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Inauguration of Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education
Mumbai, 12 November, 2021: The inauguration of the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE) at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, V.N. Purav Marg, Deonar, Mumbai took place on Friday, 12th November 2021. National Council for Teacher Education Chairperson Shri Santosh Kumar Sarangi IAS presided over as the chief guest and inaugurated the centre, while Tata Trusts CEO Mr Srinath N took part as the Guest of Honour.
(Left-Right) CETE Chairperson Prof Padma M Sarangapani, NCTE Member Secretary Ms Kesang Y Sherpa IRS, NCTE Chairperson Shri Santosh Kumar Sarangi IAS, TISS Director Prof Shalini Bharat and Tata Trusts CEO Shri Srinath N during the inauguration of CETE on 12th November 2021.
The centre, the first-of-its-kind in the country, will aim to become a catalyst for transformation in one of the most neglected areas of education in the country: teacher development, and will work across five key areas to build upon CETE’s vision. – (i) Academic Programmes (Long and Short term professional development courses), (ii) Research (Field Action Research, Design Lab, Chair Programmes and academic publications) (iii) System Strengthening (Government system of education at state, district and sub-district levels) (iv) Technology enabled programmes (Connected Learning Initiative, Integrated Technology in Education, Development of Open Educational Resources, Community of Practice) (v) Evidence based policy advocacy (Round Tables, Conferences, Policy Briefs, Research, Communication Campaigns).
Founding CETE with a strong multidisciplinary team is aligned with the Tata Trusts’ Teacher Education Initiative that aims to create a lasting impact at scale for quality teacher development. With Tata Trusts as the founding partner, it is CETE’s mission to revitalise teacher education. The focus on teachers and their professional development has grown and the emphasis is now on research, relevant academic short term and long term programmes, policy advocacy, partnerships and collaborations and large scale field action projects in Ed tech, all to be exercised and achieved through the launch of the new CETE led by its Chairperson Prof Padma M Sarangapani.
Chief Guest Shri Santosh Kumar Sarangi IAS, Chairperson, NCTE said, “The launch of CETE fortifies some of the key mandates and objectives that NCETE (National Commission on Excellence in Teacher Education) is looking into as per the National Education Policy. Some of the key aspects of our work include focusing on accessibility, quality, and affordability. The policy also focuses on four or five pillars that broadly address the concerns of students and teachers in the country. The education sector requires attention within the country, and within that sector, quality in teacher education will play an extremely important role. A lot of the mandates pertaining to developing national professional standards for teachers, developing ambition for mentorship at the school level are with NCETE and we’re glad to be working in collaboration with eminent industry leaders in this space.”
Guest of Honour Mr Srinath N, CEO, Tata Trusts said, “Education has always been one of the focus areas for the Tata Trusts. We have played a key role in the establishment of national institutes of higher learning in the Sciences, Social Sciences and the Arts. Well-developed teachers, an improved learning environment, and an increased capacity of the system to support educators and schools will ensure equity and quality in education. Together with TISS, we hope that the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education will stand as an example, and achieve scale resulting in nurturing future-ready citizens, and a forward-looking system of education.”
Dr Shalini Bharat, Director of TISS, said, “CETE’s launch reaffirms TISS’ vision of designing high quality research and academic programmes to respond to the changing social realities as well as the National Education Policy 2020. CETE will play a pivotal role in transforming the status of teachers in the country. This work requires multidisciplinary perspectives and knowledge, formation of dispositions and values, and development of practices under the best mentors connected to the field. This is the strength of our institute. We remain committed to working with multiple stakeholders to foster quality and equity in teacher education.”
Prof Padma M Sarangapani, Chairperson of CETE, TISS said, “The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has placed teachers at the centre of the transformation envisioned for the sector. This makes the mission of the CETE timely and significant. Synergising quality improvement of teacher education, developing professional development linked career pathways for teachers, and advocating for improving their service and employment conditions are key areas of focus. Our strengths lie in our multidisciplinary expert team, high quality research, field-based action and advocacy, and our national and international collaborations and partnerships.”
(Left-Right) TISS Director Prof Shalini Bharat chiared the panel discussion with panelists Prof Poonam Batra, Central Institute of Education, Delhi University, Smt Amrita S Patwardhan, Head of Education, Tata Trusts and Shri Ranjitsinh Disale, winner, Global Teacher Prize-2020.
The inaugural ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on the UNESCO ‘State of Education Report for India-2021 – No Teacher, No Class’. Eminent panelists Prof Poonam Batra of the Central Institute of Education, Delhi University, Shri Ranjitsinh Disale, winner, Global Teacher Prize-2020 and Smt Amrita S Patwardhan, Head of Education at Tata Trusts and chaired by Director of TISS Dr Shalini Bharat took place. Panelists deliberated on the significance and relevance of the findings of the report and the steps to be taken going forward.
“I am still a teacher at heart, even though I have retired formally from the University of Delhi. I have read the UNESCO 2021 Report, and its context is about NEP 2020 and the pandemic. We don’t have a database about subject teachers, which is a pivot for a sound education system. There are 1.1 million unqualified teachers. The report also talks of the criticality of infrastructure such as drinking water facilities, toilet facilities and so on. While the NEP 2020 flags the inequity of the system, by making special provisioning for Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups, it runs the risk of maintaining the inequitable system”, said Prof Poonam Batra.
“Students of the 21st century are being taught by teachers of the 20th century using 19th century curriculum on 18th century techniques.Training programmes for teachers should be personalised. In-service training must be designed in a practical way”, added Shri Ranjitsinh Disale.
Speaking about the importance of a support system for teachers, Smt Amrita S Patwardhan said, “All of us are concerned about children and their learning. There is also a need to have a teacher-support system along with accountability. Teachers’ beliefs play a central role in teacher practice, and they need to be engaged in pre-service level as well as in the in-service programmes in a continuous teacher professional development kind of mode. ”
Concluding the panel discussion, Dr Shalini Bharat, Director of TISS, exclaimed, “There is so little being done in teaching on subjects such as music, art, physical education and vocational education. We also found that the music teacher was the least important person, and that s/he could be pulled into doing several things. Now, we are realising the importance of these subjects”.
Dignitaries also visited the centre and interacted with faculty, students and staff.
About CETE: The Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education, CETE (https://bit.ly/cetewebsite) is an independent centre at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Established in 2015, the centre has been engaging with, and promoting innovation in school curriculum, teacher education and higher education curriculum and pedagogy. The CETE is working towards revitalising the education sector through research, academic programmes, teaching, field action, policy advocacy, partnerships and collaborations.
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