Today, India is celebrating Teachers’ Day. The teacher is integral part of the education system. Indeed, the quality of teacher and teaching shapes the individuals, society and nation. For quality teachers, quality of education of teachers is essential. Teacher education would include policies, programs, procedures for training, imparting knowledge, skills and behavioural change. Investment in teacher education can significantly improve learning outcomes at lower cost.
During the tenure of the Modi government, the spend on education increased to 4.6% of GDP from 3.8% in 2014 signifying the importance attached to the education sector.
Modi government has taken several steps to improve the quality of teachers empowering them with necessary support and skills. Here in this article, we will take a look at steps taken in this regard.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT)
In higher education it seeks to set performance standards along with top class institutional facilities ensuring professional development of teachers. In all, around 75,000 target beneficiaries will gain from the different training programs. Over 39,850 teachers have been covered through capacity building programme in various discipline in sciences, social sciences, languages, technical and engineering. Even teachers in private institutions to participate in induction training, capacity building. Special focus is on teacher education in tribal areas, women universities, disability studies. The mission also imparts academic leadership development training for around 1,26,377 high-level academic leaders like vice-chancellors, principals, Head of the Department etc.
Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT)
Discipline-specific institutions have been notified as National Resource Centres to prepare online training material with a focus on latest developments. The unique initiative is for professional development of 1.5 million higher education faculty using SWAYAM platform for MOOCs.
Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Act, 2019
The act ensures full representation of SCs, STs, SEBCs and EWS attracting eligible talented candidates in direct recruitment of teachers’ cadre. The act will pave the way for filling up 3 lakh vacancies in the government educational institutions. Moreover, it considers university/college as one unit rather than a department/subject.
Samagra Shiksha Scheme
With regard to school education, assistance is provided to State governments/UTs for additional teachers to maintain a teacher to pupil ratio.
Four year B. Ed integrated course
The program, primarily for the primary level and the secondary level, has been published in the official gazette. Model curriculum for the program addresses the needs of 21st century. The curriculum includes crucial aspects like Health & Sanitation, Global Citizenship Education, ICT, gender-inclusive education etc.
National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers portal aims for tech-based solutions to empower school teachers of the country by covering the entire lifecycle of the teacher – from their enrolment in Teacher Education Institutes till retirement. It will aid teachers to learn and train themselves making them available with assessment resources.
Performance Grading Index (PGI)
The PGI grades States and UTs based on 70 indicators matrix. UDISE+, an educational management information system, has been launched to collect timely and accurate data.
Performance Indicators for Elementary Education (PINDICS)
These indicators are developed by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for tracking performance and attendance of teachers in government schools.
Apart from this, The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) was entrusted with the training of untrained in-service elementary teachers in line with the amendment to Right To Education Act for minimum qualification laid down by academic authority. As on February 2019, 13,78,979 untrained in-service teachers have confirmed admissions at NIOS Portal.
Moreover, the draft National Education Policy proposes massive transformation in teacher education by moving it to multidisciplinary universities/colleges and make four-year integrated B.Ed. programme as minimum qualification for teachers. The draft Policy recommends development of a Continuous Professional Development programme.
Thus, the steps taken by the Modi government to empower teachers are in line with 21st century needs of the teacher education for New India