As part of celebrations of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, today on 20th November the Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Shri Anil Kumar Jha and Chairman, CBSE, Shri Manoj Ahuja today, jointly launched a certificate course on Experiential Learning for the 21st Century for educators from CBSE and Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) in collaboration with Tata Trusts, CETE, TISS (Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education, Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Mumbai and MGIS (Mahatma Gandhi International School), Ahmedabad.
The program will be deployed for 350 educators in 6 States. The event was attended by Sh. Asit Gopal, Commissioner, National Education Society for Tribal Students (NESTS), an autonomous organization under Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Dr. Naval Jit Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Mr. R. Pavithra Kumar of Tata Trusts were among those present on the occasion.
While addressing the participants, Sh. Anil Kumar Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs said that experiential learning envisions to help teachers establish tribal students’ connect with their own contexts and real-life experiences. He further added, “The tribal students studying in EMRS though are first generation learners, however, creativity is inherent amongst them. Creativity, enterprise, risk-taking are some of the attributes that naturally get unleashed during their life-cycle. “ He said that the program will do a great service for the cause of tribal education development having exponential impact on the way EMRS schools emerge as model schools in the times to come.
The Experiential Learning for 21st Century Programme has been conceptualized as an online certificate course for educators – teachers, school heads and principals to help them adapt classroom learning to real life experiences. Out of 650 educators, who applied for this, 350 have been selected based on the criteria of digital literacy, comfort with English, and their motivation to learn new pedagogies. The program will be offered free of cost to all the selected teachers and principals from 20th November 2021 onwards. Select teachers will be recognized as “Teacher Leaders” by MoTA and will espouse the Experiential Learning Pedagogy to the EMRS teaching fraternity in a phased manner. The course will capacitate the teachers to equip the students with 21st century skills and learning processes.
The Experiential Learning course has been curated in consultation with the faculty from TISS and MGIS to incorporate theoretical and practitioner perspectives of experiential learning for teachers. It is a 6 week program covering 4 modules supported with virtual webinars to discuss the teachers’ understandings and assist them along with the course learnings. Webinars shall provide further orientation on the pedagogy focusing on project mapping and lesson planning. It will empower teachers with ideas and strategies that make the learning process more meaningful, that add challenges, that allow linkages with real-life and hone creativity, communication, and collaboration skills among their students.
While appreciating the uniqueness of the program, Sh Manoj Ahuja, Chairman, CBSE highlighted the imperative need of making students’ experiences count as learning is integral to human beings. He asserted, “Children are naturally curious and human learning is always forward moving. The objective is to re-orient education to children’s experiences by focusing on their livelihoods, environment and day to day living”. He also emphasized on the need to build an ecosystem, where children’s curiosities and experiences find way leading towards a movement or revolution.
Sh.Asit Gopal Commissioner NESTS, in his welcome address said that said that it is providential that national apex bodies such as CBSE, Tata Trusts, MGIS have joined hands together with NESTS to enliven the spirit of National Education Policy-2020 to provide continuous professional development to our teachers. He added, that the Ministry has taken a resolve of establishing 740 EMRSs in the tribal hinterlands, reaching out to the last child in the remotest tribal-dominated parts of the country. The experiential learning program will provide tribal students an occasion to bloom their own experiences and learnings through their own contextual understanding.
Applauding the joint venture, Dr. Navaljit Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, said that that the Ministry has been continuously forming alliances with top education bodies as NCERT, NIEPA, IITs, Microsoft to empower EMRS teachers and support their continuous up-skilling. This partnership will strengthen the edifice of education structure which is made up of not only school building but teachers who inculcate qualities of passion and dedication amongst students.”
The Experiential Learning for 21st Century Programme aims to:
- Sensitize teachers towards multi-sensorial pedagogical experiences with a special focus on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of students.
- Enable teachers to construct alternative strategies to develop 21st-century skills and competencies in their students.
- Guide teachers to map learning experiences to concepts and competencies.
- Transform teachers as active members, contributing to a community of educators.
- Support upskilling of teachers as teacher-leaders.
“Tata Trusts’ work in education is committed to addressing issues of quality and equity by convening Government partners to address systemic issues. Our interventions focus on innovative, scalable solutions, deployed in government schools that serve the bottom of the pyramid. Teachers are an integral part of our program / intervention and this course aims to enhance their practice. Collaborating with the Government for the professional development of teachers is therefore central to the Trust’s work in education.”, said R Pavithra Kumar, Chief Program Director- Tata Trusts.