1 CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PRESENT B.

ED CURRICULUM

JOY KIRT SIDHU PRINCIPAL HIMALAYA COLLEGE OF EDUCATION RANWAR, KARNAL: 132001 MOBILE: +91-9996020762
ABSTRACT Children are the basis for schools and without children, teachers and schools will become redundant. Teachers are trained professionals and their training and competence provide real education. Teaching and learning encompasses each and every facet of human life. To leave out anything would be rendering it incomplete. As professionals it has become imperative that we see the changes in the very social structure we live in. The skills and competencies needed to survive have changed. The teacher is no longer ‘a repository of all wisdom’ because the very concept of wisdom has changed. Training the teacher to be able to meet the changing world order needs scientific vision and humane perception. The technological advances and the changes they have brought about have affected the economic structure. The role of women and the expectations from the members of the modern society has changed. The very basis of society, the family is undergoing a total change and this has to be kept foremost in mind before thinking of anything related to education both of the teacher and the taught. We have to work together to develop the professional ethos and standards of teaching so that the demands of the new world order are met satisfactorily. Survival of the learners is at stake and the onus of empowering them is on the professional acumen of the teachers. Our first commitment and aim as teacher educators should be towards complete elimination of child labour through Universalisation of Education and similar burning issues in our country. Our training should be designed to sensitize our trainee teachers to know the impact of these challenges confronting our country and the methods to be employed for eliminating them. We know that unflinching support of the community groups is needed to combat these challenges. The parents, community leaders, ward members, Panchayati presidents, youth, local political leaders, Self Help Groups and TEACHERS all of us have to come together in a planned manner. The trainee teacher has to be trained to know the importance of meeting these challenges and bringing together the community for effecting a positive social change. The evolution in teacher attitudes is needed since interactions with parents through extensive meetings are important for achieving universalisation of education. Trainee Teachers have to be trained to meet every parent in the village and locality and motivate them to send their children to schools. They have to be trained to respect and welcome parents and community members to schools which was not a part of the training schedule earlier. Teacher education has to become realistic and address the actual needs of the student teachers and the role they are expected to play in the changing Indian scenario to be able to cater to the needs of the waking Indian giant whose head was in the space age and the tail in the stone age.

2 Access without Quality is Meaningless India is a vast country with a population of over a billion people spread over more than thirty states and centrally administered territories each of which has its own system of education at every level, including Teacher Education. As such, it is impracticable to present a representative picture of uniform teacher education system in this context. India has made impressive strides in recent years in many fields like communication and technology and this is reflected in a vibrant and fast growing economy. It is now an acknowledged world leader in the knowledge industry. However, in the Education sector, particularly the area of Teacher Education has lagged behind other sectors of the Indian economy in benefiting from the fruits of technological developments. Requirements for Teaching Secondary Education Most States require a secondary school teacher to have both a university degree in teacher education (1-year B.Ed.). While not all teachers are recruited from teacher training colleges, to be considered a “professionally trained” teacher and receive a commensurate salary grade, a would-be teacher must go through training in a teachers’ training college. Teacher Training Colleges include about 5,000 public, government-aided, and a rapidly growing number of unaided private institutions, some of which are affiliated with universities. Profile of Participants There are thousands of teacher education institutions in the country with a student population of hundreds of thousands. The exact figures are changing because of the recent explosive growth of such institutions in the private sector. The NCTE approved student intake for the elementary course is 50 per section and for the secondary course 100 per section. A large number of institutions have been permitted to run more than one section for each course. Entry Qualification Requirements For the secondary course entrants, the minimum requirement is a university degree in any school subject. Selection is usually made through a common entrance examination conducted every year, generally at the state level. This situation is again different in every state and changing due to incongruous proportion of seats available to the candidates desirous of doing the course. Participant Performance during Training Student performance during training is evaluated through a combination of formative and summative evaluation procedures. The evaluation is partly internal, through a process of continuous comprehensive evaluation, and partly external, through an annual external examination. Post-programme Certification At the end of a one-year programme of secondary teacher training the successful candidates qualify for a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (B Ed) of the university to which the concerned institution is affiliated.

