Way forward for Teacher Education in India

  • The World Development Report On Education (2018)states that “teacher skills and motivation both matter” and that individually-targeted, continued training is crucial to achieving learning improvements through teachers.
  • Better incentives for teachers:Post training, there should be no differences in the salary of teachers, public or private. This will attract the best young minds towards this profession and will help it regain lost ground.
  • Investments in teacher capacity through stronger training programmes. Teachers need to unlearn and relearn the subjectsand the way it should be taught. There is no point in teaching and employing rote learning, for just passing the examination.
  • Teacher training programmes should be complemented by focus-group discussions with local NGOs and community-based organizations.
  • The teacher training models should have the ability to provide continuous professional development through a blended modelcomplementing existing physical trainings.
  • technology-enabled platformwhich allows training to become a continuous activity rather than an annual event is necessary.
  • Another core determinant of quality is the curriculum which must be regularly revamped and revised to ensure that our teacher education system is aligned to global standards.
  • Ideally, given that teacher education requires a good mix of curricular inputs and good-quality pedagogy, experts are rightly advocating for a shift towards integrated four-year subject-specific programmes to be housed in multidisciplinary colleges and universities.
  • A common accreditation framework should be designed through a consultative process including all relevant stakeholders to facilitate its wider acceptability.
  • A transparent and credible system of accreditation could form the bedrock for weeding out substandard TEIs and propelling quality improvements in the rest.
  • Given the extensive landscape of the teacher education sector alone and current capacity constraints, it is necessary that multiple accreditation agencies be empaneled.
  • Apart from creating good content, it is also important to consider teachers’ technology consumption patterns, the potential of gamification to drive up engagementand the role of headmasters in promoting teachers’ professional development.

Reforms must be driven by administrative will and executed through a well-established governance mechanism, clearly establishing ownership and accountability for set work streams across multiple agencies. Economist Eric Hanushek finds that a child taught by a good teacher gains 1.5 grade-level equivalents, while a child taught by a bad teacher only gets half an academic year’s worth. The pressing need of the hour is to focus on providing the best quality teacher education to those who aspire to build the future of this country.