20 Apr 2012

OU receives £953,523 from the Kusuma Trust UK for teacher professional development in Indian secondary schools

The Open University has received a £953,523 grant from Kusuma Trust UK for Teacher Professional Development in Secondary Science and English in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The project builds on the OU's work in the award-winning English in Action programme in Bangladesh and the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme. It is based around practical activities for teachers to carry out in their classroom practice, which drive professional development and improvements in student learning. Low-cost materials, including audio-visual ones, will be made available through mobile phones, and teachers will also receive face-to-face training and support, provided as part of the Hardoi implementation of RMSA*, the national strategy for improving the quality of secondary education.
The Kusuma Trust’s grant supports the first phase of the project, which runs to through to 30 June 2013, reaching all Science teachers of Classes 9-12 in Hardoi, and will produce fully bespoke materials and programmes for Science and English. Subject to funding, subsequent phases will train all teachers of Science, English and Mathematics (Classes 9-12) in the Hardoi district.
Dr Balwant Singh, CEO of Kusuma Trust UK, said: “Education has the power to transform lives and every child should have the opportunity to grow and develop as an active and productive citizen. Our main priority is to support interventions that improve education outcomes for young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, enabling them to realise their potential and break the inter-generational cycle of poverty. By supporting the OU to train teachers and develop educational materials, we intend to help students receive a better quality secondary education and progress to higher education”
Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University said:
“Using the power of technology to unlock great learning outcomes lies at the heart of this project. We have already proved that this approach works with our award-winning English In Action programme in Bangladesh and our Teacher Education in sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) which improves teaching in 12 African countries. Here, we are taking that expertise into secondary education, helping more Hardoi students get the grades they need to participate in Higher Education.”
Although the project targets the Hardoi district, the resulting programmes and materials will have the potential for much wider uptake. The project outputs will ultimately contribute to a national network of Open Educational Resources (OERs) under a Creative Commons licence, enabling free access, use or adaptation, in programmes across India.

Notes to Editors

1.*The project supports the district and state implementation of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), the national strategy for improving the quality of secondary education; and the implementation of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) national curriculum and examinations frameworks for science and mathematics.

2.Kusuma Trust UK is a UK-based philanthropic trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Dr Soma Pujari, and it supports interventions, innovations, research, training and advocacy to improve education and employment outcomes for young people in secondary and tertiary education. For more information, visit or contact the CEO, Dr. Balwant Singh, at

3.English In Action (EiA) is a major Department for International Development-funded programme initiated by the Government of Bangladesh. The OU is working with international management firm BMB Mott MacDonald, BBC World Service Trust and local partners, to improve English language skills for 25 million people in Bangladesh. Following a successful initial phase from 2008, a further three-year contract for EiA was signed in 2011. The OU is leading in two areas of the project which are 1) primary and secondary teacher training delivered through school-based professional development, enhanced with mobile technologies, including mobile phones, and 2) cross-project research, monitoring and quality assurance.

4.TESSA – Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa – is a pan-African network of teacher educators working to improve teacher education and training in Africa using Open Educational Resources (OERs). The Open University is a founding member of TESSA. More than 300,000 teachers, many working under highly disadvantaged circumstances, have benefited from TESSA resources. The TESSA network has developed an extensive range of high-quality multilingual, audio and text OERs to support improvements in teachers’ classroom practice. The resources are designed for all teachers, including those with little or no formal training.

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