Analysis of Yojana Magazine: Reinventing Teacher Education
”GS 2: Education, Issues Relating to Development”
- National Education Policy’s stated goal is to “reinstate” teachers as the “most respected members of our society.”
- Empowerment of teachers remains a recurrent theme in the policy, and it is understood that this can be achieved by ensuring their “livelihood, respect, dignity and autonomy”, while ensuring quality and accountability.
The importance to teachers in NEP 2020
- There is one common factor that can turn the tide and lead the Indian education system out of its current morass of aimlessness and inflexibility to become a progressive, flexible, multidisciplinary, technology and skill focussed education system that will have the capability to produce competent, creative, skilled, employable and ethical learners. This common factor is – the Teacher.
- The Kothari Commission, 1966 said, ‘Of all the different factors which influence the quality of education and its contribution to national development, the quality, competence and character of teachers are undoubtedly the most significant.
- The NEP 2020 too exhorts, ‘Teachers truly shape the future of our children – and, therefore, the future of our nation’ thereby implying that teachers play the most important role in nation-building by creating high quality of human resource in their classrooms.
What is the ground reality as per Justice JS Verma Committee Report, 2012?
- While this idea of an empowered teacher has the potential to move mountains, the ground realities are quite different.
- Justice JS Verma Committee Report, 2012 said, ‘a broken teacher education sector is putting over 370 million children at risk.
- It stressed upon the need to improve the quality of pre-service and in-service teacher education.
- Upon inspection scores of private Teacher Education Institutes (TEI) were found to have only a foundation stone in the name of infrastructure and 99% passing rate.’
- The report also revealed that on an average 85% teachers failed to qualify the post-qualification competency test – Central Teacher Eligibility Test (C-TET).
- The challenges and issues post-employment range from exploitative employment conditions, characterised by adhocism and poor salaries on one hand to absentee-ism, outdated teacher knowledge & skills, lack of teacher professionalism and commitment on the other.
What did NEP 2020 recommend?
- The NEP 2020 holds these dismal conditions of teacher education, recruitment, deployment, and service conditions responsible for the lack of teacher quality and motivation.
- Recognising the ‘power of teacher’ NEP 2020 has put in place systemic reforms that would help ‘teaching’ emerge as an attractive profession of choice for bright and talented young minds.
- It proposes several reforms to empower teachers and ‘restore the high respect and status’ to this profession hoping that it would eventually attract the best minds and talent to choose teaching as their profession. For Example:
Pre-Service Teacher Education
Based on the recommendations of NEP 2020 on teacher education and training, a National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021 drafted to guide all teacher education, pre-service and in-service, of teachers working in academic, vocational & special education streams.
Teacher Recruitment & Employment
For recruitment in private or government school the teacher must qualify through TET, give a demonstration class, pass the interview, and have knowledge of the local language(s).
Teaching Career & Professionalism
The NEP 2020 talks of creating performance standards for teachers clearly spelling out the role of the teacher at different levels of expertise/stage and competencies required for that stage.
Enculturation of Teacher Empowerment
Teacher empowerment means investing teachers with the right to participate in determining school goals and policies and to exercise professional judgement about what and how to teach. When teachers are engaged in the reform process, they need freedom and control over their own work. This makes them feel empowered, motivates them to work harder and enhances their commitment to their learners.
How teacher’s role has been changed?
- There has been a slow paradigm shift in the system of teacher education in India, with the successful introduction of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)-2005, National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) 2009, and Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009.
- Over time, the focus of the system has shifted away from disciplinarian, rote memorisation, to a collaborative construction of knowledge.
- Following the NCF 2005 and NCFTE, 2009, the teacher education strategy is aimed at imbuing the teachers with skills to become facilitators of knowledge rather than gatekeepers of information as well as to make teaching less textbook-oriented and to connect knowledge to life outside the school
- Teachers, today, need to keep abreast with not only the curriculum in the textbooks but also the ever-evolving technology, changing market trends as well as continuously updating themselves with the culture and beliefs that shape up the students of today.
- Teachers also need to play a more conscious role in supporting the parents, community, as well as school management in developing the child. As technology and blended learning becomes a part of our daily lives, and life skills like collaboration, creativity, etc.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had said “Enlightened citizenship has three components: education with value system, religion transforming into spiritual force, and creating economic prosperity through development”. We repose faith in our teachers to become torch-bearers for the young generation and shape India’s development and sustained progress in the right direction.