Have you ever felt that during your school days that if a particular topic was taught in a certain way then the subject would have become more interesting. How many times have we silently wished that our teachers were more updated on a particular concept. Information is spread across the vast sea but how do you use the relevant information is what matters. This technique can be changed by giving more acess to techniques and information to our teachers, which can be done easily with a lower cost.
It is important to given an opportunity and platform to our teachers to update themselves so that they can update the new generations.
I had an opportunity to chat with the Gurushala Team to know more about digital teaching.
Gurushala is an initiative of Vodafone India Foundation and Indus Towers and is implemented by Pratham Education Foundation. The idea driving Gurushala dates back to 2012 when a digital education programme was piloted in 151 under-resourced and low-cost schools across India. The programme aimed to positively impact the learning levels of students by equipping schools with digital technology and training upper-primary math and science teachers to integrate technology and innovative group learning pedagogies inside the classroom.
Can you please tell us more about Gurushala ?
Gurushala is a digital education-oriented portal that focuses on four aspects- teacher capacity building through courses, digital content dissemination, networking and communication for teachers, and education & research.
Over the years, Gurushala has worked with schools across diverse geographies, cultures, languages and other socio-economic characteristics. In this process, it has generated a rich pool of knowledge and insights about the problems that Indian teachers face inside their classrooms. Simultaneously we have researched innovative and scalable solutions to solve those problems. The need to provide teachers with an integrated platform for self-paced capacity development, access to varied resources and connect with peer teachers was realized. The growing penetration of internet and smart-phones in both rural and urban areas offered an opportunity to transform this need into the idea of an online teacher portal. In 2019, this idea translated into reality with the launch of Gurushala.
What is the purpose of Gurushala?
GuruShala is created with a focus on taking technology and its solutions to every teacher’s daily life. So that they can use it as a
- capacity development tool,
- an aid for classroom teaching,
- share experiences and
- get access to all the information of advancements in education sector with an ultimate goal to increase the learning level of students.
How is it going to help the rural area students and teachers?
The rural audience is looking for resources and exposure. GuruShala becomes their personal assistant in this regard. It helps teachers to enhance their skills by pursuing courses and it also helps them to interact with other teachers which increases the sharing of ideas, knowledge, information and much more. This way rural teachers would receive the exposure and learning which is required to improve the quality of teaching in the classrooms that would impact students’ learning.
How do you plan to change the face of education?
Education nowadays is not limited to the classroom, digital education is the way forward. GuruShala aims at making digital education accessible to each and every student and teacher in this country.
What exactly is the loophole in Indian Education system?
Just one problem can’t be coined as a loophole. Everything in education system is interlinked starting from qualitative curriculam to quantitative teacher-student ratio. Everyone is trying to mitigate one or other problems faced in education system like some are working on content, digital technology, while others are working on teacher training, community aspect, etc. Therefore, each one is trying to do their best as per their expertise to find out what works best as we all are collectively a part of the big change that each one of us has envisioned.
How does Gurushala plan to solve this solution?
GuruShala believes in inclusivity. The portal is created in such a manner that everyone can access it with ease. It is an open source platform with simple and easy to use features.
What is your future plan?
We are working on our outreach plan and would want GuruShala to reach every teacher teaching in India. The future lies in technology and we are trying our best to make students and teachers get familiar with digital initiatives.
Is Gurushala free of charge? Do you take charges from teachers or students to enroll?
GuruShala is a not for profit initiative. It is absolutely free and open source in nature.
Do you offer any scholarships? or opportunity? to students?
Currently, GuruShala doesn’t offer any scholarships but there is an initiative by Vodafone India Foundation known as Learning with Vodafone Scholarship portal which has curated all types of scholarships on one platform.
Which courses do you offer for children?
GuruShala courses are currently teacher-centric or for that matter any educationist-centric. Although, we do plan to come up with some student-centric courses as well in future.
How can teachers benefit from Gurushala?
GuruShala is a one stop platform for various needs of teachers. It comes up with courses, curated digital content from various content collaborators, provides a platform for networking that lets teachers connect teacher of Kanyakumari connect with a teacher of Himachal Pradesh to share experiences, ask questions, provide solutions, etc. There are closer community groups that are sectioned basis subject, geography, interest, etc. where teachers can come and do multiple activities. There are regular competitions that GuruShala hosts which gives a wonderful opportunity to teachers to test their knowledge and win prizes. Teachers can obtain certificates on completion of courses and also earn points for various activities pursued on GuruShala. It has features like leaderboard, lesson plan. as well that makes it a holistic platform.
GuruShala believes in collaboration and engagements. We are looking forward to connecting teachers, educators and people who are working in the education domain. We welcome all those working in the education domain or who are interested inbecoming a part of GuruShala. If anyone is interested they can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can connect with Gurushala. On the following social media handles.
The copyright to this article exclusively belongs to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Any immitation or reproduction of the same would invite appropriate legal actions under the Indian Laws subject to Mumbai Jurisdiction.
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