Professional development of teachers a must

Quality matters than quantity

It is heartening to note that in a bid to provide education facility to all and bring all children under education network, the government is going to recruit 61,166 more primary school teachers as reported by this daily on Saturday. Reportedly, during the tenure of the current government (since 2009) a total of 1.69 lakh primary teachers have been recruited.

There is no denying that the number of primary school teachers has increased across the country over the last years, but at the same time it is disheartening to note that the issue of teachers’ training is often being overlooked by the departments concerned. Thousands of teachers are recruited every year and sent straight to classrooms without any training. This doesn't happen in most other countries. It is absurd that more than one and a half lakh teachers are teaching in different institutions without having the Bachelor of Education (B Ed) degree which is mandatory for teachers of government and non-government schools, colleges and madrasas.

Reportedly, a total of 431,822 teachers are in the country’s government and MPO-affiliated private schools, colleges and madrasas and more than one-third of the teachers of government-private schools-colleges and madrasas have not completed B Ed degree. Also there are questions about the quality of the rest of the teachers. Reports tell us that over 40 per cent of our high schools cannot prepare creative questions and 55 per cent of teachers of primary schools do not understand critical education methods. Such a huge number of unskilled teachers are deteriorating the quality of education being imparted to students across the country. We must address the urgency of incorporating new training institutes and improving the functions of the existing ones.

Teachers are professionals who require multiple skills to do their job, and accordingly we should also emphasize building professional standards into teacher training programmes. There must be a policy clarifying what training a teacher must undergo to impart education as professional. There is no substitute to building a robust pre-service teacher education system to help the country resolve the issue of the capacity of new teachers joining the schooling system. It is teachers who alone can contribute to build a healthy academic sphere for a nation to grow.

There must be a policy clarifying what training
a teacher
must undergo
to impart
education as professional