India’s Wipro Ltd. and the University of Massachusetts Boston have launched a 12-month fellowship program in the United States to train 120 school teachers over three years, with the aim of fostering excellence in science education among students from disadvantaged areas of Boston and New York.
The one-year Wipro Fellowship program for teachers is aimed at developing competencies and galvanizing their leadership potential to make them catalysts of change in their schools, districts and among educators.
“The U.S. is the cradle of innovation. This program is part of Wipro's efforts to align with U.S.’s goal to engender an environment that continues to instill and nurture scientific temper and innovative spirit among young people,” said T.K. Kurien, chief executive officer of IT business and executive director of Wipro Ltd.
The program, to be entirely funded by Wipro, will identify 40 experienced science teachers in the Boston and New York areas — from those engaged with kindergarten to grade 12 — every year, after a rigorous selection process. The nomination process for the fellowship will commence in January 2013 and the selection is due to be completed by March 2013. The course is scheduled to begin on September 1, 2013.
Selected teachers will undergo 250 hours of intense capability development training by a team led by Arthur Eisenkraft, distinguished Professor of Science Education and Director of the “Centre of Science and Math in Context” at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Each teacher will continue to teach in their respective schools, and during the duration of the fellowship, they will also engage with local communities and other interested teachers to catalyze broader improvement. The program deeply integrates three dimensions to help enable this: leadership, reflective practice and adult learning, according to the school.
The program involves a comprehensive set of activities that will seek to improve teachers’ pedagogical and content knowledge with the aim of boosting the performance of underprivileged students.
UMass Boston will partner with a university in the New York City area and multiple school districts in Boston and New York to administer this program.
Wipro’s science education initiative aligns with the “Educate to Innovate” campaign that seeks to improve the performance of U.S. students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the company said.
“The University of Massachusetts Boston community is grateful for Wipro’s investment in the education and futures of our young people. Effective, engaging STEM education is crucial to students’ success; we are delighted to play a role in providing Boston’s teachers with new skills for imparting mastery in these fields,” said UMass Boston Chancellor, J. Keith Motley.
“The program is designed to create a cadre of teacher leaders and help underprivileged students achieve excellence in science education. This dovetails with our goal of working with academia to identify and develop leaders of tomorrow. This is another step towards our vision to contribute to achieving high quality universal education,” said Anurag Behar, Wipro’s chief sustainability officer.
Since the beginning of the last decade, Wipro has unveiled several initiatives aimed at remedying the ills plaguing India’s education system. Wipro’s Applying Thought in Schools is an initiative to help in societal change and development by improving the quality of education. Mission10X is a not-for-profit initiative by Wipro, through which the company works with teachers to enhance employability skills of engineering graduates in India.