3 Employment Opportunities and Salaries The NCTE has made these qualifications mandatory for all teachers. Candidates with a master’s degree in a school subject and a degree in education can become teachers in higher secondary schools at both the state and central levels. Salaries paid to teachers and teacher educators vary widely from system to system and even from state to state. Salaries payable to teacher educators, whether in the government or private sector, are governed by NCTE regulations. Teacher Appraisal / On-the-job Performance Mechanisms for appraisal of on-the-job performance of teachers and teacher educators do exist on paper but appear to be non-functional in practice. In effect, after the training phase, the performing teacher or teacher educator hardly ever gets evaluated in a regular and systematic manner. The system does little to discriminate between the effective and ineffective performance. The Context of Teacher Training Colleges in India Quality standards are poor, the result of an inadequate accreditation and monitoring system. Official NCTE guidelines focus more on inputs than on results. Basic teaching, learning and reference materials are in short supply. There is limited exposure to modern or “progressive” teaching and learning methods and practices. The output of graduates is poorly matched to the demand for teachers, particularly by subject discipline. Equally important, few policies are in place to provide incentives for teacher training colleges to improve. Weak Accreditation and Monitoring NCTE sets the norms and standards, and specifies required qualifications of teacher educators. NCTE lacks the manpower, resources, and capacity to monitor compliance with these norms and standards or in providing necessary support for these teacher training colleges to become better qualitatively. Recognition of the need for independent assessment and accreditation of Teacher Training Colleges led to the establishment of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of University Grants Commission in 2002, which produced a manual for self-assessment so institutions can strengthen their programs on their own initiative. It is unknown how many institutions are engaged in this process, but it is safe to assume this effort needs to be strengthened and expanded. Shortage of Resources in Teacher Training Colleges Many faculty vacancies, especially outside capital cities reflect “pressure groups” on teacher posting system. Average Class Size is of ninety five trainees. Learning materials are outdated and or in short supply; laboratory and ICT resources scarce and hardly ever used. Fifty percent teacher trainees surveyed stated they lacked necessary books while only thirty percent of Teacher Training College faculty had Internet connections or links to other educators or outside resources. Where the material is made available the motivation is lacking. Pedagogy of Teacher Education Videotaped teaching sessions (> 150 minutes), made with lecturers’ consent in a range of Teacher Training Colleges, did not show good models of interaction or

4 activity-based approaches. Traditional frontal teaching was the predominant method which is present in almost all the colleges. Trainee teachers do not ask a single question in the class. This is the opposite of what is needed. Teacher Training Colleges need to MODEL student-centered, activity-based learning for teacher trainees so they can in turn apply these methods in their classrooms when they begin teaching. Time on Task Teacher Educator Workload is an average sixteen to eighteen class periods for theoretical instruction, demonstration lessons, lesson plan preparation guidance with a period of forty to forty five minutes i.e. less than 20 hours a week. Just over one hour per week is spent on non-teaching duties. Less than fifty percent of teacher educators are involved in research of any kind. Professional Development (PD) for Teacher Educators Despite the impressive paper qualifications, the competence of teacher educators and hence the quality of teacher education has long been regarded as poor in the country, poorer than in any other sector of education. Institutions catering to teacher education have generally been the slowest and most lukewarm in adapting to anything that is new and off the beaten track, especially to the demands of ICT and work education in the revised teacher education curricula. This has severely affected the quality of teacher education in the country, with major repercussions on the quality of education imparted in schools and colleges. However, a younger generation of new entrants to the profession holds some promise for the future. The situation with regard to teacher trainers in Technical Teachers Training Institutions is a great deal more encouraging. They are generally engineering graduates, often in informatics subjects, well trained and motivated. Perceived Benefits of Professional Training among Teacher Educators In a study conducted only 36% of teacher educators stated that professional training was essential to become a teacher educator. Most teacher educators said professional training in teaching was not of much help in their performance as teacher educators. Responsiveness to Needs (or lack thereof) Teacher training colleges are poorly connected to state education offices, and lack data on the demand for teachers. Very few graduates are produced in mathematics and the sciences. Strengthening of NCTE A comprehensive institutional strengthening program with incentives for improvement would appear to be called for in Staffing (training, technical assistance), MIS, I.C.Ts, networking with other teacher accreditation institutions worldwide. Options for Reform of Teacher Training Colleges Teachers are the most critical agents of change, responsible for growth, development and progress of societies and communities. They prepare the next

