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New agreement works to enhance teachers’ skills in India

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Curtin University will create and implement online training modules and other professional development tools for many of India’s eight million teachers under a new agreement with the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in India.

Curtin will also help establish a research centre for Excellence in Teacher Education at NCERT, which will deliver mutually beneficial research training and collaborative research projects to improve educational frameworks and pedagogical practice in both nations.

The agreement was formalised this week with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Melbourne, which was attended by Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry, NCERT Director Professor Hrushikesh Senapaty and the Indian Minister of Human Resource Development (Education) Mr Prakash Javadekar.

Professor Terry said she was delighted with the University’s collaboration with NCERT which should positively influence the development of India’s education system.

“Given Curtin University’s experience and expertise in delivering high-quality teacher training programs online through Open Universities Australia, and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) through edX, this agreement with NCERT is a natural progression for the University,” Professor Terry said.

“NCERT has the objective of training at least 3.2 million of an estimated eight million teachers across India and I am pleased that Curtin can help the Indian Government achieve its five-year plan to improve teacher quality.

“Under this agreement, Curtin University, through its School of Education, will be able to make a real and significant impact to the future development of India’s education system.”

Associate Professor Anna Parkin, the Dean of International and Strategic Partnerships at Curtin’s Faculty of Humanities, said online training was just one aspect of Curtin’s contribution to the partnership.

“In addition to online modules, there will be research and analysis of the effectiveness of India’s existing education infrastructure, platform suitability, framework and policy requirements, and teacher incentives to complete the training,” Associate Professor Parkin said.

Associate Professor Parkin said the partnership also aimed to attract more qualified teachers to rural areas, improve regional education systems and provide ongoing training to isolated and disadvantaged teachers, including women with family commitments.

“Digital mobile technologies are an important vehicle for reaching this widely dispersed cohort. In India, it is estimated about 80 per cent of all people accessing online content use mobile devises, and with nearly 1.2 billion mobile phones connected and 92 per cent of citizens connected, using this platform to reach India’s 8 million teachers is a logical part of the solution,” Associate Professor Parkin said.

The MoU was signed by Professor Terry and Professor Senapaty on 2 July 2018.

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