Big changes coming up in the realm of teacher education...some would call it a clean-up operation, no less. The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), the apex teacher education regulator in India functioning under the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, will no longer spare the rod.
In a move to curb the growth of poor quality institutions and bring about transparency in teacher training, more than 3,000 errant teacher education colleges could be barred from admitting fresh students in the new academic year. This exercise is part of TeachR, the new system of ranking institutions to revamp academic excellence across India.
The key objective is to build a regulatory framework which will work as a blueprint for institutes producing teachers pan India. Top priority now will be the measurement of outcomes of education over the inputs available to impart education, to assess if teachers are school-ready. With this framework, NCTE aims to unlock the potential of all teacher education institutes, to provide better learning outcomes for their student teachers and eventually for all students in India, as Dr. A Santosh Mathew, Chairperson, NCTE, puts it.
The four checks of this assessment method will give weightage to physical assets, academic assets, teaching and learning quality and student learning outcomes. B.Ed colleges will be ranked in four categories - A, B, C and D; colleges falling in the last category will be asked to shut down immediately, while those falling in C would have to meet the standards within a year. Even the degrees awarded to teachers will come with a QR code, to weed out the fakes who erode the quality of education in India.
With these and other changes that are sought to be introduced, the sector is hoping to witness a much-needed improvement in learning outcomes. Studies continue to reveal depressing truths about overall learning levels among Indian students. The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) of 2016, published by education non-profit Pratham, shows that one in two Indian students cannot read books meant for three classes below – and this status quo has remained unchanged since 2009.
Effective teacher training could make all the difference.
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