Training the trainers
Tejas, a teacher training project delivered by the British Council in association with Tata Trusts and the Maharashtra state government, has trained 51,000 teachers across 36 districts in Maharashtra, who, in turn, teach 1.4 million young students in the state schools. The project was run through an engaging and replicable model wherein teachers could not only manage their own development, but also sustain it for larger peer-to-peer groups, in and beyond the state.
Organised virtually, the completion ceremony was attended by Varsha Gaikwad, minister of School Education Department, government of Maharashtra; Barbara Wickham OBE, director India, British Council; Jovan Ilic, director West India, British Council; Amrita Patwardhan, head of Education, Tata Trusts; Dinkar Temkar, director SCERT, Maharashtra; and Subhash Kamble, director, Regional Academic Authority, Aurangabad. The ceremony acknowledged key stakeholders and participants who contributed to the success of the project, more so during the last year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. These included 775 Teacher Activity Group (TAG) coordinators and 240 Kendra Pramukhs (KPs), responsible for the coordination and administrative aspects of the TAGs, respectively.
Tejas is a project of the state of Maharashtra as it represents a transition from a traditional model of teacher training to a more sustainable, internally-supported approach that promotes holistic professional development through communities of practice. The project helped build the state’s institutional capacity to support and implement large-scale, long-term, in-service teacher-training programmes that do not rely solely on cascade training as a medium of delivery. The five-year project (2016-21) showed resilience to the pandemic and met its timeline by embracing the virtual platform and holding over 3,500 online meetings in the past year since the first lockdown.
Barbara Wickham OBE, director, India, British Council, said, “Project Tejas is a testimony to our deeply rooted partnership with the government of Maharashtra and Tata Trusts, focused on better preparing teachers and learners for global avenues. We remain committed to partner with Maharashtra’s knowledge ambitions and create increased opportunities for youth, through our programmes.”
“Tejas is a model to demonstrate how education reform is possible when key stakeholders work together for a common cause. It has demonstrated a blended form of continuous teacher professional development for rural primary school teachers. Lessons learnt from Tejas are important for effectively developing teachers whose role is central to realising quality education for all children,” added Amrita Patwardhan, head, Education, Tata Trusts.