The system of education is very vast. Providing equitable and quality education to all is the mandate of department of school education. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic forced the stakeholders to close educational institutions since March 2020. This has caused unprecedented loss and disruption in the education system and affected more than 90% of the school population including teacher trainings. The Ministry of Education Govt. of India and Department of School Education J&K have made concerted efforts to ensure continuity of learning through various digital platforms. As recommended by NEP 2020, each teacher will be expected to participate in at least 50 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities every year for their own professional development ,driven by their own interest(s).
NISHTHA- National Initiative For School Heads And Teachers –Holistic Advancement, is a continuous professional development programme under SAMAGRA Shiksha. The modules developed under NISHTHA, focus on holistic development of children and hence include curriculum and inclusive education, health and well being, art integrated learning, school based assessment, creating safe and healthy school environment, integration of ICT in teaching learning, initiatives in school education and subject specific pedagogies. The main expected outcomes of the modules include:
- To build the capacity of teachers in achieving learning outcomes stipulated for every class in all the major subjects.
- To enable school heads and other field functionaries to implement learning outcomes and other initiatives in school education with support.
- Creation healthy and safe school environment.
- Integration of ICT in teaching-learning and assessment.
- Developing stress free school based assessment focussed on development of learning competencies.
- Teachers adopt activity based learning and move away from rote learning.
Though, NISHTHA, in face to face mode, was launched in August 2019, but COVID -19 pandemic has forced the stakeholders to launch the programme through DIKSHA portal as the learning continuum of teachers and students cannot be restricted due to the lack of readiness to face lock down.
DIKSHA is an initiative of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (Ministry of Education, GoI). The online platform of DIKSHA offers engaging and meaningful learning material for both teachers and students, and is available in the form of portal and mobile App. DIKSHA is conceptualised as one nation one portal and is even accessible to the individuals with a small mobile gadget and minimum or no network connectivity. Continuous Professional Development of teachers is an extremely important element of school education system and DIKSHA serves as one of the best platforms to disseminate teacher trainings. Anytime and anywhere access makes it one of the best available platforms by teachers for self professional development.
NCERT has developed NISHTHA online course and has created the course on DIKSHA platform. NCERT, in collaboration with SCERT and DIETs of J&K will be conducting NISHTHA online course for teachers and school heads. Eighteen (18) modules of the course will be running on DIKSHA App with the help of state ,district, zonal and cluster coordinators and technical admins nominated and identified by SCERT and DIETs of JKUT. Coordinators along with technical admins at all levels will facilitate the registration and enrolment of teachers for NISHTHA ON DIKSHA portal so that all the teachers of JKUT be enrolled in the same course and will be doing the course together.
Modules of course will be launched sequentially on DIKSHA portal for teachers. Each course requires minimum 3-4 hours of engagement by teachers where there will be flexibility for teachers to complete the course in a self paced manner. A teacher needs to do self enrolment and self learning and will be certified on course completion. Only when teacher completes all the 18 courses, he/she is considered to complete the NISHTHA course. Along with the online course content on DIKSHA, department of school education JKUT may conduct live sessions through DTH, local TV channels and YouTube.
NISHTHA is a comprehensive capacity building course for teachers and school heads on some of the recent concerns in school education, developed by NCERT. The course will bridge the divide between various functionaries of school education in implementing the initiatives taken by the department .The package will help in creating awareness, upgrading knowledge and developing skills among teachers and school heads.
Author is lecturer at DIET Sopore. Views are personal.