PATNA, India 20 October 2009 ¬ UNICEF collaborated with Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD), Government of Bihar in devising a ‘Learning by Doing’ pedagogy for the training of 20 District Public Relations Officers (DPROs) at the Notre Dame Communications Centre, Patna.
Professional trainers from Ma Foi Training Academy carried out the training spread across theoretical and practical session. Each activity session was designed in such a way that participants were exposed to hands-on learning to ensure that they equip themselves with the requisite communications skills.
Training of DPROs has been a felt need for long, both by UNICEF and Government of Bihar. Because the government is quickly filling all vacancies related to DPROs in the districts, it was felt that all DPROs should be brought to a common level of basic skills as far as communications was concerned.
“DPRO’s should be aware of today’s communication tools and techniques so that they are able to tell the people about Government welfare schemes effectively. They also demonstrate the overall benefit of these projects to society at large,” said Mr Ram Nath Thakur, Minister for Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Bihar.
“I am happy that UNICEF has partnered with the Department to impart training to our DPROs for enhancing their professional skills,” he added .
“PR officers use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of the Government, communicate key messages to target audiences in order to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between Government and public,” said Mr Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD), Government of Bihar.
The training methodology included instructor led training, group activity, team skills tools, projective techniques, mime, role plays, interactive discussions and so on.
The training curriculum comprised topics like computer skills (hardware: what goes where, operating systems- choice to begin, introduction to forms of connectivity, software: use and abuse, MS Office basics, internet, the importance of websites and uunlocking the power of Google, blogs.
Professional writing skills, history of media, learning camera shots and angles were also part of the curriculam.
Says Amitabh, DPRO, East Champaran: “The course was very useful since it gave us exposure to a lot of new learnings. This will lead to DPROs being more independent in their work and qualitatively better output also”.
Jaishankar Kumar, DPRO from Katihar is of the opinion that the workshop was focused, relevant and interesting. “Since we are not aware about technical work, we have to accept assignments submitted by our assistants without being able to ask any questions. Now we will be far more in command of our work”.
Mustaq Ahmed Noori, Assistant Director, IPRD, Chhapra, said the training was very useful in the way the participants were exposed to communication tools like digital cameras and computer software. “But the most relevant were sessions like feature writing, press releases and reporting events as they happen. These are what make a difference in our everyday work”.
Important Government policy matters, views, proceedings, interpretation along with topical matters concerning public welfare and important speeches of dignitaries on various occasion come under the ambit of the DPROs and it is thus imperative that we have a cadre of trained and professional DPROs in the state.