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Modernising Teaching & Infrastructure In Education Sector Is The Need Of The Hour

There is a need to incentivise schools to invest in learning, while promoting programs aimed at teacher training and quality.

While educational institutions across several states gear up to reopen, the online learning combined with classroom sessions is likely to continue in a parallel format of education. A long-term vision for blended learning, which will be normal, needs to be created. In the wake of this, information and communication technology (ICT) facilities and digital learning will need to be strengthened across both school and higher education.

Scope for quality of education

In the past few years, while India has done well in ensuring access and universalisation of pre-primary and secondary education, it is lagging behind in many parameters, such as quality of teaching-learning outcomes, enrolment in higher education and the quality of skills imparted to its youth.

With an aim to improve the quality of education, upgradation of basic infrastructure in primary schools, measures to encourage student retention and promoting access to education for specially-abled, along with initiation of comprehensive teacher training programs to remain updated with the newer forms of learning is the need of the hour

Also, there is a need to incentivise schools to invest in learning, while promoting programs aimed at teacher training and quality.

Training teachers is more than a necessity

The considerable shortage of properly qualified and trained teachers, and consequently, the poor learning levels at schools is an issue that needs to be suitably addressed. Quite often, schools fail to invest enough on the development of teachers. Moreover, India faces a shortage of teachers and qualified head teachers. The problem is grave in tier-II and tier-III cities.

The present learning entails that a teacher should be equipped with know-how that is beyond the subject matter. A range of skills such as classroom management, school administration, and most importantly, child psychology are the added skill-sets that a teacher needs to possess. Ironically, most of the teacher training programs that are conducted by the schools leave a scope for more.

When the schools had to be shut during the lockdown, while metros and tier-I cities experienced a massive engagement in online education and live streaming classes, the gap in digital education was evident in tier-II and tier-III cities, which often remain deprived of right infrastructure and technology. To add to the issue, most of the teachers were found to be lacking in the relevant skills to promote digital education.

There is a vast scope for addressing the issues of teacher training, considering that they are known to form the pillar of any educational institution.

Need to initiate a higher level of recruitment process

As per a Unesco report, the current average teacher-student ratio is 1:35. By 2030, about 250 million students are expected to enroll in schools in India; this means the country needs 7.5 million-plus teachers to address this massive student population in the future. Therefore, apart for more fund allocation, there is a need to conduct a higher level of recruitment process.

There is a need to reimagining education to fulfill the mandates laid out as per the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4): Education for all – ensures equitable, inclusive and quality education along with the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for every individual by 2030.

Also, considering that the present scenario is not going to be a one-off situation, so in higher education, steps for mainstreaming a hybrid approach and lifelong learning is required to be taken to promote learning that is knowledge-based and future-oriented in approach. With the threat of automation and the permanent impact of Covid-19 on certain types of work, educational systems would be required to be integrated with diverse and digital courses to develop a future-ready workforce and increase the job prospects of skilled students.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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