first posted @ http://www.northbound.co.in/ma-in-education/
What can you do with a Master of Arts in Education or MA in Education?
Most of us think that a course in Education would only lead to a job as a teacher in a school.
But teaching is only one of the different roles you could be involved in as someone with an MA in Education.
Maybe you have had enough of working in the corporate sector and you want to give back to the society. Or maybe you feel strongly about the unequal access to education in our country and you want to do something about it.
MA in Education does not have an age bar and you can do this course regardless of what course you do at the Bachelor’s level. It is not a teacher certification degree like a Bachelor of Education (BEd) or Master of Education (MEd).
We were curious to know about the course and what people do after they graduate so we spoke to Dr Rajashree Srinivasan who is a professor at Azim Premji University (APU) in Bengaluru.
“The university was set up because we felt that while there are people who are passionate about working on improving the education system in our country, there was not enough understanding on aspects such as the relationship between the teacher and the learner, curriculum, assessment, and school systems, among others” she said.
According to Dr Rajashree, these are the four main areas you can work in, apart from teaching:
You could developing the textbooks being used in the classroom and setting the practices to assess students. You could be designing support manuals for teachers and developing content and instructional materials for the classroom.
There are several organisations working in the area of providing support to teachers and heads of institutions, helping them develop their perspectives on education. Teachers sometimes struggle with content so it is not enough to make a readymade lesson plan and hand it over. Several organisations work on providing teachers the support to develop themselves
Some people choose to continue in the academic field, pursuing their PhD and doing research on education. You could also be in a research role within an organisation, creating studies and reports for them.
Freshers usually do not get the opportunity to work on framing education policies of governments. But they do get opportunities to work on short-term projects with governments, either central or states.
You have to be very passionate about education to be able to work in this field. The work is not always in cities and the pay is not as handsome as in other sectors.
This is something they reiterate at APU to make sure students know what they are getting into.
“We tell students during the interview process that it is not very remunerative, especially to those who have worked in corporate companies. But since the 90s, the social sector has grown and the salary will not be completely peanuts,” Dr Rajashree said.
They also inform students that most of the jobs will be in the NGO sector. In the private sector, one can work with private and international schools or even in an education startup.
Some of the institutes offering this course are Azim Premji University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Christ (Deemed-to-be University), Ambedkar University, Delhi, etc.
We believe that knowing the course and its subjects is not enough. Learning from another person’s journey about why they chose the course and where it led them is also important to help us make decisions.
So here are the stories of three people who completed their MA in Education and are now working to develop the system.
For Krunal Desai, it all started with volunteering at NGOs on the weekends while he was working as a software professional in Pune.
After volunteering for five years, Krunal felt his interest in the development sector growing.
“I was liking the work and I started thinking about doing it full-time. But first I wanted to see if this was a serious interest so I switched from an IT role to a CSR profile within the company,” Krunal said.
After working in this role for a while, Krunal made up his mind to work in the field of education and he pursued an MA in Education from Azim Premji University in Bengaluru.
Krunal has worked with several organisations since his graduation. He worked for a while in Bastar district in Chattisgarh on a year-long fellowship.
“It was a tribal area and many schools had been destroyed during the Salwa Judum movement. There was no place for the children to go study so the government had created temporary structures. A group of us were working in such schools, trying to improve them,” Krunal said.
Krunal has now moved back to his hometown in Gujarat and is working with another organisation on improving the quality of education in remote villages.
Nayan completed her Bachelor’s degree in computer applications from Jaipur but she could never relate to the subjects being taught. During her course, she started interning with a school for special children and found that this work made her feel happy and fulfilled.
This helped her decide that she wanted to work in the education sector. While her parents were supportive, there were relatives who thought it was a bad idea, especially because there wasn’t much money in this field.
“Ultimately, it is your decision, Are you working for money or do you want to work for the society? Do you want to have luxuries or you want to get involved and contribute?” Nayan says.
Nayan really enjoys her work and being so engaged with children. Since graduating, Nayan has taken on several roles in different organisations. She has taught in classrooms, trained teachers and principals, designed curriculum, and is now working on a project to design courses for language teachers.
“There is a lot of scope in this field but it depends on you to find and take up opportunities. Education is something that is not restricted to any city or state. It is everywhere and these days there are so many startups in this field, too,” Nayan said.
Mukesh Kumar had been working in corporates in the education sector for about 12 years in marketing, branding, and managerial roles for higher education institutes, coaching centres, and others.
“In my last few assignments, I came across many students from rural backgrounds who had made huge investments in a professional education but were struggling with the basics. Their parents had taken loans to send them there but their chances of succeeding were low because they did not have the fundamentals right,” Mukesh said.
He decided he wanted to work on improving the school education system and at the age of 32, enrolled in the MA in Education programme at APU.
Working on Education in the NGO sector was a different experience for Mukesh. He had been used to working in capital cities and metros but immediately after his course, Mukesh was assigned to work in rural Rajasthan.
Now, Mukesh is a regional head for Agastya International Foundation looking over the work of the organisation in eight states.
The work is exhausting and he spends at least 20 days in a month travelling across the states. But Mukesh is satisfied.
“Now I am working where it is required, in the school system. Our work impacts 1.5 lakh children. I may not be able to meet all of them individually but I know that it is making a difference,” Mukesh said.
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