- The National Education Policy’s stated goal is to reinstate teachers as the most respected members of our society.
Evolution of Teacher Education
(a) Colonial Period
- The current style of schooling and teaching emerged during the British rule in India.
- This system focused on a behaviourist paradigm where education was concerned with preparing students to be disciplined, English-speaking clerks, to submissively execute the tasks of the British administration.
- It prepared teachers too as mechanics mainly concerned with classroom teaching.
- There has been a slow paradigm shift in the system of teacher education in India, with the successful introduction of National Curriculum Framework (NCF)-2005, National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) 2009, and Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009.
- The Justice Verma Commission in 2012 also stressed upon the need to improve the quality of pre-service and in-service teacher education.
- In 2014, the erstwhile Ministry of Human and Resource Development (MHRD) restructured its B Ed. programme by doubling the duration of the programme to two years.
- The new teacher education curriculum, designed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) introduced several changes in the curriculum.
Need for reinventing Teacher Education
- In order to develop 21st-century skills like critical thinking – it is important for educators to develop skills like analysis, evaluation skills.
- There is a need to imbibe skills amongst students like communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration which we value as 21st-century skills.
- Students now do not rely solely on textbook information for their learning and they are far more aware.
- So, the educator here needs to go beyond the textbook.
- Educators need to command more respect by bringing in more professionalism in the way they deal with students and parents, control and manage the classroom environment.
Challenges to Teachers’ Education
- Poor training: The present system of training and recruitment is churning ill-equipped and poorly trained teachers.
- Lack of regulations: Mushrooming of colleges providing B Ed courses with no proper regulatory oversight.
- Directionlessness: Teacher Education Institutions have been working in isolation from rest of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
- Non-retention of Youth: There has been no system to ensure only motivated and meritorious individuals select teaching as a profession.
Teacher Education Post NEP- 2020
- 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 has put in place different interventions like:
- Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP)
- National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST)
- National Mission for Mentoring (NMM)
- At least 50 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for every teacher in a year
- Eligibility requirement: The four-year Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP), a dual-major holistic bachelor’s degree programme offering B.A., B.Ed/B. Sc., B. Ed., and B.Com. B.Ed, will be the minimum entry requirement for teachers.
- Multi-disciplinary approach: All stand-alone Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) will be required to transform to multidisciplinary institutions by 2030.
- Professional Standards: The roll out of National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) is a continuum in teacher education so far as it would cover expectations for the role of teacher at different levels of expertise/experience at different stages of his/her career, and the competencies required for that stage.
- Mentoring: National Mission for Mentoring (NMM) for schools will be operationalized by NCTE by creating a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty as potential mentors for mentees (school teachers, Principals, teacher educators, etc.)
- Focus on continuous learning: NEP, 2020 envisages each teacher to undergo at least 50 hours of CPD per year.
- NISHHA: NCERT has initiated the NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement) integrated training programme. It is an online programme for different stages of school education– Teachers, Head Teachers/Principals, and other stakeholders in Educational Management and Administration.
- The multipronged approach adopted by NEP, 2020 is likely to revitalise the teacher education, allow bright students to opt for ITEP as a matter of choice rather than by chance.
- Interventions like NPST, NMM, CPD, etc. contribute to qualitative changes in teachers’ pedagogic transaction.
- 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.