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The state of teachers training and education in India

Context:

  • There may soon be mandatory one-year inductee teacher training for those who want to teach in higher technical institutions.

Introduction:

  • The new initiative is aimed at having trained teachers equipped with the technical wherewithal to churn out students who are skilled and employable

Reasons for poor quality of teachers training:

Education is a fundamental right for those aged between six and 14 years, but there has hardly been a coordinated effort to better the lot of teachers who teach these children. The reasons for poor quality of teachers training are discussed below.

  • For years, certain institutions which impart teacher training courses have failed to get the necessary recognition from the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
  • The future of those who graduate from such institutions, which are funded by the Central/ State government or Union Territory administration concerned, has been in jeopardy.
  • Certain institutions failed to obtain recognition and permission from the Council, though they continued to admit students for teacher education and training courses.
  • Irrelevant licensing and privatization of Teachers Education Institutes leading to low quality training of teachers.
  • Huge number of TEIs being either corrupt or dysfunctional.
  • Increasing number of teachers with substandard training because of lack of faculty in TEIs.

Role played by National Council of Teacher Education(NCTE):

  • National Council for Teacher Education(NCTE) is a statutory body of Indian government set up under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993.
  • It was set to formally oversee standards, procedures and processes in the Indian education system.
  • This council functions for the central as well as state governments on all matter with regards to the Teacher Education and its Secretariat is located in the Department of Teacher Education and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

Role played by NCTE in improving quality of education

  • Regulation of teacher training institutes.
  • Recruitment of well qualified teacher through various exams like NET.
  • Running teacher education program like BED and Med
  • Role played in planning and development of teacher education institute.
  • Providing course curriculum direction, desirable institutional architecture to TEIs.
  • Setting of required qualification of Teacher’s Eligibility.
  • To undertake survey and studies relating to various aspect of teacher education system
  • Coordination and monitoring teacher education and it’s development in country
  • It lay down the minimum education required to person as teacher in school

Challenges before NCTE:

Despite the successful functioning in terms of educational field, it is facing difficulties in ensuring the maintenance of the standards of teacher education and preventing the increase in the number of substandard teacher education institutions in the country. NCTE has been hunched by many challenges which are given below:

  • The challenges of communal tension corruption inefficiency have always overshadowed the education parameters
  • Absence of ombudsman to look after it whether the sets of the procedures are properly followed are not
  • Lacuna in the infrastructure resources quality teachers to train the teachers have been in dilapidated stage.

The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017:

  • The Bill was introduced by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr Prakash Javadekar in Lok Sabha on December 18, 2017.
  • The Bill amends the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993.
  • The NCTE plans and co-ordinates the development of the teacher education system throughout the country.
  • It also ensures the maintenance of norms and standards in the teacher education system

Key features of the Bill:

  • The Bill introduces a one-time measure to grant retrospective recognition or permission to such institutions or courses, as the case may be, by suitably amending Sections 14 and 15 of the 1993 Act.
  • The amendments include granting retrospective recognition to institutions funded by the Central or State government or the Union Territory administration, and as may be notified by the Central government, which offered teacher education courses on or after the appointed day till the academic year 2017-2018.
  • It proposes to amend Section 15 to grant retrospective permission to the new course or training in teacher education offered by the institutions, as may be notified by the Central government, on or after the appointed day till the academic year 2017-18.
  • Retrospective recognition of certain teacher education institutions: The Bill seeks to grant retrospective recognition to institutions:
  • notified by the central government,
  • funded by the central government or state/union territory government,
  • which do not have recognition under the Act, and
  • Which must have offered teacher education courses on or after the establishment of the NCTE until the academic year 2017-2018.

Steps to improve quality of teachers training:

Justice Verma committee

  • In India many steps are taken to improve the quality of teacher education. One the recent step is to establishment of Justice Verma Commission.
  • Recent steps like formation of Justice Verma committee & MHRD steps towards development of holistic mechanism to improve the condition of TELs are welcome steps in this direction but there still left a long road ahead.

Key recommendations to improve quality of teachers training:

  • Government should increase its investment for establishing teacher education institutions (TEIs) and increase the institutional capacity of teacher preparation.
  • Government may explore the possibility of instituting a transparent procedure of pre-entry testing of candidate to the pre-service teacher education programme, keeping in view the variation in local conditions.
  • Duration of Programme of Teacher Education needs to be enhanced
  • The first professional degree/diploma should be offered in face to face mode only
  • Need to develop broad based norms for qualification of teacher educators
  • Creating opportunities for teaching practitioners to teach in teacher education institutions
  • Need to enhance investment in promotion of research in education and creation of inter- university centre in Teacher Education
  • An urgent need to develop comprehensive programme for continuing professional development of secondary school teachers
  • Set up a Teacher Education assessment and Accreditation Centre (TEAAC)
  • Every teacher education institute may have a dedicated school attached to it as a laboratory

Steps taken by government to ensure right to education:

Right to Education Act

  1. Every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years has the right to free and compulsory education. This is stated as per the 86th Constitution Amendment Act via Article 21A. The Right to Education Act seeks to give effect to this amendment
  2. The government schools shall provide free education to all the children and the schools will be managed by School Management Committees (SMC). Private schools shall admit at least 25% of the children in their schools without any fee.
  3. The National Commission for Elementary Education shall be constituted to monitor all aspects of elementary education including quality.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

  • Free and compulsory education to all children of India in the six to 14 age group.
  • No child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until completion of elementary education;

Way forward: 

  • There is need for urgent reform in the education system.
  • Strict laws and regulations should be implement.
  • Designing effective exam mechanism to avoid under qualified people to enter into the system.
  • Periodic training & workshop should be given to enable teachers to be aware of latest ongoing to improve education system.
  • Aligning national teacher education system with global education system
  • Emphasis should also given to moral & ethical aspect of teacher’s training
  • Need for an comprehensive policy to address the corruption in education field
  • 360 degree performance evaluation measures linked with outcome will have a significant impact on teacher’s quality.
  • More spending towards education sector, appointment of ombudsman, setting up a legal framework to address the issue.
  • Need of HEERA (Higher education empowerment regulation agency) for replacement of UGC and AICTE, 360 degree appraisal cycle etc can be taken into consideration.
  • Conduct various seminars , training procedures to improve quality of teaching
  • Promote and conduct innovation and research in various areas of teacher education.

Conclusion:

Education is the only tool which can bring out a human being from most of the miseries in life. If the proper education can be given to the children & youth of our country we will be able to appropriately use our demographic dividend. The war against the corrupt system has already began and we have to support it by all means despite of all odds. It is only possible when the mind of the people behind the rotten system is changed and for it proper steps should also be taken by the government.

Education is one of the basic needs of human being. To provide quality education should be the priority of every nation. Quality of education is depends upon the quality of teacher and quality of teachers is being shaped in teacher education programme. Teacher education program is the back bone of education system of a nation.

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