TEACHER EDUCATION IN SIKKIM

 

R. B. Kumar

INTRODUCTION

Expanding growth of modern education gave rise to felt-need for having teachers equipped with the skills of teaching profession so that output indicators of students’ performances are appreciably good. As a consequence, first ever Teachers’ Training Institute was established at Temi, South District of Sikkim in 1955 based on Gandhian philosophy of “Basic Education”. The  lone T. T. I. was then shifted to the campus of Government Senior Secondary School Felling, West Sikkim, 7 kilometres away from Gyalsing, the District headquarters of West Sikkim where it continued till 1977-78. Finally, the institute was shifted to the state capital Gangtok in 1978where from it started One Year Training Programme for in-service teachers. After successful completion of One Year Training Course, the government teachers were given the benefit of two advance increments. Thus, teacher education scheme in Sikkim is relatively of recent origin.

 

 

Teacher Education  FOR ELEMENTRY SCHOOLS

The State of Sikkim has been sanctioned three DIETs one each for East, West and South districts. However DIET East is located at Gangtok alone is functional and it serves, therefore, the entire State. The lone T.T.I, established in 1955 was upgraded in 1998 and  runs apart from other activities, a 2 year pre-service diploma course with an intake capacity of 50.Besides pre-service training, other programmes conducted by DIET Gangtok are: 1. Short-term in-service programmes for pre-primary and primary teachers; 2.Short term training programmes to prepare resource persons for taking up 20 days in-service programmes at CRC and BRC level; 3. Academic inspection of schools; 4.Preparation of training package and textual materials required for pre-primary and  primary school stage. The 2-year pre-service programme has been structured into four semesters. First two semesters are devoted to on theory part and include important components related to teacher and education in emerging Indian society, educational psychology,   school   organisation,   educational   technology,   Some contemporary issues like inclusive education, disaster management education and curricular areas with methodologies are also covered. At the end of second semester, student teachers are deputed to different schools under School Experience Programmes for 15 days. Their performance is evaluated by the lecturers of DIET Gangtok as they visit each school where pupil- teachers are deputed. In the subsequent semesters student teachers are given exposure to different teaching skillsalong with other theoretical components. Examination is conducted by the Institute itself. Mode of evaluation includes assignment, home work, class tests and project work etc apart from term examination. In cse of  qualification of Faculty of DIET Gangtok ,all the teaching members expect two are M Ed. (either B.A. & M. Ed. or M. A. / M. Sc. & M. Ed. ) Some of the lecturers are pursuing Masters degree courses in their respective disciplines. Principal DIET Gangtok holds the degree of M.A. M. B.Ed. & M. Phil. Lecturers of DIET Gangtok are on regular establishment in the scale of Rs 7,000 - Rs 11,500 plus other allowances admissible under Government of Sikkim norms. Notification has been brought to operationalise DIET West at Soreng, one of the sub-divisional headquarters, at the earliest. Similarly, all efforts are being to operationalise DIET, South. DIET Gangtok has hostel facility for girls and boys.

Mount Carmel Teacher’s Training Institute, Pakuong has been set up by Apostilic Carmel  Sisters’ Organisation, Kolkata at Pakyong, a sub-divisional Headquarters of East District (Sikkim) which is about 30 kilometres away from the state capital Gangtok. Since 1995, it is running a two-year pre-service course. The institute is self-financed. At present, the institute is functioning in a small campus with manageable infrastructure.The intake capacity of 40 teacher pupils has the provision of seat reservation for Sikkimese candidates. Generally, 1 or 2 seats remain vacant. The institute charges from each pupil-teacher Rs. 500/- per month as monthly tuition fee. There are six lecturers and all of them are M. A., B. Ed. with good background of teaching experience. One new hand with Science background has joined the Institute for teaching science and mathematics. A total number of more than 185 days is the working days for  the institute.

 

TEACHER TRAINING FOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS.

There are two teacher training institutions for training of teachers for secondary schools: Loyola College of Education, Namchi and Harka Maya College of Education, Tadong. The B. Ed. course offered by the colleges is affiliated to North Bengal University, Siliguri .

