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CENTA has over 2 lakh teachers getting professional skills

CENTA has over 2 lakh teachers getting professional skills
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CENTA has over 2 lakh teachers getting professional skills

Highlights

CENTA (Center for Teacher Accreditation) program aims to prepare school educators and aspiring teachers, including working professionals from other domains, with future skills and practical skill sets required to be a professional teacher and strengthen their ability to get the best teaching jobs in India and abroad

CENTA (Center for Teacher Accreditation) program aims to prepare school educators and aspiring teachers, including working professionals from other domains, with future skills and practical skill sets required to be a professional teacher and strengthen their ability to get the best teaching jobs in India and abroad. It allows candidates to gain practical skill sets in an online format and get a great boost or start to their teaching careers. The program not only empowers teachers with new skills and technology, it also provides job assistance and helps with career progression opportunities. Ramya Venkataraman, Founder & CEO of, CENTA talks to The Hans India's Aksheev Thakur on the difference CENTA and Manipal Global Education Services are bringing in teacher preparation and upskilling space.

How has CENTA grown over the years? Do private schools give weightage to CENTA?

CENTA has grown rapidly in a short span of five years. We work with close to two lakh teachers from 30,000+ schools and 6000+ cities, towns and villages across India and abroad. Thousands of private schools across the country give weightage to CENTA in recruiting, internal promotions, performance appraisals and teacher professional development. There are also 16 government departments which have actively encouraged their teachers to participate in CENTA's initiatives. There are a few schools abroad who are recruiting teachers from India based on CENTA's certification. Further, CENTA has also grown in terms of addressing professional lives in an end-to-end manner - assessing and certifying teachers, catalyzing career opportunities and rewards, supporting professional development or training needs, and creating a professional community.

How do you convince the teachers to take up CENTA accreditation?

Ultimately the strength of any accreditation is based on the career opportunities one gets through that accreditation, which in turn depends on the quality of the test itself. Today, a large number of employers are convinced about the quality of CENTA's testing. There have been many international reviews of CENTA Standards (our testing framework). The test itself is available in 40 different subjects and six different languages. Therefore, thousands of private schools across the country now give weightage to CENTA in their recruiting, internal promotions, performance appraisals and professional development. There are also 16 government departments which have actively encouraged their teachers to participate in CENTA's initiatives. With this kind of support from employers, teachers naturally aspire for this accreditation. The MyCENTA Learning Platform (m.centa.org from a mobile browser), which has free membership, also helps teachers build competencies needed for the accreditation.

The pandemic has forced teachers to drift from the traditional way of teaching and many found difficult to cope with the online classes. How has been the response to CENTA during this period?

CENTA has seen extraordinary growth during this period - engagement on our learning platform has gone up eight times, testing has gone up multi-fold. There seems to be two factors driving this. Firstly, in the online mode, teaching has become much more "visible" to parents and society at large. Therefore, society has started recognising that teachers play most important role in quality of education and that a competent teacher makes a big difference even while using the same technology and content. Due to this, teachers as well as their employers (schools, online teaching companies, etc.) are keen on both teacher training and teacher certification, and come to CENTA for that. Secondly, with online and supplemental teaching picking up rapidly, many new types of opportunities are opening up for teachers on the MyCENTA platform, including part-time and flexible roles, international roles and so on. This is the other factor driving growth.

How has been the response to CENTA in different cities? Have the teachers from the government schools also been a part of CENTA?

As mentioned earlier, CENTA currently works with two lakh teachers who come from 30,000+ schools and 6000+ cities, towns and villages across India - so there is a huge response from the biggest to the smallest locations and literally every State and Union Territory. The number of teachers associated is naturally much higher in the top 8 to 10 cities, but there is also a lot of enthusiasm from tier 2 towns especially when upcoming schools want to showcase their teacher quality and individual teachers want to look at career growth. There are also 16 government departments which have actively encouraged their teachers to participate in CENTA's initiatives and about 35% of teachers on the MyCENTA platform are government teachers. CENTA currently works in six languages including English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

CENTA, Professional Skills

Manipal Global Education Services and CENTA have partnered to launch a distance-learning based Post-graduate Certificate Program (PGCP) on "Teaching for the Future", with the PGCP coming from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (formerly called Manipal University). The first batch of 100 candidates has started and enrolments are going on for the second batch starting in December. This program aims to be one-of-its-kind in many ways. Every aspect of the design is extremely practice-oriented so that new teachers can hit the ground running and senior teachers can see a big step-up in their practice. The schedule and online mode allow working professionals as well as homemakers to participate. There is strong career linkage through a well-designed internship as well as placement process, with many leading employers already signed up for the placement fair. There are elective courses specifically targeted at career opportunities in international board schools, international locations and online teaching. Further, the program offers tremendous global exposure - the first batch has already experienced lectures from reputed global leaders such as Dr. Karthik Muralidharan from University of California, San Diego, Dr. Fernando Reimers from Harvard University, Dr. Padma Sarangapani from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and others.

Manipal Global Education Services and CENTA hope to set an example in the teacher preparation and upskilling space and also have thousands of current and aspiring teachers benefit from such a program.

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