Teachers' Education: The Real Need Of Indian Education System
The post-COVID-19 era has made the teaching and learning requirements clear and has made the education delivery systems transparent.
Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma,
Would you ever want an unqualified surgeon to perform surgery on a dear one, or would you get your dream home designed by an incompetent architect, or the least would like to take your car for a repair to an untrained mechanic? Well, why would you? These are essential areas of our lives, and we would never risk it. Right?
Now for a second, imagine millions of children going to schools and being taught by unqualified, untrained teachers. Teachers who are being hired without proper training are left to learn by themselves on the job. These teachers have never learnt the intricacies of handling young humans, their behaviour, their psychology, their developmental goals and how to engage and motivate learners.
According to MOE data (2018), there were around 11.4 lakh untrained school teachers (12.8% of the total in India), and this number was projected to reach up to 25.4 lakh (28.5%). On the other hand, the trained teachers were trained on an outdated qualification designed on an aged curriculum and pedagogy. The Justice JS Verma Committee (JVC) Report, 2012 clearly stated that "a broken teacher education sector is putting over 370 million children at risk". The report revealed that on an average 85% of qualified teachers failed to qualify the post-qualification competency test – Central Teacher Eligibility Test (C-TET). The report confirmed that the aged curriculum and pedagogy, within which teachers are qualified, have a mismatch between instruction and practice. The low quality of teacher educators, the acute scarcity of institutional capacity to prepare teachers, and the gaps in teachers' accountabilities have further plagued the teacher education system. The qualified graduates of the current teacher education system have never been trained on how to handle the millennials and Generation Z learners. This skill mismatch has created a learning crisis in the Indian education system, and we are continuing to accept it, ignore it, and are not paying much attention to it.
And when we do pay attention, we realise that the education system as whole needs to be updated. Everything from what to learn, why to learn, and how to learn needs to be redefined and remodelled as the learning needs of the current generation of learners have outgrown the current education system's capability. And just right there, take a moment and reflect that for teachers to teach these new learners, they need to be trained on the new requirements and the new systems. So, what to change first, the student education system, or the teacher education system? Sure, it looks like a chicken and egg situation. Right?
The teachers today are struggling. The post-COVID-19 era has made the teaching and learning requirements clear and has made the education delivery systems transparent. The teachers' stress is increasing by the day, and the number of people leaving the teaching profession is at an all-time high. The gap between the number of teachers available and the number of teachers required is increasing at an alarming rate. The NEP 2020 indicates that "the country faces over 10 lakh teacher vacancies". In fact, teachers who wish to continue and want to learn, grow, and become competent at international skill levels do not get avenues of growth because of a lack of qualitative teacher education systems. The core of the problem being lack of quality. Just like we wish to transform the current education system because the students' learning needs have outgrown the current education system, we need to transform the current teacher education systems since teachers' needs have completely outgrown what the current system has to offer. Teachers today can't see themselves growing as professionals and can't really foresee a growth trajectory in the teaching profession. The absence of adequate policy implementation in preparing professionally qualified teachers and retraining existing teachers has added to the problem.
The Justice JS Verma Committee (JVC) Report asserted that "apart from augmenting the required capacity to prepare teachers, pre-service programmes require a radical shift in curriculum and institutional design." To create a tangible, sustainable, and scalable impact, we need a system that takes care of the teachers' short- and long-term growth needs. We need a teacher education system that caters to both the pre-service and in-service training needs of teachers. A system that prepares the teachers for present and future needs and simultaneously increases the prestige of the teaching profession. A system that makes teaching more fulfilling and inspires the current and future generations to get into the teaching profession. A system where a teacher can visualise and plan a career progression. A system where teachers can measure and manage their skill set and command their growth as an outcome of their education and competencies.
Our education delivery systems will start improving if we can build a system that caters to current and future teacher education requirements. It's only then that we would see a sea change in the overall development of our learners and the whole education system.
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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