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Teacher training an untapped opportunity in India?

Edupreneurs are taking many steps in this regard to overcome this shortcoming. Courses such as ‘Teaching Pre Teenagers’ have been launched to provide skills and train teachers to handle kids aged 10-13. This is the age when children grow up learning to tak...

Teacher training an untapped opportunity in India?

India has a large number of teachers and needs many more. All processes of teacher recruitment, training, motivation, incentives, retention and feedback, therefore, have to be planned on a large scale. Further the ultimate goal of in-service teacher development should be to ensure that optimal learning takes place in the classrooms.

Shortage of teachers and their inadequate training have raised serious concerns. The report by government shows that not even half the schoolchildren are learning their basics well. The only way to solve the learning crisis is to get teachers who are trained, motivated, enjoy teaching, who can identify and support weak learners, and who are backed by well-managed education systems.

Edupreneurs are taking many steps in this regard to overcome this shortcoming. Courses such as ‘Teaching Pre Teenagers’ have been launched to provide skills and train teachers to handle kids aged 10-13. This is the age when children grow up learning to take responsibility and are susceptible to changes taking place. Sonali Bhattacharyya, an English Language, Communication and Soft Skills Consultant, Trainer, and Content Developer at Oxford Teachers’ Academy tells EducationBiz why training is necessary for teachers and how this course will help bridge the gap. Here are excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about the ‘Teaching Pre Teenagers’ course. What is the USP of the course?

This course is for teachers of students between the ages of 10 and 13. It is based on social and cognitive characteristics that distinguish these students from those younger and older. The course focusses on how teachers can take advantage of these characteristics to help their students learn better. USP of this course is as follows:

  • 1)Understand the learning potential of students in this age group
  • 2)Prepare lessons and activities that take advantage of these students , ability to imitate and to reason
  • 3)Create a learning environment in their classroom taking into account different learning styles.

What led to the inception of the course in India?

Oxford University Press professional development services have evolved and expanded with face to face Oxford Teachers Academy (OTA) courses now available on a broad range of topics to develop the skills teachers need to deliver educational goals and to provide practical ideas they can use immediately in the classroom

Was it self-funded or did you raise funding?Elaborate.

All the expenses have been borne by OUP. There are no additional charges that teachers or schools pay for this though it is a paid training (approx 30 k per participant). We want to help to improve the Indian education scenario in India.

Highlight the challenges faced by you. How did you tackle them?

There were no challenges as such that we faced. We work closely with teachers about what they understand, what they want to achieve from their professional development programme and can advise on the combination of sessions that well meet their requirement best. It’s just that they are totally new to this concept, so initially it is difficult for them.

How important is it for teachers to stay updated?

It is mandatory for teachers these days to stay updated. Teaching environment has changed in the Indian education industry. The Oxford Teachers Academy has clearly changed teachers’ lives. One on one interactions with teachers. Oxford Teachers Academy courses are now available on a broad range of topics to develop the skills teachers need to deliver educational goals.

What is the contribution of our government in improving the skills of teachers?

Indian Government is a helping hand for our teachers in India. A lot of other additional training programs and benefits are given to them for their growth and development. We hope to see many more sessions in the coming years.

What is your opinion on the condition of teachers in India at present?

As of now, it looks good as a lot of changes have been brought in the education system in India. Teachers are adapting to new modules and practices to meet the challenges. I feel a few more years of re-training can definitely improve the situation in India.

How is this course bringing about a change in the education industry in India?

It will definitely change the scenario in India. The course helps participants

  • -To develop a range of teaching techniques
  • -Develop an understanding of the theory underpinning the practical activities shown
  • -Increase their awareness of methodological developments in ELT for YLs.

How important is technology in education? Elaborate.

Technology in education in India is really important. Created by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education in partnership with Oxford University Press, this highly intensive three-day professional development programme offers a blend of theory and practice, and is ideal for teachers who are looking to improve education in India through technology. We update their existing classroom skills through updated technological skills.

Where do you see India’s e-learning sector in the next 5 years? Where do you seeyourself in the next 5 years?

India’s e-learning sector is growing and will achieve milestones. Oxford University press professionals development services have evolved and expanded with face to face Oxford teachers Academy to develop the skills teachers need to deliver educational goals.

Skills of teachers need to be updated continuously with changing times and this can be done by quality education programs organised by government and edupreneurs venturing into this sector and tying up with number of schools to upskill the gurus.

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