Teaching is considered the most noble profession and for good reasons. A teacher helps in shaping future generation. Teachers also contribute immensely in the creation of a society that is healthy, productive and peaceful. In this article, Monica Malhotra Kandhari speaks of the challenges and shortcomings in the teaching profession and the need for teacher training.
Today the term ‘teacher’ is used generally to denote those engaged in academic activities. An inspired and well informed teacher is the singularly most important factor that can influence learning outcomes in students and their future contribution to the society.
The profession of teaching is however not without challenges and shortcomings. A teacher in the classroom has to deal with a room full of students with different aptitudes and mannerism. Some would be quick learners while others may struggle, teachers come across so many from the obedient to the playful. Moreover,the learning capability and attention span of each student is not the same making teaching a challenging task.
Also, the proliferation of the internet and web enabled devices have effectively changed the way classrooms operate and how education is consumed by students. Advancements in technology have given rise to increasing digitisation of classrooms as well as educational content. Such a disruption in the process and functioning of teaching and classrooms poses serious challenges for teachers.
The tried and tested traditional process of teaching has suddenly given way to a new process defined by the fast and easy access to supposedly unlimited amount of information. However, in order to harness the full potential of technology in education, the teachers need to possess certain skill sets and knowledge to help them understand how and when technology can be fruitfully harnessed. Thus there is an urgent need for teachers to up-skill themselves in terms of technology as well as undertake capacity expansion at the earliest possible.
The government of India has over the years taken several initiatives such as the Right to Education (RTS), RMSA, SSA among others to increase school enrollment and achieve universal education in the country. Government has also stressed upon learning outcomes – a major initiative. In the recent past, there is a renewed focus on teacher training by the ministry of HRD in an effort to standardise the quality of education at the school level. The National Council of Teacher’s Education (NCTE),
a statutory body tasked with overseeing standards, procedures and processes in the education system in the country is preparing to implement stricter quality controls in teachers training and recognition of teacher training institutions across the country. Such renewed focus on teacher’s training from the government is a clear indication of the importance of teacher training on the quality of education. Training and re-training of teachers assumes increasing significance on bringing the teachers upto speed with the recent technology induced disruption in the education system.
Private players in the education sector can play a great role in augmenting the government’s efforts towards teacher training and development. Scores of educational companies have made significant investments of time and money in developing updated contents and learning aids for students. So far a bulk of the investment by private players is towards digitisation and smart classes apart from printing updated editions of books.
In the process these companies have accumulated significant experience and expertise in content development and enhanced delivery. This knowledge and expertise can be utilised in the development of cutting edge training material and modules for teachers with the same refinement and sophistication seen in students learning materials.
MBD Group is equipping teachers with the requisite training for an effective teaching and learning experience. MBD Disha (the teacher training arm of MBD) collaborated with Imagine Education (UK) in 2015 to provide teacher training in India. MBD Disha training programmes are structured to equip teachers in content and pedagogical competence and their implications to classroom practices. The Group has developed training modules on pedagogy, classroom management, and different teaching methods in different subjects. On an average, 5-7 sessions are conducted per week, each session comprising 4-5 hours is attended by 30-50 teachers and these training sessions are across India. These teacher training programmes help in-service teachers weed out gaps in the knowledge of subject content and help them employ a constructive approach to the teaching learning process.
Partnerships and collaboration with government agencies as well as international educational firms of repute can further enhance the quality of modules and training materials. Concerted efforts involving the government as well as private players are crucial if we are to successfully implement an all-encompassing teachers’ training programme for government as well as private school teachers in India.