National Council For Teacher Education Celebrates Its Foundation Day Function18 August :Shri Arjun Singh, Human Resource Development Minister has outlined the issues and concerns which need to be addressed by National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), and said ‘Teacher education curriculum needs to be constantly defined and redefined based on the changing contents and emerging areas need to be integrated.
A rigorous mechanism of implementation of standards and norms of quality and qualification of teachers and teacher educators as defined by NCTE Act needs to be institutionalized and enforced on continuing basis”. Speech of HRM was read out by the chairperson, NCTE, Prof. M.A. Siddiqui at the Foundation Day function of the NCTE held at India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi. The Minister could not attend the function due to unavoidable circumstances.
Shri Arjun singh also said that in the context of private participation in teacher education programmes, the quality aspect and continued maintenance of the Norms and Standards assumes great significance and there is a need for laying down transparent procedure of recognition to teacher education institutions. This has become paramount in order to create public trust that NCTE’s working as a regulatory body is up to the mark.
Minister of State for HRD, Shri M.A.A. Fatimi, in his speech as the Chief Guest highlighted the role of teachers in one’s life for individual excellence, for all round development of education and for the nation building as a whole. He mentioned about the need for qualitative improvement in education in general and teacher education in particular. He suggested for a comprehensive plan for qualitative expansion of education in the country. He stressed that improvement in teacher education is a pre-condition for any real reform in the education system. He advised NCTE to maintain a constant watch on various kinds of deficiencies in the system so that quality teachers are produced for imparting quality education to all. He also mentioned about the regional imbalances in availability of Teacher Training Institutions and advised NCTE to see that such imbalances are taken care of.
Chairperson, NCTE Prof. M. A. Siddiqui outlined recent initiatives being taken by NCTE towards fulfillment of its mandated task of Planned and Coordinated development of Teacher Education. He highlighted following main issues, which are being worked upon by NCTE:
(i) A review of Norms & Standards and Regulations, 2007 by an Expert Committee with a view to making these instruments more effective for the purpose of proper regulations of teacher education system.
(ii) Preparation of curriculum framework for teacher education by an Expert Committee after taking into consideration all-important issues and concerns in teacher education.
(iii) Assessment of Demand and Supply of Teacher Educators and Teacher Education Institutions.
(iv) Preparation of a position paper on Teacher Education Policy for the purpose of guiding the development of teacher education in future by a high-powered Expert Committee.
(v) Assessment of requirements of additional manpower in NCTE by an Expert Committee in the background of substantial increase in the responsibility and the workload of NCTE during the last 13 years.
(vi) Formulation of guidelines of post recognition inspection of institutions for maintenance of norms and ensuring quality in education.
Secretary, School Education & Literacy Shri A.K. Rath in his speech mentioned that the main purpose for establishing NCTE as a statutory body was to ensure qualitative changes in school education. He drew the attention to the fact that after nearly achieving the target of universalisation of elementary education, large no. of trained teachers are required to achieve the goal of Universalization of Secondary education and thus there was a huge responsibilities ahead for NCTE. He highlighted the need to maintain quality while working towards achieving quantitative targets with a view to provide access to all and for this purpose he suggested for integration of various levels and kinds of institutions in the field of teacher education. He also mentioned that there was a plan to open 6000 model schools – one in each block to provide access to quality education in remote and rural areas of the country. He further suggested that all possible steps need to be taken for discharging the statutory responsibilities vested in NCTE, with an overall objective of planned and coordinated development of teacher education in the country.
Prof. Mrinal Miri, Former, Vice-Chancellor, NEHU delivering a lecture on “Value and Education” elucidated the concept of values which are eternal in nature, universal in acceptance and non – utilitarian. He emphasized the need for inclusion of such values in the education system, which has a bearing on human good in general. In his thought provoking lecture, he drew attention to the nature and nuances of relationship between teachers and taught to inculcate and promote such values.
