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Initiative to tackle shortage of skilled teachers launched

Issac John
Filed on February 9, 2012

DUBAI - Dubai-based entrepreneur Siddharth Balachandran has launched an intensive finishing programme to train fresh and inexperienced bachelor of education (BEd) graduates in India in a move to create a talent pool of schoolteachers to tackle an acute shortage of skilled faculty.

The programme, Project Sparkle, is being initiated through SB Global Educational Trust, a registered non-government organisation and a venture of the Cochin-based SB Global group, promoted by Balachandran.

The project extends 100 per cent scholarships to eligible applicants from economically weaker segments of the population.

According to Balachandran, there is an emerging crisis in school education because of the non-availability of “good” teachers. “Many of the fresh BEds are not employable. In spite of having the requisite qualifications they lack many of the skills required in a school of today.

“Subject knowledge alone is not enough,” he said.

“Teachers are the soul of a school. They are primarily responsible for the quality and calibre of the students who pass out after completing their schooling,” he said. Project Sparkle is a 45-day intensive finishing programme with campus interviews/ placement assistance. The course fees, subsidised 50 per cent by the SBG Educational Trust, includes training fees, course materials, field trips, and a set of professional attire.

“During 2012, the project aims at transforming 1000 fresh, inexperienced, graduate teachers across Kerala, into confident teachers with a sparkling attitude,” said Balachandran.

The Federal Bank as a part of its corporate social responsibility activity has taken the lead in supporting this cause and is sponsoring the first batch of the eligible applicants from economically backward segments for this special programme.

Applications are invited from unemployed and recently graduated BEds who are interested in fine-tuning their skills to ensure their employability.

Project Sparkle will be offered from the SB Global centres at Kannur, Calicut, Trichur, Cochin, Kottayam and Trivandrum, subject to the applications from those areas. “The intention is to create a talent pool of teachers in different locations across Kerala so that the local schools can hire them and the candidates are employed as close to their home as possible,” clarified Balachandran.

Batch size is restricted to 25 per batch at each location.

This intensive holistic programme would enhance trainees’ overall skills, transform their personae, boost their self-confidence and make them employable in any school, irrespective of the curriculum. Schools will be invited for campus interviews on the completion of the course.

The criteria for selection would be based on economic background, good academic track record, aptitude, desire and passion to be a teacher.

The applicants would undergo a detailed evaluation and screening process before the final selection is made.

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com





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