Loyola College of Education, Namchi is a college established and managed by the Darjeeling Jesuits of North Bengal (DJNB) and is self-financed. Established in 1993,  with a land area of 4.6 hectares made available by the State Government on lease basis for 99 years with an initial endowment of Rs. 30 lakhs. As per the MOU between the college and the State Government, annual rent of Rs 10 a year is being paid by the college. At present, the college’s one-year B. Ed. course  has  an intake capacity of 100. Actual teaching days of the college is more than 180 days. Method papers are in the subjects- English, History, Economics, Geography, Life Sciences, Physics, Chemistry and Nepali. There are ten faculty members including the Principal out of which  eight members possess M. A. / M. Sc. & M. Ed. degree and are on regular establishment in the scale of Rs, 8,000-13000. Remaining two faculty possess M. Sc. B. Ed. and M. Sc. B. Ed. are on part time basis. Harka Maya College of Education, Tadong  has been established under the Society Act of Rhenock Education Society, Gangtok in the year 2003-04 with an intake capacity of 100 candidates for B. Ed. course. Annual fee to be paid by a pupil teacher for B. Ed. course is about RS 40,000 Admission to the B. Ed. course is based on the merit list prepared by the college by taking into account the Admission Test conducted by the college and curriculum vitae of the candidate

 

 

Practice teaching  for B. Ed. course is conducted for 15 days duration wherein a teacher trainee is required to deliver at least 15 lessons in each of two methods papers selected by them. There are 5 method papers available, which include Geography, English, Biology and mathematics. Periodical tests are conducted by the college for B.Ed. students. It also has  One Year M. Ed. Course since 2006-07.  Annual fee to be paid by  student for the M. Ed. course is about Rs. 55,000.One of the features of M. Ed. Course is  Seminar where the students are given good exposure to seminar presentation. .

 

Other Teacher TRAINING PROGRAMMES

Apart from these institutions, there is a District Centre for Teaching English (DCTE) set up at Namchi, the headquarter of South District, under the District Centre Scheme of the Central Institute of English & Foreign languages, (CIEFL) Hyderabad, MHRD, Government of India a Deemed University.  It conducts short-term training programme with an objective for improving English Language Teaching in the schools. Teachers teaching English at the Secondary level are invited to undergo such short term training course for English. Besides the Centre conducts a one year Correspondence -cum- contact Course in the Certificate in English Language Teaching (C. ELT) This specialised course consists of five papers of 100 marks each on Reading-100 marks, Writing -100 marks, Grammar- 100 marks, Study Skills-100 marks and Principles and Methods 100 marks. Successful candidates are awarded certificates by the CIEFL, Hyderabad.

 

The State Government is strongly committed to enhance the professional skills and capacity of in-service teachers. To clear the backlog of untrained teachers the HRD Department Government of Sikkim has launched two-year B. Ed. and six-month C.P.E. Course with the technical and academic support from IGNOU, New Delhi through distance education mode . The enrolled teachers get counselling from trained counsellors at selected centers on Saturdays and Sundays which does not disturb there school routine. Till now quite a good number of teachers have benefited from this scheme. Entire expenditure for this programme is borne by the State Government of Sikkim. Besides, SIE (State Institute of Education) Gangtok   virtually functioning as SCERT extensively orgasises various programmes for in- service teachers on different aspects viz. content enrichment and capacity building, innovative approaches , action research , disaster management AIDS Education, Value Education etc.

 

CONCLUSION

All teacher education programmes in the State need a fresh look in the light of emerging concerns of quality education and contemporary issues.   Teaching is a profession and in every professional course, practicum is very important. In teacher preparation Programme internship of about six months’ duration may not be a bad proposition. Under this internship programme, every pupil-teacher may be attached to a school for at least a period of six months and the candidate may compulsorily be involved in all activities of the school. His performance may be evaluated by the subject teachers, headmaster and finally through the academic inspection of the Faculty of teacher education institute. After successful completion of the internship, the candidate may be allowed to appear at the annual examination.