India’s National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) & Tech Avant-Garde (TAG), Microsoft’s Global Training Partner signed an agreement to collaborate for enhancing digital skills among the stakeholders of education so as to facilitate a Connected Learning Community (CLC).
NCERT, Tech Avant-Garde and Microsoft will collaborate to enhance Digital Transformation and Holistic Learning (DTHL) in education, as per Digital India Campaign and National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. Digital India campaign (2015) envisions to create basic IT/ ICT infrastructure, delivery of citizen services through portals, apps etc., and digital literacy of all citizens in a time bound manner.
TAG will provide Microsoft course content in the format shared by NCERT under the license CC-by-NC-SA. Certificate for the course will be jointly offered by NCERT and Microsoft/TAG as per NCERT format. URL of L’avenir / Microsoft Learn shall be added as part of course instruction for further learning. TAG in collaboration with CIET-NCERT will run customized courses for NCERT constituents such as: National Institute of Education (NIE), New Delhi[ Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), New Delhi; Pandit Sundarlal Sharma Central Institute of Vocational Education (PSSCIVE), Bhopal; Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Ajmer; Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Bhopal; Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Bhubaneswar; Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Mysore; and North-East Regional Institute of Education (NERIE), Shillong to name a few.
An NCERT spokesperson says, “We, at NCERT, teamed up with Tech Avant-Garde, Microsoft’s Global Training Partner, to enhance digital transformation and learning as the National Education Policy (2020) envisions for use and integration of ET/ ICT/ digital education in teaching, learning, assessment, development of eContents, digital resources for DIVYANG, continuous capacity building of teachers, educational management and governance etc. It also emphasizes on research on disruptive technologies and pilots on such technologies facilitating educational processes well before its scaling in the system. NCERT will identify appropriate online courses related to continuous professional development from the bouquet of courses shared by TAG from time to time which will be helpful for teachers to enhance their Digital Skills.”
Mr. Ali Sait, CEO, Tech Avant-Garde, said, “It is an honour and privilege to join hands with NCERT and Microsoft. TAG – Global Training Partner will collaborate with both on digital transformation of education and holistic learning. It is a wonderful opportunity to empower the most important stakeholders of education – The Teachers. We want to empower educators through a series of activities related to research, material development, training and extension activities which will in turn enhance learning capabilities of various stakeholders of education. In India there are more than 9.5 million teachers, in the new genre of learning every teacher should – acquire Digital Skills, understand the Knowledge Age education and practice digital pedagogy. This partnership will foster all of the above skills in Teachers to make them winners of the Knowledge Age.”
Christina Thoresen, Director of Education Industry Strategy Team, Microsoft Corporate HQ said, “Microsoft is committed to empower every teacher to achieve their full potential with technology. We are very excited to contribute to the partnership with NCERT and Tech Avant-Garde (TAG) in the aspiration to upskill educators and enable new ways of teaching and learning that are demand given the dramatic changes and disruption happening in education landscape in India. Free professional development resources that we make available through Microsoft Educator Center will resonate with millions of educators in India and help them get on a lifelong learning pathway.” Microsoft and its global training partner Tech Avant-Garde (TAG) had joined hands to conduct Hybrid Learning training workshop for teachers over a period of five days in August-September for one hour each day.
On 5th September, 2020, post COVID-19 and the announcement of the Goal’s National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Tech Avant-Garde started the record-breaking Knowledge L’avenir Conclave (KLC) webinars in association with Microsoft, Knowledge Key Foundation, LYCEE Corp, Efeeonline and Roshini Social Schooling. The largest congregation of teachers (5,000) took a ‑first-of-its-kind test and 3,950 of them became Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) certified digital classroom teachers in a single day (27th September)! Till 30th November, they trained 150,000 teachers from 72,000 schools with a student-teacher-parent population of 76 million.
TAG became the first company in Indian education sector to partner with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) conceptualized system, for online payment of fees in schools and other educational institutions. The fees can now be paid from anywhere, any place or on any device. Today about 18,000 schools are uploaded on this platform for fees collections. TAG has an MOU with many school associations who have mandated TAG to transform their member schools into a Connected Learning Community (CLC) vision of UNESCO.
TAG recently presented the Change Maker awards to fifty-four School Principals in India by Tech Avant-Garde (Microsoft’s Global Partner), Knowledge L’avenir in association with Microsoft and Rotary Club. Certain select Principals were from schools that were honored with Carte Blanche Digital School graduation at a special function held in November 2020. These schools have subscribed towards the Digital Transformation and Holistic Learning Program (DTHL); where the school teachers have been trained in Digital Teaching; where the school is conducting online classes daily for all grades; where teachers are MIE (Microsoft Innovator Educator) certified and where teachers have trained the participants in the Knowledge L’avenir Conclave Webinars. The DTHL Coordinators are awarded with Digital Catalyst Certification; Knowledge L’avenir Conclave presenters are awarded with Adroit Mentor Certification; Teachers with digital skills are presented with Empowered Educator Certification; Students are presented with Connected Learner Certification and Parents are presented with Participative Parent Certification. Schools are also eligible to become Microsoft Showcase Schools. And in addition, teachers who have given presentations in Knowledge L’avenir Conclaves are trained to become MIE Trainers.