It’s After 7 decades of numerous education reform commissions and their voluminous recommendations, uninterrupted experimentation with school systems and /or with career of millions of students at the central and state levels - which include Government and private schools, public schools, KV, Navodayas and all other kinds of schooling - including the latest experiment of the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation System, which has now been jettisoned, the goal of a correct, relevant, fruitful and reliable system of educating the young generation, still remains out of reach for us, something for which India was traditionally known for. And the situation has further been complicated by socio-economic, and technological challenges that face our society today, a student is expected to be well equipped with multi-tasking ability.
It seems Lord Macaulay is still alive and laughing because his farsighted policy of crippling India’s old, and traditionally value-based education structure is still alive and kicking. He had said in 1835:
“I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such a wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.
It is true that education is a bipolar activity/process in which the child is at the receiving end ( to be nurtured) while the teacher is the transmitting pole (capable of nurturing). The undisputed, fact, however, is that the children, born with their disparate capabilities, are at the mercy of the teacher’s will to deliver, capabilities, and experience needed for their proper growth and development. That is why the key to any education system will always remain with the educator on the one hand and the parents on the periphery on the other. The technology developed today can definitely assist both of them.
It’s well-accepted fact that the majority of the young people come to teaching profession after exhausting all other opportunities in the job market. A depressed graduate manages a B. Ed degree from one of the mushrooming training colleges and joins a school as a qualified teacher. What kind of results can you expect of a teacher at school who is driven by the compulsions of making two square meals every day? In fact, the need of the hour is to have a team of teachers which can take teaching as a mission and not a profession to earn a livelihood.
It is true that the Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) qualification, which was a standardized replacement of Bachelor of Training (BT), worked well for about 25 years, but it has outlived its utility now. A thorough change of the policy of Teachers’ Recruitment, of worthy/knowledgeable educators, who take Teaching as Mission is called for. And that also without further loss of time, because a lot of damage to young generation has already been done by relegating the value-based Education system, a separate entity beyond the academics. I believe that the science of psychology can give us reliable clues for the break-through required.
An ideal teacher is expected to understand a student thoroughly in terms of his receptivity level in different subjects, the level of language he understands and the manner in which he can generate interest in the lesson being taught. The teacher has to ensure as to what degree and how can the child’s interest be sustained in the lesson which makes the teacher sure that “learning has taken place in the child” and that too in the area where a child is capable of and is interested in.
It is suggested that instead of B.Ed a series of psychological tests can be conducted/administered to be undergone by the candidates who are deservedly desirous of taking the teaching as a mission. A series of tests OR a single test could be administered to test various qualities/skills, such as Aptitude of the candidate to find out the level of his inborn orientation/passion for the job, another test could evaluate his pedagogic skills/method of teaching a particular subject(s) whereas a test could bring out his level of patience, analytical ability, ability of being a good listener, etc. There could be a separate method for judging the level of the professional knowledge in a subject he wants to teach. Another very important test could be employed to find out the quality and degree of efficient communication of the candidate in a given subject.
Its suggested that in order to streamline the procedure of selection of teachers, more scientifically and impartially, which are based on reliable tests to assess the essential skills needed by a teacher can be started. Of course, it will take time, but let it start and let us take the first step in the right direction.
About the author:
Commander VK Banga is Principal, The Mann School, Delhi.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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