Several reforms were initiated in the teaching sector in the decade by The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the chief policy maker for the school and higher education institutes of the country.
As per the latest government records, as many as 94, 16,895 teachers are currently enrolled in 15, 50,006 schools across the country, wherein 24, 78, 53,688 students study.
The programs undertaken for the quality up gradation of the teaching sector are listed as under--
Teacher training programs
NIOS D.El.Ed. Training Programme
The said teacher training program was initiated for the training of the teachers who are in-service. The program was initiated in October 2017 by MHRD with the objective to impart training and award Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed.). This was primarily designed for the untrained in-service teachers, in primary and upper primary government, government-aided and private unaided schools across the country. The teachers who had joined the service on or before August 10, 2017 were the designated candidates for the program. The target of the government was to impart training to train 11 lakh teachers by March 31, 2019. The responsibility for the assessment exams for the training program was given to the m was given to National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). This was done keeping in view the infeasibility of providing classroom training to the vast target group in the limited time-frame.
The first examination organized for the D.El.Ed trainees saw in excess of 12 lakh diploma participants. The ones who failed to qualify the exam by March 2019 will be given the chance of appearing in a supplementary exam which is to be organized in January 2020.
The subjects and topics which form the subject matter of the training and the exams include, Elementary Education in India: A Socio Cultural Perspective, Pedagogic Processes in Elementary Schools, Learning Languages at Elementary Level, Learning Mathematics at Elementary Level, Learning Environmental Studies at Primary Level, Understanding Children in Inclusive Context, Community & Elementary Education, Learning in Art, Health, Physical and Work Education at Elementary Level and Learning Social Science at Upper Primary Level or Learning Science at Upper Primary Level.
Online Programme on School Leadership and Management
Another ambitious program of the government concerning the education sector was the creation of ‘centres of excellence'. To accomplish the objective the heads of the schools in the country were to be trained. The idea behind the initiative was rooted in the belief that the heads of the schools must have a role in transformation of the school rather than mere execution, administration and management. The MHRD initiated the free-of-cost on-line program in 2012. Upon completion of the program the successful school heads were awarded a Certificate in School Leadership and Management.
National Initiative on School Teachers Head Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA)
The MHRD envisioned the teacher-training project which was one of the greatest-ever in scale called NISHTHA has the objective of training 42 lakh teachers. The program was launched in August 2019 at the silver jubilee celebration of the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE). The trainees in the program included all the elementary school level teachers, principals, block resource center coordinators and cluster resource center coordinators.
Changes in Teacher Recruitment System
Online Hiring Method
In order to instill transparency in the process of teacher recruitment, the states and the union territories were instructed to develop and eventually switch over to an online recruitment system for the teachers. As of now, only a few states and union territories have adopted online system. This is based on the findings published in the NITI Aayog's School Education Quality Index released in 2019.
The online recruitment process includes: annual assessment of the teacher demand that includes the total number of vacancies, written test, online advertisement for recruitment, online display of marks secured by all applicants, online display of objective, merit-based criteria for selection and transparent, online counselling for teachers.
There are two modes of teacher recruitment, the first is the national level Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) and the second is the state level Teacher Eligibility Test (TET).
There are important government initiatives with regard to the recruitment of the heads of the schools. The principal and the headmaster vacancies are customarily filled on the basis of seniority. The new initiative required the states and the union territories to use a merit-based system for the recruitment to these positions. So far, six states and union territories have taken up the merit based selection method for school Principals and Headmasters.
Changes in B.Ed. Programme
The Bachelor in Education (B.Ed.) programme, a qualifying degree for recruitment as teacher, also underwent changes. NCTE was assigned the advisory role in the restructuring of the seminal teacher training program. The revisions were made by the agency with respect to the norms and standards for 15 teacher education programmes in 2014. The new regulation introduced three new programmes-- 4-year B.A/ B.Sc.B.Ed., 3 year B.Ed. (Part-time), and 3 year B.Ed.-M.Ed. programme.
A new announcement came in in July 2019 wherein the then HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the government is planning to introduce 4 year integrated B.Ed. programme. The minister said that the extensive program is introduced to make teaching highly professional and stop it from being considered as one of the last resorts for the people aspiring for employment.
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Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.