Teachers education is marked by lack of clear-cut professional standards and performance indicators for instructors. Private institutes in smaller towns fail to provide professional growth opportunities to those educating teachers which prevent high academic achievers from joining the profession states Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), report â€śTowards Professional Preparation of Teacher Educators: A Critical Analysis of the Current Teacher Educator Profile and Competencies.â€ť
â€śLearning, Unlearning and Relearning should be the key to an effective education system,â€ť said, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development at the CII national Conference on Secondary Education releasing the report.
Dr Tharoor said that vocational education is being introduced and the new education system will emerge. He said the recommendations presented in the reports were useful and would serve as guidance for future policy actions.
Dr Tharoor said that despite near total coverage of population in the relevant age group under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the country still faced many deficits in the field of education, including lack of teachers, inadequate physical infrastructure and low level of quality.
The report examines the existing and required profiles, skills and competencies of teacher educators and suggests curricular inputs for improving the standard of a Masters in Education or MEd degree.
Some of the key findings of this report include the fact that there is considerable variation in salary, job security and career growth options available for teacher educators in government and private institutes.
Emphasising that an M.Ed degree does not necessarily equip teacher educators with requisite skills and competencies, the report calls for compulsory modules on teaching, assessing and guiding adult students. It points out that the focus of M.Ed curriculum is more on theory of advanced teaching methodologies and assessment techniques and that it needs to integrate theory with skill-building through practicum.
In terms of deployment of technology and its integration with curriculum, the report makes a comparison between school education and teacher education segments and says that while the former has seen remarkable developments in the form of interactive content, software and other devices, the same has not happened with the latter where deployment of technology remains minimal and sporadic.
The report stresses the need to amend the RTE Act to suit all stakeholders. Under RTE, one of the rules for recognition of schools requires that the schools buildings or other structures or the grounds are used only for the purposes of education and skill development.
It recommends that the government invite corporates and non-resident Indians (NRIs) to channelize private investment for infrastructure development for special bridging schools run by NGOs. This, it says, could be in the form of incremental tax incentives for Adopt-a-School or similar funding programmes.
Ajay Shriram, Vice President, CII and Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd reiterated the relevance of the voucher credit system wherein there is flexibility of a transfer from the one school to another. Ajay Shriram also mentioned that private sector has contributed to the education system but more needs to be done and that the CII will work with the government and stakeholders to bring out a system which caters to each oneâ€™s needs.
Vijay Thadani, Chairman, CII National Committee on School Education and CEO, NIIT stressed on the relevance of ethics and a value in the education system. The CII members are working on an Approach paper which will be consulted and deliberated with a wider audience.
The report recommends that the mode of SSA intervention be changed to place funds directly in the hands of school authorities through cash-equivalent credit point system or some such mechanism to weed out corruption and excessive red tape inherent in the scheme.
By Abhay Anand