– Autar Nehru (Delhi)
An alumnus of North-Eastern Hill and Lucknow universities, Sushma Raturi is the first dean of the newly launched Saamarthya Teachers Training Academy of Research (STTAR), Ghaziabad. The academy provides online teacher training modules in 12 domains including content development and structural planning, leadership and assessment systems.
Newspeg. STTAR was launched on July 15 by the Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions (SAJGEI) in collaboration with its flagship Jaipuria School of Business, Ghaziabad. Since then, it has conducted 50 online training sessions for over 3,000 teachers.
History. SAJGEI (estb.1945) is the umbrella organisation of 19 K-12 schools, five preschools and two business management colleges in north India with an aggregate enrolment of 20,000 students mentored by 800 faculty. Against the backdrop of the Covid crisis disrupting K-12 education and conventional pedagogies, and teachers having to switch to digital teacher-training, SAJGEI launched STTAR with the mission statement to “equip school teachers and leaders with the skills and proficiencies required to create meaningful student learning experiences by developing professional expertise founded on scholarly inquiry, design thinking and research”.
Direct talk. “The role and expectations of a teacher have radically changed after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. At STTAR, we believe teachers need to be urgently provided well-researched professional development programmes to enable them to deliver continuous education to children. Though we had to adapt our conventional teacher training pedagogies to the online mode, it’s been a blessing in disguise. Now teachers across the country are able to sign up for our intensively researched online training classes and workshops,” says Raturi, former head of teacher training at SAJGEI. Prior to signing up with SAJGEI in 2017, Sushma Raturi acquired a wealth of teaching and admin experience in several top-ranked schools including the Assam Valley School, Balipara, British School, Delhi, Loreto Convent, Kolkata, The Shri Ram School, Gurugram, and The Mombasa Academy, Kenya.
According to Sushma Raturi, STTAR’s teacher training modules have been designed after intensive research of contemporary pedagogies and international practice and processes. “These training modules are practical and experiential, spanning vital components of K-12 education such as curriculum design, progression and alignment, offline and online effective teacher-pupil interaction, structured digital lesson plans, classroom observation and management,” she says.
Future plans. As and when schools reopen, the academy will also offer hybrid, i.e, a blend of face-to-face and online teacher training programmes. “Post Covid, hybrid teacher training is likely to become normative. This fits in well with our objective of expanding our operations countrywide while continuously updating content and developing master trainers. Our sophisticated online training programmes will also enable us to provide in-service training to government school teachers in remote rural areas,” says Sushma Raturi.
Wind in your sails!