Imparting education in the time of Quarantine

Teacher quality and the quality of teaching are the most powerful elements in an education system. Teachers of the 21st century are expected to consider the students’ background, be sensitive to all cultures, to organise and lead student-driven learning, to effectively use new teaching-learning materials, and most importantly, be ready to take up any challenge, to be up to date with the rapidly changing world and the fields of knowledge, skills and pedagogy.

In the present times when social distancing is the key to end the chain of spreading the COVID-19 virus, schools and institutions have been closed down across the country. However, this does not mean we need to put a hold on learning and acquiring knowledge.

Quality teacher training is one of the key focus areas of HPPI’s education interventions and in the Necessary Teacher Training (NeTT) Programme which is implemented in the District Institute for Education and Training (DIETs) and Government Elementary Teacher Training Institute (GETTIs) across the country, we have been actively working to continue training the student-teachers with the use of technology. 

In DIET Nalanda in Bihar where the NeTT Programme in being implemented, 300 student-teachers who are getting trained to become quality primary school teachers of tomorrow, are continuing to receive education through digital means. The student-teachers from Year 1 and Year 2 are connected with their teachers through social messaging application, WhatsApp, and have created dedicated groups for each of the batches. The groups also help create awareness and spread precautionary measures about coronavirus. 

Similarly, in DIET Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, the HPPI team of teacher educators, together with the faculty at DIET Ujjain, conducted an online class session for the student-teachers. Using their mobile phones and a popular video conferencing application, the students and faculty members conducted a two-hour long session covering important topics from the syllabus. These remote classes are now slated to continue throughout the period of the lockdown, covering all the batches at the DIET. Student-teachers from various DIETs also created informative posters from their homes and shared it with everyone over mobile phones.
The two-year NeTT Programme which focuses on creating quality teachers thus ensuring quality education for students in schools marked its 10-year anniversary in India in 2019. The Programme has so far graduated 12,038 teachers, many of whom now provide quality education to children across government and private schools, tuition centres and other educational institutions in India.

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