Published: 05th June 2020
E-learning platform, Suraasa helps teachers create portfolios, get promotions and bag jobs
Suraasa, the online-learning platform, offers several certified courses of varied duration to help teachers around the world enhance their pedagogical skills. This is how they help them out
Now here's a platform built solely for teachers not just so that they can teach better in class or be more productive, but so that they can achieve progress and promotion in their careers or bag another more satisfying and high-paying job altogether. Suraasa is about all this and much more. A product of Les Transformation Learning, an education management company based out of Gurugram, Suraasa is an e-learning platform that believes in helping teachers get necessary certifications and in training them on international standards. In short, they offer pre-service and in-service education to teachers. They do this through their courses like Mandatory Professional Development (MDP), Teacher Standards and the latest, first-ever virtual course called Professional Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (PgCTL).
Let's upgrade your skills
Rishabh Khanna and Ankit Khanna started working in the field of education about ten years ago. In 2014, they collaborated with CBSE for capacity building throughout India and worked with over 20,000 plus teachers from different parts of the country. "We were trying to understand how learning outcomes can be improved and started measuring many elements. Being a cognitive scientist, I wanted evidence for everything," says Rishabh who is currently in Dubai. They soon realised that it’s the teachers they needed to work with and not the students to improve the learning outcomes. They identified the need to give a new meaning to teaching and learning. To gauge the extent of change needed, they visited hundreds of schools, from those in remote villages, with no electricity, to schools with helipads. Most of their findings consistently pointed in one direction. Most teachers did not know how to move forward in their careers. "If we ask teachers, 'What do you want to be next year? Their reply, depending on their current designation, would be coordinator, vice-principal or so on. But if we ask them, 'How do you intend to get there?', the reply would most probably be, 'Umm.. when the principal recommends me'," shares Rishabh. They wanted to change this mindset.
Rishabh Khanna | (Pic: Suraasa)
Team Suraasa assessed teacher standards of four countries and crafted the shortest and the most effective learning path that the teachers needed to take to get where they wanted to be. Instead of taking up BEd or MEd, they can take up online courses offered by Suraasa, study while teaching and build their portfolio. After completing the course, they can get their certification and apply for a job anywhere in the world. You haven't even heard the best part! The e-learning platform has an accreditation from the UK awarding organisation, Awards for Training and Higher Education (ATHE), and has also been approved by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority of Dubai.
Why PgCTL is unique
The virtual edition of Suraasa's PgCTL is the first of its kind to be launched in India. "It helps teachers learn those skills which will help them teach in any part of the world," shares Rishabh. PgCTL has ten modules and can be completed in ten months by spending just four hours per week. Every module has a pre-skill assessment, to understand the current skill sets of a teacher, and post-skill assessment, to understand if they can really use and demonstrate the skill-sets they have acquired. Faculty from the UK, Dubai and India even deliver these modules face-to-face. The team has also identified four centres in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi where they want to deliver these classes face-to-face and Rishabh informs us that these centres will be up and running by the end of the quarter.
Rishabh Khanna during an offline event | (Pic: Suraasa)
You know how artists have a portfolio to showcase all their work and progress, right? Suraasa, too helps teachers build a portfolio. Sounds strange? After all, how can the impact of teachers be made tangible? Rishabh explains through an example, "A teacher needs to understand how a student who scores 100 out of 100 may not be more intelligent than someone who scores 60 out of 100, they just have different skill sets. How to identify the students' strengths and teach them accordingly is a highly technical skill that teachers must develop. We help them develop this skill. And while they learn, we help them build their portfolio as evidence. Any future employers can easily refer to this evidence to know that these teachers can deliver learning outcomes much better than any other teacher." It is all about treating teaching as a highly technical skill and knowing how to implement it in the classroom. Education must be seen through a technical lens, believes Rishabh.
With an ambitious goal of creating a pool of one million teachers in the next few years, surely Suraasa has a lot more in store. "Indeed. We are building an Artificial Learning-based platform on which, with a click of a button, teachers who have trained with us can sign up for a job change and select where they want a job, they can even consider other countries. These profiles along with their portfolios are accessed by schools who can hire these highly-skilled teachers by offering the right opportunity and package. We won't charge the schools or the institutions for this," explains Rishabh.
For more on them, check out suraasa.com