- Pastoral Support
- Educational Consultancy
- Statement of Faith
IRFA has been committed to a range of tertiary educational professional development training. Professional education ranging from theological education for pastoral training to a range of in-service training for school teachers and we believe in the future teacher training providing a Postgraduate Diploma in Christian Education (PostGradDipCE).
Rev James and Mrs Katy Playfoot with their family of seven from the Broadford Presbyterian Church in Victoria, Australia dedicated their three months long service leave to teaching at the Darjeeling Hills Bible School in Mirik. The mutual sense of fellowship and encouragement for both the Playfoot family and DHBS is of the deepest significance.
Ministers from Australia and other western nations have taken leave from their pastorates to teach at either the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Dehra Dun or at the Darjeeling Hills Bible School and Seminary in Mirik. These appointments have proved to be an excellent stimulus to these institutions as has the mutual experience of ministers applying their holiday allocations or long service leave to this work. The IRFA fellowship is a ready contact point for ministers and their families to safely and purposefully dedicate this time to such missionary service. IRFA is able to facilitate and organise such assignments.
Through Enchiridion Education Services and LEM Phonics, IRFA has sponsored the Introductory LEM Phonics Courses Module A and Module B. The Module A course is taken by professional teachers who want to be proficient in teaching the LEM Phonics literacy programmes with the focus on pronunciation and reading; emphasising the ‘decoding’ disciplines of English phonics.
A school will sponsor these workshops and they involve 23 hours of teaching time. The final examination after the week-long workshop requires a 70% pass rate to gain the LEM Phonics Introductory Course Module A Certificate.
Usually 12 months later the same teachers will do Module B with the more complete system of English literacy with the focus on the rules of spelling so that their learners are able to ‘encode’ the English language confidently and consistently.
Once completing Module A and Module B of the Introductory Courses teachers become very competent in their classroom practice as they teach English phonics as a discipline. The next step is to do the Intermediate LEM Phonics course, which can be done online but the examinations will be held in person. These are self-directed learning experiences and can take anything from six weeks to 6 months to complete.
Only after doing the Intermediate LEM Phonics Course can teachers progress towards the Advanced LEM Phonics Course, which is extremely difficult and requires very high levels of competency. As we stand at the moment there is no teacher in India that has done the advanced LEM phonics course but I think we are approaching the time when several will come forward to do this course. The Advanced LEM Phonics Course is the basis for professional teachers to be properly qualified LEM Phonics ‘Registered Instructors’ who are qualified to deliver LEM Phonics Courses.
With the cooperation of Faith Academy we are planning to set up PostGradDipCE under the auspices of their new pre-school franchise ‘Little Flock’. This course is a one-year full-time professional education degree that can be done as a fourth year student completing theological studies or a primary education degree at a third tertiary educational institution. Teaching staff that want to upgrade their qualifications as a Christian teacher this postgraduate level professional degree could be just the thing for them.
Theological students that would like to start a ‘Little Flock’ as the first step in the church planting process could add PostGradDipCE so that he would be properly prepared along with his wife to set up a ‘Little Flock’ franchise and use the pre-school facilities as a worship centre for the gathering congregation in. In this way the church plant can be self-supporting from the very beginning.