It is the quality of teachers and the kind of learning being imparted that is critical in bringing about a transformational change in the society, opines Meena Ganesh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Pearson Education Services
Please tell us about Pearson Education Services and Pearson Teachig Awards.
Pearson has been working in a number of areas in education. We work with schools to provide them digital classrooms. We have been providing students with various services for preparation in entrance and board exams. Apart from that, we run a network of schools called Pearson Schools. We have 30 regular schools across the country and follow the CBSE curriculum. We have been intimately associated with schooling and K-12 spaces in multiple angles, so we thought it was appropriate to reach out in a way that will help students deal with learning practices in classrooms better.
We are very blessed because of the kind of support that teachers have been giving us. They showed us the right path and gave us direction. We felt we should do something very exquisite and that is why we introduced the Pearson Teaching Awards. We want to recognise teachers and hear their inspiring stories and hope that other teachers also get inspired.
Pearson Teaching Awards aim to reach out to all corners of India. The goal is to identify, recognise and felicitate teachers who go beyond the administrative call of duty to deliver extraordinary content in innovative, inspiring and path-breaking ways that maximise the engagement of their students. Also, and helps in eliciting their creative potential. We want teaching to be seen as a very exciting profession once again.
Who are your target audience and the geographical reach of this?
The award gives recognition to excellent teachers from all regions and communities of India and highlights their contribution in nation building. It also helps in making a better society through inspirational teaching.
It is a pan-India award, so we are encouraging people from all over the country to come in and apply. We want all urban, rural, private and public to apply and be a part of this award ceremony. We are not restricting to teaching only academic subjects. Apart from the core academic subjects and languages, we also have awards for other categories like sports, arts, crafts, music and other co-curricular activities. Not just this, we also have an award for teachers for special children.
Also, there are awards for innovative teachers who have brought technology or any innovative method of teaching into their classrooms.
What is the criterion on which the nominations and the entries will be evaluated?
We have a very detailed process and the partners are the Digital Empowerment Foundation who will help us run the process. NDTV is the media partner. In terms of the process, it’s a detailed questionnaire that has to be filled in by the teachers and then ratified by the principal of the school in which they work. It talks about what subjects you teach, how long you have been teaching, how many students you have taught, and what you have done differently which influences the children and the kind of change that they are going to make. We will be ensuring that all nominations are authentic and all projects are verified on the kind of impact they are going to make.
What is the time period that has been given to the teachers?
The award applications are open till the middle of November. The awards will be announced by the end of December.
How is the response till now?
The response has been very good. We have just opened it and we have already received a lot of nominations. Website hit rate is also very high. NDTV has been helping us in promoting the awards.
How Pearson is going to contribute in the overall growth story of the education sector in India?
India has a really solid education system and people see it as a major tool to alleviate the societal position. The government also understands that the private industry needs to play a big role in further strengthening this edifice. At the end of the day, it is the quality of teachers and the kind of learning being imparted that is critical in bringing about a transformational change in the society.