On this occasion, NCTE released Resource Books for teacher educators of various levels on environmental education jointly prepared in collaboration with Center for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad and also released June, 2008 issue of NCTE’s Journal called “Anweshika”- Indian Journal of Teacher Education.
Following is the text of HRM’s speech (which was read by chairperson NCTE):-
“I am happy that the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) is celebrating its 13th Foundation Day function. I wish to share with you my felicitations, greetings and wish all the best to this regulatory body which has been established by an Act of Parliament. The NCTE has a mandate, to maintain standards and work towards planned and co-ordinated development of teacher education system in the country and to check the commercialization of teacher training programmes in the country. Over the last 13 years, the NCTE has been conducting its affairs under the various provisions of the NCTE Act, Rules and Regulations made thereunder.
2. The Foundation Day of an organization gives an opportunity not only to assess as to what has been done but also to introspect as to what more needs to be done to accomplish its goals. I wish, on this occasion NCTE and its authorities introspect as to what extent this apex organization has been able to deliver what was expected of it by the mandate given to it by the Parliament.
3. The NCTE has responded well to the challenges during the last decade particularly with regard to the regulatory functions with a fair amount of success. We see today a large network of teacher education institutions starting from elementary level teacher education to post graduate level courses. The growth of such institutions has also been phenomenal particularly due to establishment of self-financed teacher education institutions by private bodies who have taken full advantage of the provisions of NCTE Act which facilitates establishment of teacher education institutions. Private participation is always welcome as service providers, since government’s initiative is at times constrained by public fund and resources.
4. However, in some quarters, an apprehension has been that the NCTE has to keep a strict check on such teacher education institutions, which have a dubious record of performance. Further, NCTE has to look into the regional imbalances in the growth of teacher education so that each region is in a position to have their due share of teacher education institutions.
5. In the context of private participation in teacher education programmes, the quality aspect and continued maintenance of the Norms and Standards assumes great significance and there is a need for laying down transparent procedure of recognition to teacher education institutions. This has become paramount in order to create public trust that NCTE’s working as a regulatory body is up to the mark. The issues and concerns which need to be addressed by NCTE, without loosing any further time are:-
(a) Teacher education curriculum needs to be constantly defined and redefined based on the changing contents and emerging areas need to be integrated.
(b) A rigorous mechanism of implementation of standards and norms of quality and qualification of teachers and teacher educators as defined by NCTE Act needs to be institutionalized and enforced on continuing basis.
6. NCTE should also focus on areas like survey/study in the field to assess the availability of qualified teachers not only for schools but also for teacher training institutions. In fact, NCTE should take steps to see that further increase in number of recognized institutions is linked not only to the actual demand for a particular state or area but also to availability of well qualified teachers for the institutions. I would also use this occasion to emphasize that we need to shift the emphasis from recognizing more number of institutions to qualitative improvement in already recognized institutions. In this regard, I have noted with appreciation that NCTE has undertaken a project for assessing the demand of teachers as well as teacher educators with a view to having required input for carrying out its mandated task of planned and coordinated development of teacher education.
7. A sustainable system of accreditation and assessment of quality indicators through the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) under the auspices of the University Grants Commission (UGC) is in place. I think at present this process of accreditation and assessment in teacher education institutions is slow which needs to be further expedited.
8. We talk about knowledge society and the future of education is based on upgradation of knowledge and professional skills in all vocations of life. It is important to share the expertise and resources of all stake holders including the national level organizations, university departments and state level agencies for networking so that optimal use of resources could be made and excellence could be achieved in a cohesive and harmonious manner. It is expected that NCTE would further expedite the implementation process of MoUs entered by it with NAAC, RCI, IGNOU and work in coordination with the University Grants Commission and state universities which are responsible for affiliation and awarding of degrees in teacher education programme in the country.
9. I am conscious of the fact that bringing standardization in the system of teacher education throughout the country is not an easy task. However, I have every reason to believe that NCTE would strive hard to take all necessary steps further to improve its regulatory mechanism so as to ensure planned and qualitative development of teacher education system.