Principals on Board

New Education Policy needs to focus on teachers and teacher education to ensure quality education

Team ScooNews
New Education Policy needs to focus on teachers and teacher education to ensure quality education

Students benefit most from high quality instruction - and not necessarily highly qualified teachers. Effective teacher training makes all the difference. If teacher training is to be an ongoing process - to improve the quality of teachers, and thus of students - on whom does the onus lie for the effective training of our teachers? And what are the resources best recommended by educators to effectively train teachers? Read on for an assessment by Dr R K Ranavat, Principal, Oxford International School, Rajkot.

The April 2019 deadline draws nearer, which will bar teachers who do not have the minimum qualifications mandated under the RTE Act 2009, from continuing in service. Is this a long-due corrective remedy? Is teacher training finally getting its due?

The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to amend the Right To Education (RTE) Act which will make it compulsory for teachers to acquire minimum qualification. In a letter to the State government, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) stated: It is reiterated that this will be the last chance to acquire the requisite minimum professional qualification. Any teacher in the aforementioned schools, who does not have the minimum qualifications mandated under the RTE Act 2009, will not be allowed to continue in-service beyond April 1, 2019, and the procedure for dismissal shall be initiated against such teachers. This direction from the Union government will put many teachers under threat. Off course, this is a long overdue remedy and I believe this has brought the issue of teacher training to the fore.

It is believed that no education system in the world has excelled without making a significant investment in building a cadre of quality teachers. How can we improve this weak link in the Indian education system?

As the government of India frames the New Education Policy, it will be critical to focus on teachers and teacher education to ensure quality education. Teachers need to be made more accountable through enhanced involvement of the school management committees, recognising the need for supportive supervision and incentives to ensure teacher performance and accountability, as well as use of technology to monitor teacher attendance and curb absenteeism.

Teacher training is often considered important only for procuring certification and thus a job. Unfortunately, quality suffers. Should teacher training be an ongoing process to improve the quality of teachers, and thus of students? Who needs to take the onus here?

New teachers have many challenges that they face each day. Teachers’ Training helps prepare new teachers for these challenges. While teacher training and student teaching won't completely prepare new teachers for every issue they will face, it can help them feel more confident about many common problems that arise for teachers each day. Without this background, teachers might feel like failures and eventually give up.

What are the resources you recommend to effectively train teachers?

We approach the challenge of poor-quality education and growing shortage of teachers by connecting qualified teachers to develop their own teaching practice to inspire and empower communities of teachers around the world. Our teacher training should lead teachers through cycles of workshops, observations and coaching to enable them to become self-reflectors and continuously improve their own teaching and encourage colleagues to do the same.

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