and facial expressions to speak confidently,” he said. He went on to say that the programme has helped them to build their confidence, and courage and to be mindful of their words and behaviour.
Department officials, members of the implementing agency, and school staff were also present at the respective campus felicitation programmes. SPARK will be commencing pilot programmes in other districts and intends to cover 2,500 beneficiaries in government schools across the state.

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