Gist of Kurukshetra- Rural Education : Teacher Education and Rural India-
11th Dec, 2019
There are a total 43.31 lakh teachers in the elementary stage and 6.11 lakh teachers at the secondary level. Data shows that currently 8.33 lakh teacher posts are vacant at the elementary stage and 1.1 lakh teacher posts are lying vacant at the secondary level. This indeed is an area of serious concern and needs immediate attention.
Issues regarding Teachers-
- Lack of initiatives and mechanisms that explicitly aim to recruit the best performing students, or those that have the most talent for teaching, into the teaching profession.
- Quality teacher education is severely lacking and indeed in a crisis at the time.
- According to government data, the country faces over 10 lakh teacher vacancies- a larger proportion of them in the rural areas- leading to Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs) that are even larger than 60:1 in certain areas.
- Lack of sufficient infrastructure, resources and supplies are other impediments that affect the availability of teachers, especially in rural India.
Suggestions to improve Teacher Efficacy-
- To ensure that truly excellent students enter the teaching profession from and in rural areas, merit-based scholarships need to be instituted across the country.
- Incentives should be provided for teachers to take up teaching jobs in rural areas, especially in those remote rural areas with the greatest current numbers of teacher shortage and vacancies.
- A comprehensive teacher requirement planning exercise needs to be conducted in each Stat to assess expected teacher and subject vacancies over the next two decades.
- To ensure decent and pleasant service conditions, all schools need to be equipped with adequate and safe infrastructure, including working toilets, clean drinking water, ensure that teachers and students are comfortable and inspired to teach and learn.
- Teachers should be given more autonomy in choosing finer aspects of curriculum and pedagogy, so that they may teach in the manner that they find the most effective for the students in their classrooms and communities.
- Ensure availability of a full complement staff of teachers in every school with a focus on remote schools and remote districts.
Recent initiatives for improvement of the quality of teacher education:-
- RTE Act (2009) was implemented which has made mandatory to appoint trained teachers in schools. In the Act, the provision was made to complete their teacher training upto 2015, later extended to 2019.
- NCERT has developed learning outcome for elementary teachers in different subjects. Forty lakh teachers were trained so that their teaching can be improved in a better and effective way.
- National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISTHA) programme has been initiated to provide training to 42 lakh teachers.
- Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Scheme on National Mission of Teacher and Teaching, an umbrella Scheme has been initiated by MHRD for improving the quality of teachers, teaching, professionalism and preparation of teachers.