Tata Institute of Social Sciences prepares cadre of 39 master trainers on ICT in education in Assam

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Guwahati, June 1, 2017: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences today felicitated and issued certificates to 39 government school teachers and DIET faculty in Assam for completing the one-of-a-kind ICT and Education course. Completion rate of teachers was 93 percent. As a part of the Integrated Approach to Technology in Education (ITE) initiative by Tata Trusts, the course provides hands on experience of designing lessons integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in curriculum and pedagogy. The certificate recipients, now called ‘master trainers’, have shown great commitment and already trained other 740 teachers in ITE, as part of the course assignment. The course was of four months duration during which the teachers participated in F2F workshop, trained other teachers at district, practiced exemplary ITE lesson plans in their classroom, took two online tests, and continuously reflected on chat forums, moodle and made an electronic portfolio consolidating their learning.

The ceremony was attended by, Prof S Parasuraman, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, R C Jain, Commissioner & Secretary, Govt. of Assam, Secondary Education Department, Prof DK Srivastava Deputy Director TISS, and Ms Krishna Baruah, OSD RMSA, Assam and Amina Charania, ITE-Lead, Tata Trusts and Course faculty and Associate Professor, CEI&AR, TISS.

The convocation ceremony celebrated the certificate recipients’ program completion, with six awards given for outstanding performance, best trainer and mentor, and most active online participant. NGO, volunteers, who completed the course, were also felicitated. The courses seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the role of technology in teaching and learning while critically evaluating value of ICT applications and programs in schools. Designed for in-service teachers in upper primary, and secondary government school teachers.

S Parasuraman, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, said, “When the certificate course was presented to the academic council, the academic council for the first time felt this is an amazing experiment. An experiment whereby we are reaching the teachers who are the most critical and are the backbone of our schooling system and if they are empowered, trained and motivated then their teaching children will become far easier and enjoyable. Today, I have seen the output of this initiative, where we have already reached four districts in the state of Assam and from now other parts of the North East. The certificate course was developed to support integrating teaching under ITE and that is what is being done. The Government of Assam is fully committed to make school education a grand success and we are joining them to make this possible. “
Speaking at the event, Amina Charania, ITE-Lead, Tata Trusts and Course faculty and Associate Professor, CEI&AR, TISS said, “This is unique certification course of TISS under Tata Trusts’ Integrated Approach to Technology in Education initiative where the completion rate is 93%. The course has become a scaling mantra. We have been able to scale up in Assam from 50 schools to 200 and then 600. Teachers have been very participative. Through this, they got the opportunity to update their knowledge on contemporary concepts in ICT in education. The kind of commitment and rigour they have shown is commendable. Giving them an opportunity which is also blended in nature has really empowered government teachers to engage at their own space. What was really amazing was these 39 teachers within the course has trained 740 more teachers.”

R C Jain, Commissioner & Secretary, Government of Assam, Secondary Education Department, said, “The concept of model school was started by the Government of India and that concept was brought to Assam and was re-designed in a different way with the help of Tata Trusts. The aim and objective of the program is to create good faculty and through them expand to more and more schools. For this, the teachers’ role is much more. We are providing them with a teaching system and a methodology that did not exist before. ICT based education is the only module that can make classrooms attractive.”

He also said, “TISS will provide in-service training to teachers in Assam especially on ITE and education and extend the service on the new campus in order to become a teacher training hub for Assam Government school teachers. He added, this course can be added to the Diploma in elementary education course.” Prof. S Parasuraman said, “We will give full support and will join hands with the Education Department in scaling up the program.”

The course draws on contemporary concepts, models and standards in the area of teaching and learning with technology, with the objective of making the learning authentic for students by weaving it into their curriculum. It also encourages teachers to continue using technology in their practices by using virtual and blended platforms, thereby enabling their continued professional development.

ITE has reached 120 government schools/model schools intensively and 600 government schools as outreach schools in Assam. In close coordination by RMSA each master trainer will continue to handhold a group of 15 teachers whom they have trained in the course. Next six months’ program will be prepared by ITE-TISS to be implemented in local school clusters. Also, an ITE mentorship program will be launched for 10 master trainers to strengthen the capacity and leadership ability in ICT and Education. This plan is in sync to scale up and mainstream ITE within the system and develop new leadership in the area.

About Tata Trusts

Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, Tata Trusts is amongst India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development. Since its inception, Tata Trusts has been a pioneer in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance; and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy, the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation.