Teachers at Delhi government schools have several opportunities for professional development
Messages from friends across the country and around the world flood my inbox. They write… “Teachers of Delhi are very lucky, they are getting a lot of opportunities to grow professionally”. I agree with them and I wish teachers across the globe must have such opportunities. Professional growth is as important to the teaching profession as exercise is to the human body.
Teachers and principals of Delhi Government schools have been invited to apply for a 160 hour intensive offline program where they would be trained in Spoken English by international experts. Participants will also have the opportunity to travel to international conferences! This is not just the one, there are many opportunities for professional development which are available for teachers at Delhi government schools.
1. The Fulbright Program: This is one of the most prestigious opportunities available for Delhi government teachers. Technically, this opportunity is for teachers across the country, but In Delhi, it’s special. Delhi government facilitates and promotes teachers to apply for this prestigious fellowship. After the selection, the government treats teachers on duty for a period that ranges from 2 months to 5 months. There are also teachers from other states selected for this program, but the amount of support Delhi government school teachers receive is unparalleled; they are applauded by the Minister of Education. This program is offered by the Department of State, The USA and managed by the USIEF in India.
2. Mentor Teacher Program; One of the most amazing opportunities available for the Delhi government school teachers is the opportunity to become a Mentor Teacher. Mentor Teachers get ample opportunities to attend workshops and seminars and develop their professional skills. They attend workshops at prestigious institutions of international repute at both national and international levels. Programs like this create the stimulus that always inspires teachers to learn. The program has prepared a pool of teachers to lead various initiatives of the Delhi government for the next two to three decades. This is, in my opinion, one of the most successful programs for teacher professional development ever tried and tested anywhere in the world.
3. Teacher development coordinator program (TDC): Often teachers find it difficult to avail the opportunities for professional development available outside the school. They appreciate the one which is available within the boundary of the school. The TDC program of the Delhi government School is rooted in this idea. Each Delhi Government school has a teacher development coordinator. They get training at the National and international levels. Most of the teacher development coordinators have been sent for a week-long training at NIE, Singapore.
4. Core academic unit (CAU): CAU has the mandate to function as the think tank of the education department. Teachers get a chance to work with this unit to reform the curriculum and assessment. Particularly during the pandemic, this unit has successfully led the online educational tasks for the students.
5. Opportunity to work as Assistant Professor at SCERT: In 2020, SCERT Delhi has brought a massive reform and has reserved 25 per cent of its seats for the school teachers. Teachers who fulfil the eligibility criteria can join the SCERT as assistant professors on a deputation basis. More than 50 teachers have availed this opportunity and they are working with SCERT as Assistant professors.
6. Opportunity to work as a resource person at the Delhi Board of School Education(DBSE): DBSE is a new-age educational board, recently established by the Delhi Government. Board has the mandate to reform the assessment system in Delhi Government Schools. The DBSE works with the internationally acclaimed IB board and ACER. DBSE has been working with Delhi Government School Teachers to develop a new age curriculum and a learning-centric assessment system.
7. Book reading opportunity: The library branch of the Directorate of Education has recently launched a unique initiative to drive a massive reading campaign for the teachers and officials of the department. About 500 teachers and officials have been encouraged to purchase books of their choice, and the Library branch has reimbursed the cost of the books purchased.
These are few institutional opportunities available for teachers. Apart from this, there are many programs, workshops and seminars organized for teachers, both online and offline; by the government as well as by individuals, to enhance the professional development of teachers. The online forums Read With A Teacher and Let's Talk Education offer opportunities for teachers to continue their professional development.