(GIST OF YOJANA) Recruitment, Training, and Assessment of Teachers
(GIST OF YOJANA) Recruitment, Training, and Assessment of Teachers
Recruitment, Training, and Assessment of Teachers
The new National Education Policy 2020 reflects on how the Indian education system is dynamic. The policy also stresses on the importance of the role of teachers, it states “Teachers truly shape the future of our children - and, therefore, the future of our nation.” Teachers who are also called ‘Guru’, one of the oldest words for teachers in Indian culture tells us how teachers have been the most respected members of our society for ages. Thanks to their noble work of passing on the skills, knowledge, and even ethical values to generation after generation.
However, over time the role of these human resource creators has been looked upon as uninspiring with rampant exploitation. But with the constantly changing world, there is a need for complete overhaul by keeping teachers at the core of the reforms in the education system. And to do so, there is a need for change in recruitment, training, and merit-based assessment of teachers.
Teacher Recruitment Process:
For the recruitment in government and private schools, teachers must possess a professional degree and qualify Teacher Eligibility Tests (TET). NEP 2020 recommends strengthening the TET in various ways and inclusion of evaluation of subject knowledge and teaching competencies through demonstrations and interviews. These interviews would also assess comfort and proficiency of teaching in the local language.
Apart from strengthening TET, there are various positive points the NEP highlights about teachers’ recruitment. The policy aims to make the teacher recruitment process more transparent by halting mass transfers, using computerised systems for automation of the transfer process, and also encouraging States to have technology-enabled planning and forecasting exercises to determine vacancies by subject.
One of the major challenges is the scarcity of teachers. Usually, it has been an issue particularly in the disciplines of art, physical, and vocational education, as well as among counsellors, and technical staff. The policy promotes the idea of hiring local experts to a school complex and sharing them across the cluster of schools adopted by State or UT governments to deal with inadequate number of teachers. It is to be noted that there is a hindrance among the teachers for the rural posting for various reasons.
However, the policy suggests incentives for teachers to take up teaching jobs in rural areas, by the provision of local housing near or on the school premises, or increased housing allowances. In addition, merit-based scholarships will be provided for rural students and teachers.
Teacher recruitment is not the end but the beginning of the process towards achieving the goal of having the best education system. After recruitment, shaping of teachers’ career is also equally essential.
With changes in the global ecosystem and employment landscape, it has become more important for children to know how to learn. For the same, the education must focus on learning critical thinking, creativity, multidisciplinary adaption, innovation, problem-solving among others.
The motive of education should also be to make education more learner-centered, enjoyable, experiential, discovery-oriented. The system must embrace basic arts, humanities, sports, games along with science and maths. The importance of incorporation of languages, literature, culture, and values cannot be forgotten because it will help in the development of all aspects of learners and enhance their capabilities.
Considering the diversity and different socio-economic strata in the society, there is a need for tailored teachers training. The training should be customised/need-based, continuous, practical, and more focused.
Tailored Training: Present day training system is ‘fit to all’, which means, there is only one training module for all. Our country being a diverse country, training should be according to the needs of the teacher considering different factors like urban, rural, tribal, remote areas where the teacher is teaching. Training should be aligned with the teachers’ needs and environment.
More practical: Present day teachers’ training is theoretical; for the best results it has to be more
practical. There should be need-based training for teachers. Considering what teachers need to do in the classroom, they should be given more opportunities to practice, polish their skills, and receive feedback for improvement.
Focused training: Recently, the training is conducted only when there are changes in the syllabus or something new is introduced to it. These kinds of trainings are generalised trainings. There should be focused training that can be measurable and result-oriented.
On-going training: The teachers’ training is considered to be completed once it is imparted. There is a need to change this approach. There should be a follow-up system, where teachers should be asked whether they face any difficulties while teaching in the classroom after completing their training. If yes, the system can provide them assistance to overcome those hurdles. Teachers should be given continuous support even after the training. They should be provided feedback based on observations after their training.
Independent Training Wing:
For teachers training programme, three to four teachers from each district are selected and trained at the State level. These trainees then work as trainers for teachers from the district level. This continues at tehsil and then at the block level. In this process, students may suffer academically due to loss of classes and disturbed schedule, when their teachers are busy with the training.
To address the same, there could be a separate training wing where interested and additional teachers can be appointed as permanent trainers. These trainers will be given an advanced training which will help in moulding them into competent trainers who can then train others from the district, tehsil to block level. This change can be made at the SCERT training wing available in States and UTs.
After teachers’ training, another important aspect that comes in the loop is the assessment of teachers. According to NEP, teachers doing outstanding work must be recognised, appreciated, promoted, and given an increment in the salary.
Incentivisation of all teachers to encourage them to do their best is needed. Therefore, a robust merit-based structure of tenure, promotion, and salary structure may be developed.
National Professional Standards for Teachers:
The policy also hinted at the development of the National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST). This will be developed by 2022.
It is suggested that, the standards would cover expectations of the role of a teacher at different levels of expertise/stage, and the competencies required for that purpose.
It will also comprise of standards for performance appraisal, for each stage, that would be carried out on a periodic basis.
The NPST will also inform the design of pre-service teacher education programmes. This could be then adopted by States and determine all aspects of teacher career management, including tenure, professional development efforts, salary increment, promotions, and other recognitions.
Promotions and salary increment will not occur based on the length of tenure or seniority, but only on the basis of such appraisal.
Currently, there is a Confidential Report (CR) method used for the evaluation of teachers. This is not a performance and target-based method. This system does not give weightage to evaluation of children’s learning ability as a result and outcome of teacher’s efforts. There needs to be some method to make it more objective. Teachers’ performance should be measurable.
The increment should be based on performance and not the tenure like it has been done presently. Because with the present-day system, salary increment of teachers is the same, irrespective of their performance. There is a need for a system where increments are given based on the performance. Also, there may be a provision of incentives. This will help improve the performance. With these improved performances, desired results can be achieved.
The NEP looks promising as it rightly highlights the changes necessary in the 21st century. With the addition of some more alterations to teachers’ training programme and their implementation, the system will achieve greater goals, assist teachers to think out of the box to attain great heights, and support children to realise their potential.