The quality of education in India is directly proportional to the quality of teaching. Critically discuss. (250 Words)

Mentors Comments:

1. Present proof/ statistics about the quality of education in India
2. Give details about the quality of teachers in India and problems teaching industry faces
3. Mention the importance of teacher training and other solutions to improve the quality of teaching

Answer:

Teachers play a vital role in the quality of education to become the demographic dividend of the future generation. NGO Pratham’s Annual Status Of Education Report shows that India’s persistently low-learning outcomes gain momentum once again. Teachers’ training in India is unable to cover tough spots and follows a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Teacher Education is a crucial area that urgently needs focus in order to develop the standards of pedagogy in India. It is suffering from many deficiencies and structural issues like:

 The majority of aspiring teachers do not have basic concepts of mathematics, leave aside teaching to students.
 Results of TET shows dismal figures of only 3-4 percent of them passing the eligibility test.
 Although NCTE lays down the minimum qualification criterion for appointing teachers at various levels, but some states have sought relaxation in minimum qualification in recruitment as teachers. This has created a large pool of ‘untrained teachers’. Around 20 percent of regular teachers and 40 percent of contact teachers did not have professional qualifications for elementary education.
 Teachers in India, especially those in the government school system, are largely seen as a governance problem, with the focus on getting them into the classroom rather than developing their skills and motivation.
 Those teachers not meeting the qualification were mandated to get it within five years, but this remains unmet.
 Widespread corruption in the appointment of teachers as seen in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and with variation in other states also.
 A National Council of Educational Research and Training study finds there is no systematic incorporation of teacher feedback into designing trainings, and little variation or consideration of local issues. There is no measure of whether this is translated into classroom practice.
 Nearly half the teachers believe that not all children could achieve excellent educational outcomes because of their socioeconomic backgrounds.
 Only 25% incorporate activity-based learning and 33% use storytelling or role-play in their paedagogic approach, either because these weren’t priorities or because they did not have time.
 Irrelevant licensing and privatization of Teachers Education Institutes leading to low-quality training of teachers.

Government Initiative so far:

 Diksha is envisioned as a one-stop solution to address teacher competency gaps through courses that address their skill gaps and by empowering them to “learn what they want, where they want”.
 National Council for Teacher Education plans and co-ordinates the development of the teacher education system throughout the country.
 The Human Resource Development Ministry kicked off the National Initiative for School Heads; and Teachers; Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA).
 RashtriyaMadhyamikShikshaAbhiyan (RMSA), in partnership with state governments, is dedicated to enhancing the capacity of all teachers in Information and Communications
Technology (ICT).
 A four year BEd integrated course to bring about qualitative improvement in teacher education programs in India has been conceptualized.
 Justice Verma Commission and Poonam Batra Committee was appointed to look into teacher education. Their recommendations were based on creating new teacher education programmed in multidisciplinary environments.

What More Needs To Be Done:
 The World Development Report On Education (2018) states that “teacher skills and motivation both matter” and that individually-targeted, continued training is crucial to achieving learning improvements through teachers.
Better incentives for teachers: Post-training, there should be no differences in the salary of teachers, public or private. This will attract the best young minds towards this
profession and will help it regain lost ground.
Investments in teacher capacity through stronger training programs. Teachers need to unlearn and relearn the subjects and the way it should be taught. There is no point in teaching and employing rote learning, for just passing the examination.
 Teacher training programs should be complemented by focus-group discussions with local NGOs and community-based organizations.
 The teacher training models should have the ability to provide continuous professional development through a blended model, complementing existing physical trainings.
 A technology-enabled platform which allows training to become a continuous activity rather than an annual event is necessary.
 Apart from creating good content, it is also important to consider teachers’ technology consumption patterns, the potential of gamification to drive up engagement and the role of headmasters in promoting teachers’ professional development.

Teachers are important. This importance doesn’t stem from their exalted mythical status, but from their role as professionals and critical levers in defining the quality of education children receive. Thus, the Teacher education program forms the backbone of the education system of a nation.

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