“The NCTE announced its resolve to take a number of initiatives to regulate the growth of teacher education institutions in the country and to ensure maintenance of norms and standards in these institutions. The norms and standards have been revised based on felt need.”
What is the philosophy/mandate behind NCTE that guides it to regulate and maintain the norms and standards in Teacher Education System?
The National Council for Teacher Education continues to vigorously pursue the mandate given to it by the Act of Parliament to achieve planned and coordinated development of teacher education and to regulate and maintain norms and standards in the teacher education system across the country. The functioning of the Regional Committees of the NCTE which are primarily entrusted with the responsibility of dealing with all cases of recognition, as per the procedure laid down by the Rules and Regulations framed under the NCTE Act, has been streamlined with close monitoring so as to achieve the desired results. Detailed scrutiny of the applications and strict adherence to the norms and standards has resulted in a higher rejection rate. The NCTE has adopted zero tolerance policy in this matter. Since the Regulations provide for a mechanism of Appeal under Section 18 of the NCTE Act, the higher rate of rejection of applications for recognition has resulted in a large number of institutions opting for the appeal mechanism.
Adoption of the principle of strict adherence to norms by the Appeal Committee has resulted in higher rejection rate of appeals as well. Strict adherence to norms and standards has pushed the NCTE into an unenviable situation. It has been left with no alternative except to plead before various High Courts in the country, where applicants are staking their claim to get recognition to their proposed institutions somehow. In order to achieve its mandate of planned development of teacher education in the country, the NCTE has to take an impartial but principled stand to check the growth of substandard teacher education institutions at the formal entry point itself i.e. the point at which recognition is accorded.
The NCTE announced its resolve to take a number of initiatives to regulate the growth of teacher education institutions in the country and to ensure maintenance of norms and standards in these institutions. The norms and standards have been revised based on felt need. The new Regulations and revised norms were approved by the General Council of the NCTE on 2nd June, 2009 and these were notified, after legal vetting by the Ministry of Law on 31st August, 2009. This exercise incidentally helped the NCTE carryout the directions received from the Ministry of Human Resource Development under Section 29 of the NCTE Act to review its Regulations, 2007. A year to year ban has been imposed on opening new teacher education institutions in some such states where already these institutions are in excess of the requirement.
With a view to bring transparency in the processing of applications from this year all applications are received on-line only. Institutions are being informed about the processing status of their applications online. As part of a drive to weed out substandard teacher education institutions recognition of several hundred sub-standard institutions has been withdrawn during the last one year after following due process of law.
What are the opportunities and challenges that are being presented by our current education system, with special reference to teacher training ?
Teacher education system has a number of challenges and opportunities. The challenges include –
Experiences in the practice of teacher education indicate that knowledge is treated as ‘given’, and accepted without question; there is no practical engagement with the curriculum.
Language proficiency of the teacher is not satisfactory and it needs to be enhanced.
Teacher education programmes provide little scope for student-teachers to reflect on their experiences.
Disciplinary knowledge is viewed as independent of professional training in pedagogy
Repeated ‘practice’ in the teaching of a specified number of isolated lessons is considered a sufficient condition for professional development
It is assumed that links between learning theories, models and teaching methods are automatically formed in the understanding developed by student teachers
There is no opportunity for teachers to examine their own biases and beliefs
Theory courses have no clear articulation with practical works and ground realities
The evaluation system followed in teacher education programmes is too theoretical, excessively quantitative and lacks comprehensiveness.
The National Council for Teacher Education continues to vigorously pursue the mandate given to it by the Act of Parliament to achieve planned and coordinated development of teacher education and to regulate and maintain norms and standards in the teacher education system across the country.
In order to address these challenges NCTE has developed a new National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education