On 17th February, the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), hosted the CL4STEM governance meeting – a unique collaborative initiative consisting of partner universities from Bhutan, Nigeria and Tanzania. The initiative is focused on teacher professional development in the three countries, and is a pilot attempt to scale the award-winning CLIx project (implemented in six states in India) to international contexts. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL), Nigeria leads the consortium, which includes Samtse College of Education, Bhutan (SCE) and Open University, Tanzania (OUT) as partners; and TISS as Lead Technical Consultant.
As part of the CL4STEM initiative funded by the IDRC (International Development Research Council), various teacher professional development activities were conducted in the three countries, to develop teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, enhance teacher professional development through open educational resources, and enhance social learning through communities of practice. Teacher Educators in the three countries were exposed to several knowledge transfer sessions as part of the CL4STEM initiative.
Representatives from each country presented the findings of the study, which was conducted by studying 240 teachers and 60 teacher educators in the three countries to measure the impact of the CL4STEM initiative. Prof. Mythili Ramchand, Lead Technical Consultant of the initiative said, “The findings show a marked increase in teachers’ belief and understanding regarding inclusivity and inclusive education practices. There is also a greater understanding regarding the value of universal design learning principles.”
Prof. Padma Sarangapani, Chairperson, CETE said, “We are delighted to announce that the initiative has received a one-year grant extension from the IDRC. This extension will help us scale the initiative to even more locations, and enhance teacher professional development in the partner countries. We are also encouraged by the support given by the three national governments of Bhutan, Nigeria, and Tanzania, who have endorsed the initiative, and have indicated their willingness to participate closely in its implementation.”
Prof. Nuhu Obaje (Project Lead & Country lead Nigeria), Prof. Edphonce Nfuka (Country Lead, Tanzania), Dr. Rinchen Dorji (Country Lead, Bhutan), Mr. Abdullahi Kawu (Project Coordinator- CL4STEM), & Prof. Steve Chidi Nwokeocha (Advisor), spoke about the country-specific findings at the meeting. The meeting was officiated by Prof. Shalini Bharat, Director, TISS, who remarked, “This is a highly valuable and unique collaboration, as it involves efforts by various countries in the Global South, focusing on improvements in the Global South. It is not often that we get to scale projects in similar contexts across continents. The CL4STEM initiative is essential as it goes beyond education infrastructure, students etc. and focuses on the fulcrum of education – teachers and teacher educators. Unless we invest in teachers and in teaching quality, the rest will not take care of itself.”