5 generations, and the level of their commitment, devotion and dedication determines the future society. The role of teachers is changing in current times, characterized by globalization and liberalization and vast expansion of new information and communication technologies. It is essential that all issues critical to preparation of competent, committed and willing-to-perform teachers be examined in depth, by all stake-holders in the field of education. Changes in policies, practices, curriculum, research areas and priorities in teacher education need to be continuously examined. The induction, training and recurrent inservice education of teachers, utilizing new techniques and technologies can be a great contributing factor. Several significant aspects of teacher education have to be analyzed in the present changing world context. The isolation of teacher training colleges needs to be overcome, through establishment of centers of excellence to model good teaching, and institutional twinning arrangements, including with departments in other teacher training colleges and universities, both nationally and internationally. Revision of teacher education curriculum to emphasize learner-centric, interactive pedagogy, in line with NCF 2005 needs to be undertaken. Increase in funding for teaching and learning materials (books, labs, teaching aids) should be undertaken. Emphasize use of video for micro-teaching exercises, to improve learner-centric teaching processes. Revise criteria for assessment of teacher trainees to focus on demonstration of desired classroom behaviors. Teacher training colleges need to improve their links with departments of education, to modify their intake of trainees and their subject-matter to respond to forecasts of the demand for teachers. States need to conduct regular surveys to ascertain the needs for teachers in various subjects at different levels, and encourage the accreditation of teacher training institutions that tailor their activities to these needs. The activities of the current centrally sponsored scheme on Teacher Education could be reviewed and revised. What is needed is a well defined package that links pre-service and in-service professional development, on-site teacher support activities, performance incentives, and a built-in feedback mechanism for improvement. There needs to be an increase in the intake of trainee teachers in the reserved categories and for subjects for which candidates are not available. This would include promotion campaigns in senior secondary schools, especially in rural areas, to encourage youth to become teachers and make them aware of the strong labor market demand for secondary teachers. The National Council for Teacher Education and the States could review the lessons from around the world in alternative paths to teacher certification, which shorten formal training periods, emphasize practice-teaching and school-based mentorship, and encourage lateral entry into the teaching profession. Teacher Education for Secondary Education is due for an overhaul. Quality of learning outcomes at the secondary level will only be as good as the learning process, which will be driven primarily by teacher effectiveness. This is not “rocket science” – it takes willingness to change and to learn from experience in India and around the world (what education is about), increased resources, sustained commitment, focus on outcomes, and measurement of results. This CAN BE DONE!

6 References Britton, e. et al (2003) Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Systems for Early Career Learning. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. Carlson S. (2009) Teacher Education for the Secondary Level in India. World Bank, Udaipur, India. Kirby, S. N. et al (2006) Reforming Teacher Education: Something Old, Something New. Rand Corporation, Santa Monica. Kothari, D. S. (1966) Chairman) Report of the Education Commission 1964-66. Govt. of India, New Delhi NCTAF, USA (2004) High Quality Teacher Preparation – Higher Education’s Crucial Role. Rajput J.S. Walia, K.(2000) Teacher Education in India. ISBN : 8120723783, http://www.sterlingpublishers.com/bookinfo.asp?na=8120723783 TDA, UK (2007) Supporting Induction Process: TDA Guidance for Newly Qualified Teachers. Govt. of UK, London. Wilson, V. et al (2006) Developing Teachers: A Review of Early Professional Learning. General

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