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Foundation of Modern Education System

by Loknath Das

In response to the deadline set by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to the School Education Department to train the untrained teachers, before April 2019, it seems that both central as well as state government has taken a serious note of untrained teachers who are teaching our future generations. On the face of it, it seems to be a good initiative and both the governments must be appreciated for it, but the fact of the matter is that the teacher training should not be a one-time event but is a continuous process which needs to be looked at in a different way. The government should not only worry about untrained teachers but trained teachers too need regular refresher courses so that they can keep themselves updated and relevant. It’s an established fact that our government schools despite having the most brilliant minds as teachers have continuously shown very poor results as compared to their private counterparts. Although, it will be extremely unfair to make teachers solely responsible for poor quality of education when the administrative setup and government policies are equally or at times more responsible for bad quality teaching as it is these policies which have forced teaching community to take non-teaching assignments like election duties, booth level officers, etc. Under these circumstances training of teachers must not only be taken seriously but at the same time efforts should be made even at the highest level of government for implementation of these programmes on ground so that we may be able to see paradigm shift in education from quantity to quality education. These training programmes must be organised under a well-designed frame work so that there may not be any scope of derailment from particular topic during a training session. Teachers, especially those who serve in the poorest of urban and rural areas need to be well trained and prepared to deal with extremely diverse classrooms of mostly first-generation learners.

Teacher training refers to the policies and procedure designed to equip both in-service and prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and skills required to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom as well as in the school. Teachers training is ideally divided into the three stages, pre-service teaching, faculty induction, in-service training. Pre-service teaching training is training for prospective teachers which is be done through both regular and distance mode. Although many times it has been seen that these teacher training colleges hardly follow National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) norms.

Another stage in teacher training is faculty Induction, which is a process of providing training and support during the first few years of teaching. It is also referred as orientation course. The most important one is continuo’s in-service training for practicing teachers. Among above three types of teacher training, the most important one is continuous in-service training for professional development and capacity development. Since the world is changing rapidly the teaching skills required are also evolving. So, we must accept that no initial course of teaching training can be sufficient enough for a teacher to deliver effectively for an entire service period. Apart from that, the student community today is way different and more curious than say twenty or thirty years back. In this regard, there is a continuous pressure on teacher’s fraternity not only to have mastery in their subject and aptitude to understand their students but also keep themselves abreast about latest teaching methodology. Keeping this in view, there is dire need of continuous professional development of teachers so that teachers like other professionals reflect upon their competencies, keeping them up to date and develop them further. Research had suggested that in-service training will be effective only if teachers training programmes are spread over time, collaborative in nature as well as responsive to the needs of teachers. Although, Jammu and Kashmir government is regularly making arrangements for training of teachers and in fact is spending substantial amount on these training programmes but unfortunately the outcome of these trainings has been very poor and dismal. There could be different reasons for that, like attendance of teachers in these programmes is not taken seriously both by teachers as well as authorities. This in turn becomes a major flaw. Another major drawback in these in-service teacher training programmes is that teachers are trained by persons with little or no hands-on experience of teaching in real classroom. Moreover, these so-called resource persons are not trained to engage with professional teachers. There should have been a provision of selecting among in-service teachers preferably having a good academic background as well as experience as resource persons and not based on political affiliations as is mostly done. The resource personnel should be well versed with training and orienting practices at national level institutions like National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), so that these resource persons will be equipped to face experienced and informed group of teachers in these training classes.

Moreover, these trainings only talk about ideal situations which unfortunately have no relation with actual class room problems and the fact is that on ground the problems are entirely different and acute in nature like the ‘teacher student ratio’, infrastructure and level of students, etc. It would have been immensely great if at times real classroom situations, issues and problems are taken into consideration while giving training to teachers, which unfortunately most of the times is not done. Above all, there must be a calendar of teacher training courses which must be adhered to strictly and due care must be taken that these programmes will be conducted only during vacations so that precious time of students will not be wasted. Last but not the least, implementation of trainings on ground should be linked to the promotion of teachers.


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