From the desk of the Vice - Chancellor
I was appointed two years ago as the VC of IITE. After a year of understanding and strategising the finer issues of teacher education, we have brought in reforms in all sections viz administration, technology, learning, teaching, curriculum etc. of the University. Here are the glimpses of what changes are taking place in IITE campus at Gandhinagar.
With the launching of the reforms there was a very optimistic mood on the campus of IITE. And the mood is bound to be upbeat, after all in the last one year we at IITE, Gujarat did lot of innovations and are very close to developing a successful model of teacher education. At a time when Institutes of teacher education are loosing sheen, the students at IITE are enjoying working hard, working overtime.
The unique features of this model are
- Soft skill courses, helping enhance the employability.
- Drastic changes in teaching methodologies.With Project Based Learning , self learning, use of technology being in the forefront.
- The Innovation and start up push.
- Horse riding and Judo Karate bringing the needed adrenaline push (to be followed by Rifle shooting and Trail running this year)
- The teachers as mentors.
- The presence of friendly psychologist and Doctor on the campus.
- The technological push
Taking care of Employability and Holistic Development through soft skills.
According to reports the employability of graduates in teaching sector is about 15%. With 85% graduates unemployable in teaching sector, it calls for timely intervention in India's higher education system towards producing more employable teaching graduates.
Last year we conducted many studies, on our students to find out reasons for unemployability. Many known organisations have been working in this area, their findings are publicly available. The findings are common. At entry level you expect a teaching graduate to come with certain skills such as communication, ability to speak English, work as a team, and basic computer knowledge, but these are mostly absent today.
Supported by these findings, we at IITE have decided to train the students in soft skills like Communication, Information Technology, School Management, and Dance / Drama / Painting. We have introduced a course called DIPTI (Developing Integral Personality through Innovation). This course is intended to teach students responsibilities in life.
It has been more than a year now that we are training the students in soft skills and the feedback is extremely encouraging. Parents and students have expressed happiness and satisfaction on the outcome of these courses. A survey conducted on the students who are being trained in soft skills has concluded that the students are showing signs of improvement. They are more confident, disciplined, speak better english, learning very fast through the exposure given to them and are better presenters in the classroom.
Project based learning makes the learning fun and interesting
After intense discussions it was decided that the teaching methods need to be changed. Classroom teaching will be aided by Project based learning method and Active learning method.
Our aim is to nurture young minds become open minded, well- read and well travelled teachers. It was felt that if the students are exposed to best institutes located in Gujarat they would learn the best practices, the world class working methods and the history of the institutes, which ultimately would help them improve the productivity of the place they would be working as a teacher.
Also a would - be teacher needs to be well informed about Gujarat. Studying about the heritage, architecture, history, civilisation, tourism and entrepreneurship of Gujarat will be extremely helpful as a teacher. Therefore we have made these concepts part of the curriculum in the form of PBL. In every semester students are taken out to the following field work.
- Visit to a world class institute.
- Visiting a heritage site
- Visiting a historical site which is also a tourist attraction
- Visiting adopted villages to conduct research -helpful to the society.
- Visiting a centre of disability.
As soon as the PBL experiment started there was electrified atmosphere on the campus. The first PBL of visiting world class institutes like CEPT, NID, IIMA and learning best practices from them brought wonders. The students were comparing themselves and IITE with the world renowned institutes. The process brought in desired push.
The legacy, greatness of CEPT, NID and IIMA, brought in magical changes among the students of IITE. The impact was that if "they can be so, why not we??". The PBL experience has been warmly welcomed by the students and the teachers. The multidisciplinary, multidimensional process of learning is a treat to watch.
Bringing out creativity
Initiating Innovation Cell has shown the creative side of the students. It has brought many interesting findings which are made available in a separate write up in this document. Setting up of a startup cell to promote entrepreneurship among the students saw a lot of brilliant ideas being generated. The best startups have been promised appropriate support and financial help.
Bringing out adventurism
At IITE we offered horse riding, judo - karate as add on crash courses. The first course saw very good response with 111 students taking up horse - riding and 150 students taking judo - karate course. We plan to offer Rifle shooting and Trail running this year.
Taking care of emotional quotient
We have brought in the concept of mentorship, assigning teachers the Mentorship The idea is that the teachers would groom the students, help the students overcome their problems. Also IITE has requested a certified psychologist and a renowned Doctor from Ahmedabad to join the Institute. Their presence has helped the students overcome shortcomings in life.
1. A course and centre of excellence in learning disability
We plan to start a "centre of excellence in disability" by the end of the year 2017. Its a mammoth project. We will need volunteers, experts, trained teachers and a supportive culture where the special ones have faith and feeling of being at home. To creat a natural liking and culture we have collaborated with the NGO's working in and around Gandhinagar in this area and introduced the subject as compulsory PBL. The strategy is that this process will bring the stake holders on a common platform, making it easier to handle the project.
2. The dream of export
IITE has been in touch with the Indian schools of Nepal, Bhutan, Singapore and Dubai. We are talking to the officials and the idea is that our students are absorbed as teachers in these countries. The response is promising.
These were a few steps taken to bring the learning, teaching and curriculum at par with global standards. We would continue till the goal is achieved. The process of reforms would continue. If you wish to communicate kindly write at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and regards.
Dr. Shashiranjan Yadav