The meeting of the Consultative Committee of Parliament for the Ministry of Human Resource Development was held on the subject, “Proposed National Mission on Teachers and Teaching”. At the outset a presentation was made in this regard in which it was elaborated that UGC has made two specific proposals with regard to teacher training. The first one is regarding Setting up of Regional Centres of Educational Management in the Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bangalore and in the National University of Educational Planning and Administration. The second one is regarding Establishment of Centres of Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education in leading national level institutions, namely Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research etc. for development of specialized cadre of academy of teaching and teacher educators.
In the presentation it was also highlighted that Technology Enabled Learning can also play an important role in enhancing the capacity of teachers. Presently, under the National Mission on Education through ICT, up to March, 2012, Virtual Private Network and internet connections have been provided to 392 universities and 18189 colleges/polytechnics across the country. A number of projects have been sanctioned under the NMEICT scheme to various institutions of the country. For UG course, Consortium of Educational Communication (CEC) has been tasked for e-content generation.
The presentation pointed out that as regards training of teachers for polytechnics, the four National Institutes of Technical Teachers’ Training & Research (NITTTRs) located as Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai and Kolkata have been directed to organize ‘Summer Schools” during the forthcoming summer for training 1,000 technical teachers of polytechnics by each NITTR. They have further been advised to take action in this regard after consultation with the concerned State Governments so that they may nominate their participants in the programme.
Addressing the meeting Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal said that the final contours of the proposed National Mission and its operational features are under discussion. The Mission, however, would address, on the one hand, current and urgent issues such as supply of qualified teachers, attracting talent into teaching profession and raising the quality of teaching in schools and colleges. On the other, it is also envisaged that the Teacher Mission would pursue the long term goal of building a strong professional cadre of teachers by setting performance standards and creating top class institutional facilities for innovative teaching and professional development of teachers.
Speaking on the occasion, Members of Parliament underlined the requirement of a Mission on Teachers, as the shortage of teachers is very marked in the country. Members of Parliament also expressed concern regarding inadequate quality of education in the country. Some MPs stated the need for greater use of ICT in imparting teacher education. MPs also underlined the need for adequate infrastructure to be in place in teacher training institution and also that while releasing funds, UGC could address manpower requirements ahead of infrastructure requirements.