PATHETIC STATE OF IN-SERVICE TEACHER TRAINING As an Educator engaged in teaching since1965 and as a Teacher-Educator & Administrator since 1977;

it has been my earnest endeavour to improve my teaching, to grow professionally and to share what I had learnt with others. I have lost count of the number of Seminars, Extension Lectures and Workshops that I attended for the purpose. After 1980 I had the opportunity of organising these Workshops for PreService and In-Service teachers. I experimented with different approaches to training of teachers, including the Diagnostic Remedial Approach in Training Teachers in Skills of Teaching. I owe a lot to the experts from NCERT, IGNOU, CBSE, UGC and other Agencies; with whom I interacted, learnt a lot (if I did not learn more, the fault was mine and not of the experts) and tried to put it into practise. The best opportunity came my way from 1979 to 1991, when I was the Founder Principal of Vishwa Bharati College of Education, Srinagar and again in 2002, when I joined Darshan Education Foundation- Delhi and had first hand experiences of training teachers on Activity-Based Teaching, Classroom Management through DA Agreements, Buddy System, KeyPriority Areas, Practice and Review Techniques and Scores of other Topics. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to all my colleagues at the Vishwa Bharati College of Education, Srinagar and to Madam Suzanne Lauber, Director, DEF; who became my Role-Model of a Teacher Educator/Trainer. We also had opportunities of interacting with dozens and dozens of Experts from India and Abroad and from them we had Sessions on Memory, Study Skills, Time Management, Team Building, Leadership, School Administration, System Management, Quality Circles, Value Education Models, Non- Violent Communication, etc. During the last 20 years, I have conducted Workshops for thousands of teachers across the country. It has been a privilege to interact with teachers at Srinagar, Jammu, Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Gwalior, Aligarh, Hathras, Rohtak, Sampla, Hissar, Ambala, Ludhiana, Kolkatta, Kaithal, Pune, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Datia and Delhi. In the recent past, I have conducted Workshops for the Quality Council of India, at Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai, Ahmadabad; on “How to prepare a School for Accreditation,’ and on ‘Training Accreditation Assessors.’ In the process, I have met teachers and Principals of the reputed and prestigious Public Schools of Delhi and of other cities, of Air Force Public Schools, of Kendriya Vidyalaya, of Residential Schools and also of Schools trying to establish their identity in the community. What I have observed and experienced is, that although the Teachers and Principals show a lot of enthusiasm, are willing to learn, participate actively,

deliberate and contribute during the workshop; although their Feedback is very encouraging; but what really is transferred to actual classroom situations is not even a fraction of what the teachers were trained in and for. This is appalling! An in depth study and discussion with Principals revealed that these workshops were an eye-wash and each School had an ulterior motive behind the conduct of the Workshops. Most often the workshop was organised to publicise the School through press and Media. Sometimes the Principal organised these workshops to prove to the Management that he was on the job of Professional Growth of Teachers and in most of these workshops, he was the one who was not a participant. Workshops were being used for Image Building, Publicity, for inviting authorities from the State Administration, Boards etc; and even for providing an opportunity to the Publishers to talk about their publications and how their Text-Books were better than those of other Publishers. As a result there has been a Mushroom growth of so-called Experts in various areas and the Quality of Workshops conducted desires a lot. The teachers are on the receiving end. Workshops are held on Holidays, Sundays and during Vacations. The Workshops are dull and boring. These are far from the realities of classroom practices and situations. Most of them are Lectures or presentations. There is hardly any activity which the teachers could take up when they return to schools. Managements are least bothered about professional growth of teachers. No one bothers to keep the teachers abreast of the latest in the field of teaching-learning. What again is disturbing is that the teachers and Schools seem to act on herd mentality and suddenly experts spring up from nowhere to conduct workshops on: Blue Print of a Question Paper, Parenting, Counselling, De -stressing, Motivation, Teaching without Burden, HOTS and now the CCE, Inclusive Education, RTE etc. It looks as if one school is trying to outdo the other. The Focus is lost. No one seems to remember the Objective behind the Workshop. Customised workshops or Need-Based Workshops are not possible in the absence of a seasoned Expert teacher trainer. Question and Answer sessions have been forgotten. A lot of precious time is wasted in introductions, reception, report about the achievements of the school, a few words by the Chief Guest, a vote of thanks at the end, which usually is a summary of what the person has understood at the workshop rather than what the Expert tried to convey. The poor expert has no other alternative but to cut on the activities for Hands-on -Learning and deliver a talk and thus we have been talking at the teachers. Some Board Members have asked me occasionally as to how the workshop is going to benefit the School, or how have the Workshops conducted so far benefited the teachers. This is obvious since their is a dichotomy between what the teachers learn at the Workshops and what they are required to do at the School.

In such a situation how do we expect sound Educational, Pedagogical and Psychological practices in our schools? We come across a plethora of teaching techniques and many are not even able to justify these or speak of their relevance. What is going on in the name of teaching is..........TRASH! A good practice here and another there are an oasis in a desert of dead habit. Kindly give me the benefit of your opinion and advice to remedy the situation. If I am wrong in my assessment of the situation, please correct me and let me have your experiences.

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