India faces a shortage of over a million trained and qualified teachers at both elementary and secondary school levels. While the Indian Government has initiated several state and national level teacher education and training programmes, the need is far greater.
Initiated in November 2012, TESS-India was implemented across seven key states: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Assam, and West Bengal, working with Government, Academic and Industry partners. TESS-India resources have reached more than 1.2 million teachers and teacher educators to date.
Freely available to all, TESS-India’s toolkit of Open Educational Resources (OER), equips teachers with the knowledge to actively engage their students in meaningful learning. Teachers can freely adapt the resources to meet the needs of their classroom and construct personalised learning pathways. The resources are available in five languages and can be accessed across various technologies such as print, CD, USB, mobile phones, and tablets.
Created collaboratively with over 200 Indian and international teacher education experts, the resources enable teachers to turn teaching policy into real practice. Teacher educators are incorporating them into their pre- and in-service programmes, sustainably strengthening existing systems at relatively low cost.
Teachers and teacher educators were supported by a free 6-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in English and Hindi, “Enhancing Teacher Education through OER.” Over 50,000 people registered for the MOOC over its three iterations (2015 – 2017), and 50% completed the course. The MOOC was supported by face-to-face contact classes that allowed learners to engage in their mother tongue and access connectivity and technology. Many learners formed their own communities of practice through social media that are still active now.
The TESS-India distributed model of leadership and management engages school leaders, teacher educators, and state administrators in understanding and applying effective management strategies, such as school self-review, improvement planning, assessment, and defining school culture.