To combat the global educator shortage and need for almost 69 million new teachers by 2030, IB’s Director General Dr Siva Kumari launched a collaboration with the first non-profit, American-accredited online university, University of the People (UoPeople) to offer educators a cost-free opportunity to build their careers and benefit their communities. Hear three awardees share what this scholarship means to them.
It’s been two years since Director General Dr Siva Kumari began the IB’s collaboration with the University of the People (UoPeople) with the goal of increasing the number of qualified educators worldwide. Since its inception in 2019, when the pilot programme was only available to one region, the IB’s UoPeople scholarship now spans the globe and funds 140 educators on the lifelong learning journey to grow their skills and bring advanced teaching knowledge to their communities. We hear from three UoPeople awardees on the value the IB’s scholarship is offering.
Murali Subramanian, UoPeople Awardee from Indus International School in India
“Many more teachers can now accelerate their career forward and spread their positive influence wider”
“As I do not have a teaching degree, my resume is often filtered out in the hiring process. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity in a school which delved deeper into my resume and saw the good teacher in me. But I cannot count on luck all the time. I couldn’t afford the fees for most of the part-time teacher certifications and found some of the other programmes shallow. With my family responsibilities and teaching career, I couldn’t pause my profession for a full-time course. This degree and scholarship not only adds value to my resume and job search, but it also enables me to be a better teacher in a way that works for me.
Through this process, I am being exposed to theories and knowledge that I was never aware of before. The assignments, projects and discussions with my teacher and peers have opened a floodgate of wisdom, which I can see is already making a huge impact in my classes. I am a passionate teacher, now I can be a more professional teacher. Thanks to the IB and Dr Siva Kumari for the kind gesture and initiative. Because of people like her, many more teachers can now accelerate their career forward and spread their positive influence wider”.
Iman Aref, UoPeople awardee from Notion International School in Egypt
“The exposure to the diverse perspectives and cultures from fellow educators around the world and the opportunity to express my thoughts and beliefs about learning and teaching has been incredible”.
“I have been aspiring to apply for a master’s degree for a considerable length of time, however, being a single mom of three children in the different stages of education made the actualization of that aspiration challenging. Upon receiving my scholarship award email, I was jubilant to learn that I could finally achieve my dream of pursuing a master’s degree in education.
I’m benefiting tremendously from the material covered in my courses. The exposure to the diverse perspectives and cultures from fellow educators around the world and the opportunity to express my thoughts and beliefs about learning and teaching has been incredible. I am sharing the conceptual understandings gained from my study with my colleagues and applying it in my class.
The insights acquired through my current study at the UoPeople have reflected directly in my teaching strategies, lesson planning and interactions with my students.
Therefore, for all the aforementioned reasons, I would like to express my gratitude to the IB Director General Dr Siva Kumari for launching the UoPeople collaboration and funding for scholarship. As a result of your initiative Dr Kumari, I am able to pursue my dreams of completing my master’s degree and aspiring to become a better educator, with perceptions of diversity and open-mindedness, for the benefit of my milieu and society”.
Rajesh Jha, educator from Jakarta, Indonesia
“This indeed is a noble step that opens up the doors for teachers to advance their knowledge and careers regardless of where they live or how much they can afford”.
“As an educator with more than a decade of experience teaching the DP, I’ve seen the education sector undergo an unprecedented transformation: The role of the teacher has changed from a content delivery resource to a facilitator who develops skill enhancing critical thinking, interpersonal relations and international mindedness attributes to young learners using an inquiry-based approach. This requires the teachers to be more dynamic and open to learning to meet the changing requirements of the students and the industry.
One of the IB learner profile attributes is lifelong learner. This relates quite well to the teachers of the 21st century as well. It is important for the educators to continue to look for skill-enhancement programmes and professional development opportunities to grow into their role as a facilitator in today’s classroom.
In addition to working with the IB in several roles, it has always been my desire to maintain my competency and current knowledge of IB programmes. I strongly believe that effective professional development enables educators to develop the knowledge and skills they need to address students’ learning challenges.
In 2019, I came across an announcement on a new initiative between IB and University of the People launched by Dr Siva Kumari. The endorsement by the IB was enough for me to trust the initiative and I took no time to get myself enrolled for the credit-based Master of Advanced Teaching degree. I am thankful to Dr Kumari for not only initiating the relationship with UoPeople but also allocating funds for full scholarships to help deserving candidates who have a desire to learn but are unable to do so due to financial constraints.
This indeed is a noble step that opens up the doors for teachers to advance their knowledge and careers regardless of where they live or how much they can afford.
When I look back, I feel happy and satisfied with the decision that I made to pursue my master’s degree from UoPeople. I would like to thank Dr Siva Kumari once again for her great contribution for us educators, and I wish her luck for her future endeavors”.
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