UNICEF India, SCERT Host Capacity-Building Program For Teachers

CETE-TISS aims to become a catalyst in transforming teacher development: Expert

By Farooq Shah

JAMMU- The State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) in collaboration with UNICEF and the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) Mumbai, kick started a series of capacity building programs for teachers of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir here on Tuesday.

Some 300 participants from all the 20 districts of the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory comprising teachers, faculty members of the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) and the SCERT participated in the program “Constructive Teaching & Learning with Technology”—the first in the series.

The module, supported by UNICEF India, is developed and implemented by the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE), TISS.

The CETE, which was inaugurated in November, last year, is the first-of-its-kind in India, aiming to become a catalyst in transforming teacher development.

Prof. Mythili Ramchand from the CETE introduced the course and explained its key components to the participants.

While inaugurating the program, Director SCERT, Prof Veena Pandita, said the SCERT has been in the forefront of empowering teachers through a host of professional development programs.

Contemporary times, she said, mandated that a teacher should be tech savvy as she highlighted the initiatives taken up by the SCERT since its inception in 2020.

“It’s our prime duty to exploit the technology at hand to hilt to make the education more inclusive, accessible and constructive,” Prof Pandita said. “Educationists, as mandated in the right to education, are reimagining learning so that every student enjoys its fruits regardless of his/her gender, social status or background.”

“Our teachers are fully capable in shaping the future of the nation,” she said. “They have to be in line with modern interventions in technology.”

Dr. Amina Charania, who is an associate professor at the CETE said the objectives of the certification course are to understand and appreciate constructivist approaches to learning.

“The role of technology in constructing meaningful learning experiences for students is paramount,” Dr Charania said. “Exploring various technological applications while critically evaluating their use and role in meaningful learning creates a perfect environment for blended learning.”

The course, she informed, would cover five units to be conducted online on TISSx (web platform of TISS).

“After the successful completion of the course, the teachers will receive a completion certificate with grades from the TISS,” Dr Charania said. “They will be qualified to proceed to the next step for Master Trainers’ preparation.”

Danish Aziz, Education Specialist with the UNICER India informed that more such programs are in the pipeline for the future.

“The UNICEF India has conducted various capacity building programs on the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education in the past.” Danish said.

Describing the programs as the ‘need of the hour’, Prof Veena Pandita hailed team UNICEF and TISS for taking up this initiative.

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