Teacher's Day Special: Teachers Can Drive The Societal Change In India, Says Tata Trusts
People who are economically deprived are concerned as their immediate life tends to pose significant challenges of economic needs, health and safety, which outweighs their capacity to patiently support their children to complete 10 to 15 years of formal education
Parents are realizing the importance of education in terms of its capacity to improve the life chances of their children. People who are economically deprived are concerned as their immediate life tends to pose significant challenges of economic needs, health and safety, which outweighs their capacity to patiently support their children to complete 10 to 15 years of formal education. In such scenarios one doesn’t only work with schools, but also engages with the community in which the school is located to bring them closer to the idea of education.
Ujjwal Banerjee, Senior Manager, Education, Tata Trusts told BW Businessworld, “Teachers can drive the change India wants to see in terms of societal development, provided the teacher preparation program in the country understands the significance of this role and also what it takes to prepare teachers for making able citizens.”
Teachers are seen to bear the onus of carrying the cross of all that needs to be improved about the society. The morality of an individual is influenced by the schooling experience but can’t be expected to remain neutral towards what other experiences the child is getting in their life. Meanwhile, education can aim to develop rational, sensitive individuals, who have the capacity to engage with society in a constructive manner and more critically engage with the social and political realities of the times.
Banerjee added, “There is a need to understand what a teacher is actually expected to do in classrooms from various contexts, in a more nuanced way. Along with an overall understanding of the work they are doing, distinct efforts of teachers needs to be acknowledged and brought to public consciousness in more direct ways.”
Tata Trusts has been in the field of quality education for several years now. Along with demonstrating quality education practices in resource starved regions, the Trusts has also contributed towards coming up with professional programs in the sphere of teacher education. Using technology in education for enhancing learning outcomes is one of the significant thematic areas that the Trusts is working towards.
About the teachers' shortage problem in India, Ujjwal Banerjee shared, “The most fundamental thing would be to plan for the long horizon. Filling square pegs in round holes by getting teachers can seem like a solution in the short run, but give way to various issues of quality learning in the years ahead. We need to have the right numbers in place in terms of what the country needs, after discounting for consolidation of schools etc and then have institutional framework where teacher preparation can be done at the requisite scale.”
Education has been one of the key focus areas of Tata Trusts. Over the last two decades, there has been a steady increase in enrolment in schools, but quality in education and achievement of age-appropriate learning levels have remained an elusive goal. Ensuring quality education for children, especially those from marginalised backgrounds, is the central goal of the Trusts’ education portfolio.
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