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Teaching the Teachers: The Need for Teacher Training Programmes in India

Teaching the Teachers: The Need for Teacher Training Programmes in India

Teaching the Teachers: The Need for Teacher Training Programs in India

Students shape the future of any nation’s development. Hence, it is paramount for any country to ensure that adequate amount of resources are being invested into the holistic development of its students. With the National Curriculum Framework 2005 and the Right to Education Act, India has seen a substantial increase in enrolment ratio at primary school level. Several national surveys, however, have concluded that learning outcomes among primary school students remain dim to this day. This is largely due to the poor quality of training of schoolteachers. With this knowledge, the
|need for teacher training has come into the spotlight in recent years as a powerful tool that can change the landscape of education in India. 

There are two major types of teacher education in India. 

Pre-service education: 

Provided during degree and diploma program that focuses on preparing students for a career in teaching. However, there are many problems with these programs. First, they do not provide teachers with adequate field exposure, resulting in teachers who are not able to apply the knowledge they have gained in the classroom when they actually teach. They also largely fail to provide mentors to trainee teachers who help them prepare lessons and deal with common problems in the classroom. 

In-service education (teacher-training): 

This type of training is provided by the government, for instance, through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, by NGOs, by some private entities like institutes and certified freelance trainers as well. These are short-term programs that provide essential skill-based training to teachers, enabling them to better manage the classroom and also teach in a way that ultimately improves the learning outcomes of students. This type of teacher training has shown very promising results in India. However, according to data from a 2018 expenditure projection statement, nearly one in six elementary school teachers are not professionally trained in India. Despite of this, expenditure on teacher training institutes accounted for just 2% of the 2018-19 budget allocated for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. 

How teacher training programs can improve teaching and learning outcomes:

Continuous Professional Development: 

Teacher training is something that should be provided throughout the academic year and not just be limited to a span of a couple of days. Continuous Professional Development is development that enables teachers to track and update their methods of teaching, develop their skills, and learn new techniques of assessing students. CPD (Continuous Professional Development) enables teachers to sustain and refine their skills and deliver a more result-oriented teaching experience to the students. It also enables them to perform better in extra-curricular modules. 

Adapting to changes in technology: 

With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ways in which teachers impart education has completely changed in India. The mode of learning shifted from offline to online teaching, and this is a change which led to a lot of difficulties since according to the UDISE 2019-20, only one in four teachers know how to teach with a computer in India, with this, it is very important to train teachers to learn how to use ed-tech technology to teach students online in an interactive and efficient manner. 

Uplifting social norms prevailing in underdeveloped areas:

When talking about teacher training programs, it is important to pay attention to societal upliftment, especially in rural areas. Teachers, along with academic and technical knowledge, must be trained in understanding and educating children in underprivileged area. They should be able to create awareness about social issues such as educating girl children, importance of sanitation, and prevention of casteism.

Fostering the development of emotionally intelligent teachers:

It is very important for teachers to be able to connect with students on an emotional level. This is where Emotional Intelligence can play a crucial role. Studies have shown that emotionally intelligent teachers are better able to understand the needs of their students and are more empathetic. Other studies show that emotionally intelligent teachers also experience much less burnout, i.e., emotional, and mental exhaustion brought on by prolonged stress. Such teachers also have positive effects on learning outcomes of students, ensuring higher academic achievement and more pro-social behavior among students. Training programs equip teachers with skills which develop their emotional intelligence, hence leading to better outcomes for both teachers and students.

To conclude, even though there has been tremendous improvement in the status of education in India, a lot of work still needs to be done. Teachers being one of the most important pillars of the education system, it is important to ensure that they can put forth their best efforts. Given this, there is a dire need for improving the quality of teacher training programs all over India, especially in under-privileged areas and government schools. Such programs will ultimately lead to high quality education that fosters the holistic development of students, who can create a brighter future for themselves and for our country.