As per the data, India needs 3 lakh new teachers every year, India produces about 19.5 lakh per year. Where lies the anomaly? Apparently, it lies in the substandard teacher training institutes that have mushroomed in the country over the years.
The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has started the process of delegitimizing and shutting down substandard teacher training colleges. The measure is being taken in accordance with the recommendation made in the draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019.
“A reduction in quantity is needed to boost quality...This is a big challenge facing today’s teacher education sector,” said NCTE chairperson Satbir Bedi.
“We have begun the assessment process. We’re going to try what we can do to keep the good colleges functioning and growing and make the other colleges get out of the system so that they don’t create third grade teachers,” she said.
Just to gain a perspective, numbers can be glanced at. About 90 lakh teachers in all receive training in approximately 18,500 training institutions spread across the country. These teachers, in turn, teach 25 crore children studying in over 15 lakh schools of the country.
“The process of reviewing the performance of the institutions and closing down the corrupt or substandard ones will be immediately initiated through mandatory accreditation of all TEIs [Teacher Education Institutions] as multidisciplinary HEIs [Higher Education Institutions] within the next 3-5 years,” reads the NEP draft.
There are admissions being made by the incumbent authorities with regard to the matter. Notably, the All India Association of Private Colleges which has a membership of more than 9,000 training institutions, admits that a substantial number deserve to be closed down.
“About 25-30% are substandard. Some need to be closed. But others should be treated as patients. If some treatment is given, they can be made healthy. Abolition is not the only solution,” said AIAPC president Ashok Vyas.
Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank recounted the steps being taken to improve teacher education in the country. Reportedly, four-year integrated B.Ed programmes are being initiated. Besides this, there is a plan to choose 700 colleges — at least one per district — as model teacher training institutions, and a plan to review the outdated curriculum of teacher training.
The concern about the static nature of the teacher training curriculum has surfaced time and again. It has reportedly remained virtually unchanged for decades now. It must include modern digital advances and the viewpoint of a child.
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Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.