TESS-India project holds UP state orientation workshop
Following the signing of an MoU with the state government, the TESS-India project led by the globally renowned Open University (UK) and funded by DFID held its first state-level orientation workshop at the SCERT office in Lucknow on 2 July 2013. The project leaders shared in detail their strategy and rollout plan directed towards improving the quality and quantity of government school teachers and teacher educators across the state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Teacher Education through School-based Support in India (TESS-India) project leaders presented their transformational project before Mr Sarvendra Singh (Director of SCERT), senior representatives of the Rajya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), DIET principals, teachers, teacher educators, and other senior officials of the SCERT.
In his keynote address, Mr Singh said that ‘teachers and teacher educators play a pivotal role in creating an enlightened society. It is for this reason that we strongly want the quality of our state education system to be at par with the best globally. We are proud that our state of UP is the first state to have entered into an MoU with TESS-India earlier this month. We look forward to imbibing best practices from TESS India and have our teacher educators and teachers take it forward.’
The Open University’s Academic Director of TESS-India, Dr Steven Hutchinson, and senior members of the TESS-India team – including the Country Project Manager, Mr Yogesh Jadhav, and the Project State Representative, Mr Sushant Verma – explained the TESS-India project and its State roll-out plan.
Dr Hutchinson stated that ’the project is directed towards improving the way that teachers teach and students learn through use of interactive best practices, pedagogical approaches, open and freely available educational resources, and the use of short teaching video materials that can be used by teachers over their mobile phones’.
He further added that ‘the teacher development units (TDUs) developed by TESS-India with leading subject specialists in UP will be “transculturalised” and adapted from English into state mother tongue to teach hard-spots faced in core subjects of primary and secondary school - science, maths and English. These also extend to cover leadership and management subject areas.’
While applauding the state-led initiatives in the education sector, the TESS-India State Representative, Mr Sushant Verma, said that ‘the TESS-India team looks forward to working with such a talented and committed group of teaching experts’.
The event also included a discussion forum, where teacher educators discussed real challenges in their work areas and suggested ways to counter them through individual and group initiatives based on a process of continuous assessment and review.
The TESS-India researchers – led by Professor Bob McCormick, an emeritus from The Open University (UK) – are conducting a pilot study on 4–5 July to train the data collectors who will be integral to project research and monitoring. In future, the project will hold teacher training workshops in partnership with the state and partners such as Adhyayan.