Teachers are the single most important individuals who play a key role in imparting education to young citizens; the dichotomy of being professional but humane towards students at the same time is a prerequisite. It is a well-established fact that teacher-education and school-education are codependent on each other, hence, until and unless both the aspects are carried out in accordance, then are bound to be severe inconsistencies. This can get reflected in the academic performances of the students who would not perform well in the examinations.
The Right of Children To Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 along with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 have collaboratively devised a framework to address issues such as inclusive education, approaches for equitable and sustainable development, gender sensitivity in studies, the role of community knowledge, as well as the role of information and communication in schooling and e-learning.
The framework highlights the need to employ highly qualified and trained teachers in both elementary as well as secondary educational institutes. The lack of quality learning can be attributed to a lack of teacher competence and student motivation. A few of the significant components that make up teachers’ education are as follows:
A few of the major concerns and reforms mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework for teachers are as follows:
The initial training for elementary teachers suffers due to isolation, stagnation and low profile. It should also be noted that this training is not given much importance because it is a non-degree programme. Hence, it has been directed that the initial teacher education is upgraded by enhancing entry-level qualification and making it at par with other degree programmes.
During the improvement of elementary teacher education, some of the key points that need to be kept in mind are curriculum planning that includes equal participation of all stakeholders and elaborate organisation of the curriculum. This should ensure the inclusion of a practical approach as well as a theoretical approach guided by a professional perspective. This can only be accomplished if the degree programme’s duration is extended for a four-year or two-year integrated model.
Secondary teacher education equally needs to be reassessed as the one-year second B.Ed. model seems to have become irrelevant in the current scenario. The weak course structures and short duration are further worsened due to increasing privatisation and commercialisation. Other prevalent issues that continue to poison secondary teacher education include academic stagnation, resistance to change, inadequate infrastructure, intellectually impoverished environments etc.
Due to a lack of sufficient preparation, teachers are not able to cope with situations that demand them to address diversity within the classroom. Hence, an exclusion that is projected on two different kinds of students are as follows:
It is noteworthy to mention that the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection and Full Participation) Act, 1996 (or PWD Act) ensures free and compulsory education to all children with disabilities. But to make this act successful, teachers’ education institutions need to revise their programme courses.
Teachers bear the significant responsibility of ensuring equal access to education to all irrespective of caste, gender or any other disability. That is how an integrated school setting can be created that provides equal opportunities to all children.
The emphasis on bookish knowledge has long been the epicentre of the educational system; it is exceedingly important to incorporate community knowledge along with school knowledge. According to one of the guidelines provided by the NCF, including locally relevant content within the curriculum will only serve to promote awareness about social geography.
Institutions should provide opportunities for the teachers to increase teachers’ capacity to inculcate aspects of the local community such as agriculture, local occupations, local folk culture, festivals, etc. within the classroom. At the same time, it should be taken into account that the core subjects and their practical applications in real life align with the learning outcomes.
Technology has become an inseparable part of all businesses and the education sector is not bereft of that. However, in order to successfully integrate technology in school education is a challenge. Often, the teacher’s lack of knowledge in operating devices and applications poses a major concern for teachers and students alike.
Teachers’ education must ensure the orientation of teachers towards the common and basic usage of ICT in learning and teaching. At the same time, it is helpful to remember that overdependence on technology can prove to be detrimental in terms of discouraging the students to invest time in executing tasks by themselves.
The recent global health crisis has enforced a shift towards digital learning but at the same time, it has given a rise to growing concerns regarding productive learning. With the operation of remote learning as the new normal, teachers should be trained adequately to use ERP solutions for the betterment of the students.
Given the overall development of the student’s health, physical education and yoga need to be constituted within the framework from primary to senior secondary school levels. The subject includes not just physical education but also personal health, psycho-social development, movement concepts and motor skills, and interpersonal relationships.
Vocational teacher preparation programmes have always been neglected and relegated in the past, hence, it has become imperative to conduct course correction in this regard. Institutions need to come up with a separate action plan to implement high-quality instructional inputs in various vocational areas.
A design, along with elaborative strategy, needs to be framed after consultation with professional institutions concerning engineering and technology, agriculture, health and paramedical, and Technical Teacher Training Institutes (TTTIs).
Teachers shape the future of the children, hence, they have the responsibility to educate children in a wholesome manner. It is imperative to change the widely acknowledged public opinion that states that the present system of formal schooling puts excessive burden on children. The NCF directs all stakeholders to not treat education as a mechanical activity of information transmission but rather a process for developing knowledge and illuminating oneself.