12 November, 2021

Tata Trusts and Tata Institute of Social Sciences launch Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education

The Centre will be the first of its kind in the country to become a catalyst for transformation in teacher education

Mumbai, 12 November, 2021: Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) with the Tata Trusts as founding partner have launched the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE). An independent centre at TISS Mumbai, the establishment was inaugurated today by Santosh Kumar Sarangi, IAS, Chairperson National Council for Teacher Education with Tata Trusts’ CEO, Srinath N, attending as the Guest of Honor.

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).

Tata Trusts work extensively towards improving educational outcomes of children from disadvantaged communities by developing teachers, school learning environment and strengthening education leadership. Trust has invested in addressing complex social issues through institution and discipline building. Founding CETE with a strong multidisciplinary team is aligned with the Trusts’ Teacher Education Initiative that aims to create a lasting impact at scale for quality teacher development.

CETE has received a small seed support by the Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching. 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 programs, 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 Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE) led by Prof Padma Sarangapani.

Some of CETE’s recent work includes No Teacher No Class – State of the Education Report for India 2021, which emphasised the complex nature of teaching and teacher education. The report, authored by the strong academic team of the CETE at TISS, was released by UNESCO. Apart from offering quality academic and pedagogic resources for teacher educators and teachers in India, the centre has ongoing projects within South Asia and Africa.

Guest of Honour, 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 (CETE) 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 at TISS said, “CETE’s launch reaffirms TISS’s 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 practice 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.”

Dr Padma M. Sarangapani at CETE, TISS said “The NEP 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 to improve 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.”

Mr Santosh Sarangi, 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, affordability amongst other key areas. 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.”

Read the report — ‘No Teacher, No Class – State of the Education Report for India 2021’ released by UNESCO with CETE

Since inception in 1892, Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organisation, has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood, digital transformation, migration and urban habitat, social justice and inclusion, environment and energy, skill development, sports, and arts and culture. The Trusts’ programmes, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations, relevant to the country.

CETE mission is to revitalize Teacher Education through research, relevant academic short term and long term programs, policy advocacy, partnerships and collaborations and large scale field action projects in Ed tech. The Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education, is an independent Centre of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The Centre’s multidisciplinary team was built in 2015 when we came together to work on our first large scale field action project - the Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx) seeded by the Tata Trusts and implemented by TISS and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to design and implement education technology in government secondary schools and for teacher professional development. In-service teacher education was integral to the design of CLIx. We partnered with over 3,000 government school teachers to demonstrate quality at scale. We continue to use Design-Based Research processes, in developing new resources and in our field projects. Teacher professional development modules have been designed and developed for teachers and teacher educators. Teachers’ communities of practice giving access to peers and experts have also been activated to provide and sustain spaces for professional growth. Certificate courses continue to be offered in a wide range of topic areas for educators.
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established in 1936 as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. In 1944, it was renamed as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The year 1964 was an important landmark in the history of the Institute, when it was declared Deemed to be a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act (UGC), 1956. Since its inception, the Vision of the TISS has been to be an institution of excellence in higher education that continually responds to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge, towards creating a people-centred, ecologically sustainable and just society that promotes and protects dignity, equality, social justice and human rights for all. TISS has received a consistently high appreciation for academic excellence and is counted amongst the best universities in the country. TISS operates from four campuses located in India – Mumbai, Tuljapur, Guwahati and Hyderabad. At present, TISS offers 50 post-graduate programmes comprising Social Entrepreneurship, Public Policy, Social Work, Public Health, Health & Hospital Administration, Mental Health, Livelihood Innovation, Gender, Disaster Management, Urban Planning and Management, Water and Energy Resources Planning and Management, Human Resources Management & Labour Relations, Education, Rural Development, and Social Entrepreneurship. TISS also offers integrated M. Phil.–Ph. D. programmes in all these areas.

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