Dr. Jaspal Singh Warwal
There need to be keep a check at all levels – may it be the bottom level where agents exploit the people by showing them the advertisements of good and leading universities and ensuring admission and charging money, or the institution’s management level, or the regulatory authorities’ level and accordingly a stringent action against the defaulters as well. Many states have become like business hubs with regard to teacher education with many sub-standard institutions using mal-practices. Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal etc are a few states to name in this regard. There are many teacher training institutions in these States which do not have even proper infra-structural and other required facilities and services, yet they are running the courses from years using mal-practices and wrong processes. They all need to be checked, given warning period and on non-compliance after warning period, the institutions must be closed down.
The National Council for Teacher Education was constituted under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 for achieving planning and coordinated development of teacher education in the country, regulation of standards and norms of teacher education system. In the past, NCTE has taken various measures for gradual improvement in its functioning and improvement in the teacher education system, e-governance system has been introduced by offering online application and facilitating online payment of fee. Proper Management Information System (MIS) has been developed to streamline the validation process; the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education has been formulated keeping in mind the NCF, 2005 guidelines; various other quality control mechanisms have been devised including restructuring of tour teams, periodic monitoring of teacher education institutes and termination of accreditation of institutions which do not conform to the standards and norms set by the NCTE.
The main endorsement of the National Education Policy is that by 2030, the four-year integrated B.Ed. programme offered by multi-disciplinary higher education institutions should be recognised as a minimum degree for school teachers, so that quality can be created by everyone providing 4-year integrated B.Ed. Higher Education institutions, already running a bachelor’s degree in a particular stream, will also be able to design and run a 2-year B Ed. programme in their campus for such excellent students who wish to pursue further education. Especially for such outstanding students those who have obtained a 4-year undergraduate degree in a particular subject, they will also be able to design and offer 1-year B.Ed. programmes for the purpose of attracting excellent candidates for these 4-year, 2-year and 1-year B.Ed. programmes. The provision of scholarships for students has also been placed in the National Education Policy. The National Education Policy further proclaims that a National Mission will be set up for the mentoring group, which will also include senior and retired outstanding faculty members, who have the ability to teach in Indian languages and who can provide short /long- term counselling to university /college teachers /who will be ready to provide professional support. The use of technology platforms such as self / initiation for online training of teachers will be encouraged, so that standardised training programmes can be provided to more teachers within a shorter period of time. Diploma in Elementary Education is the minimum qualification for middle school teachers and B.Ed degree has been kept for high school, but there are suggestions from across the country that B.Ed. Elementary Education degree should be recognised for middle school teachers, so that quality improvement could be made possible.
Suggestions of the National Education Policy to address the decline in teacher education standards seem to be the right steps for enhancement / improvement of quality in future. The youth and children in the country and infact every stakeholder will have to make diligent efforts and to set right the spoiled records by avoiding and discouraging mal-practices and process. The research, innovations, technology will have to be augmented optimally, so that the teacher education could be made more relevant to the needs of present and future learners. A frontline approach should be encouraged so that latest changes in the curriculum can be accommodated easily. There is a need to make efforts at all levels to restore prestige of the teaching profession. Improving the curriculum, identifying quality institutions, selecting talented students interested in teaching, developing innovative changes in teaching Setting-up of testing centers, study models, application of new techniques, encouraging new methods of teaching, setting-up of a Model Teacher Education Institute in each district of the country, NCTE, NCERT and SCERT. Appropriate synergy in RT, Task Force / Mentoring Groups in collaboration with State Governments and Central Government to improve teacher education, guidance of Ministry of Education and selection of Tutor Subjects of Teacher Education are suggested by National Education Policy 2020 across the country, NTA’s help should be taken for the selection of meritorious students who can be helpful in the admission process of teacher education institutes all over India. Continuous monitoring should be taken with assistance of technology. You will be made a teacher to know the moral, the values of Indian values, languages, knowledge, ethos and traditions tribal traditions. To conclude the reflections on National Education Policy 2020, I would just like to summarise and say that its a landmark document in the Indian education history which is a very comprehensive and holistic.