TEACHER EDUCATION IN ASSAM

Ajanta Brahma

 

INTRODUCTION

It is universally accepted that a teacherís personality and professional competence has a direct bearing on the growing mind of the pupils. The quality of a particular kind of education is largely depended on the quality of the teachers. In a nutshell, it can be stated that professional competence of a teacher is a most important pre- requisite without which even the best curriculum, syllabi and teaching-learning materials cannot ensure desired learning outcome. Therefore, to be a good teacher and also to ensure the desired learning outcome to the target group professional training is a must for every aspiring teacher. Unfortunately, the teacher education system is yet to be tuned to adjust with the changing educational need of time. The curriculum and syllabi review effort being undertaken in the context of child centric, joyful and competency based teaching especially at elementary level education has not yet been fully supported by the teacher education programmes. As a result, there is large gap between what is expected and what is achieved at field level. On the other hand, for teaching at Secondary and Sr. Secondary stage B.Ed or M.Ed degree has yet not been made compulsory in the state. There is no provision for undergoing compulsory in-service teacher training particularly at this stage of school education. As different universities of the state control these teacher training institutions therefore, there is lack of uniformity and continuity in the curriculum and syllabi followed by  them. Besides, no visible efforts can be seen for establishing linkage between various teacher education programmes of pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education level. Lack of adequate numbers of up to date teaching Ėlearning materials especially at elementary stage in vernacular medium is also posing as hindrance on the path of quality teacher education in the state.


HISTORY OF TEACHER EDUCATION


Unlike other parts of India, educational expansion in the context of teacher education could not be started earlier in Assam. It was the Christian missionaries who were pioneers in establishment of a few Primary Teacher Training Schools in the state as early as 1888-89. To provide training to MV and ME level teachers of the state the then government had established a few Normal Schools in the early part of 20th century. The duration of these in-service Normal schools course was for the period of 3 years and policy was that teachers were appointed after completion of the training in Normal schools. The provision for providing training to then in service teachers teaching in Secondary level of school education was imparted at St Edmundís college in Shillong which was later on shifted to St. Maryís college. In the post independent Assam as per the Basic Education Act of 1954 a number of Basic Training Centres were established throughout the state to train in service teachers teaching in primary schools. Pre-service training along with in service training for Middle School teachers was introduced in the state in the already established Normal Schools. But it was discontinued in 1970ís because of problem related to jobs for such trained teachers. Upon realization of the need for providing of pre service teacher education and also to clear the huge backlog of untrained teacher the Government of Assam re- introduced the pre service teacher training for elementary level School  Teacher of 2 year duration  in the year 2000 in the 15 DIETs.  However, this course was discontinued from 2001 onwards. Since then no fresh enrolment in this course has been made. For training of secondary level teachers Gauhati University as well as Government established B.T. colleges under its direct management. At present there are altogether 37 B. Ed. colleges out of which 8 are Colleges of Teacher Education which belongs to the government and rest are belonged to private parties.


EXISTING TEACHER TRAINING INSTITUTE OF THE STATE

1.Basic Training Centre (BTC): There are 19 BTCs which provide Primary (in-service) programme for 6 months duration having an annual intake of 4500.

It was always a one-year course, reduced to 6 months in 1999 for greater coverage. 
2.  Pre-primary Training Centre (PPTC): There is 1 PPTC.  Initially, it was meant for Pre-primary (pre-service and in-service) but now primary (in-service). Initially, Pre-primary Training Centre (1 year) now provides Junior Basic Training Course (JBTC) for 6 months duration with intake of  100.  At present, the institute is imparting JBT course for in-service primary School Teachers.

3.  Normal School:   There are 7 Normal schools which caters to teachers for Middle (in service)  having duration of  1 year with intake of  350.  Pre-service training was provided for a few years along with in-service training but the former was discontinued sometime in the late 1970s.It is running JBT course of 6 months duration.

4.    District Institute of Education and Training (DIET): There are 18 DIETs which provide (a)    Primary (in-service) for 6 months duration with intake of 1500 and (b) D.E.Ed. (Pre-service)  for duration of 2 years with intake of 600. 

5.     B Ed. College: There are 57    B.Ed. colleges that provide B.Ed. course of 1 year duration with intake of 3420. Graduate teachers are deputed to selected B Ed. College /CTEs for in-service training. There are many private B. Ed. colleges of which some are recognized by NCTE but others are not.

6. College of Teacher Education (CTE): There are 7 CTEs which provide  Secondary (pre-service and in-service) B Ed. of 1 year duration with intake of 800     
7.  State Institute of Science Education (SISE), Assam, Guwahati : This institute provides(in service) 

short term courseonsubjects especially science, Mathematics and Environmental Sciencefor teachers of Primary, Middle, Secondary schools.       
8. State Institute of Education, Assam, Jorhat:   This institute provides  (in-Service) short term courses on school subjects and teaching Methodology    for teachers of   Primary, Middle, Secondary schools.    
9.  English Language Teaching institute (ELTI) Assam Guwahati: This institute provides(in-Service) short term courses on English language teaching     for teachers of   Middle, Secondary and Higher Secondary stage.

11.     Board of Secondary Education Council (SEBA), Guwahati: This Board provides short term training in school subjects. for   Middle and Secondary level (in-service)  teachers.    
12. Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) Guwahati: This Council provides Summer institutes/short-term training courses in various +2 level subjects  for Higher secondary school teachers.Besides, there are number of NGOs which organize time to time subject based short term in service teacher training courses often by themselves or in collaboration with different teacher training institutes of the state. The SSA also provides short-term subject specific teacher training programme for primary and Upper Primary level teachers. The SCERT as a part of their extension service activity provides teacher training to various organizations and institutions in addition to AIR programmes for the Primary and Upper Primary level teachers on many academic issues related to approach, philosophy and pedagogy. Dibrugarh University and Gauhati University also conducts regular B. Ed and M.Ed. course (pre-service) for secondary level teachers.

 

VISION FOR TEACHER EDUCATION

It has traditionally been practiced that the schools of different category were established by the community on the basis of public demand. Teachers were also appointed by community. These schools were managed and financed by the local community which was later on recognized by the government on the basis of terms and condition laid by the later. Therefore, the service of the person engaged as teachers in these schools  also get absorbed without least consideration whether the person concerned has ability or interest in the teaching  profession.  Although at present preference is given for pre-service training at the time of selection of teachers. This practice has lead over the year to the phenomenon of recruitment of batch after batch of untrained persons who lack both competence and commitment to be a teacher. As result the responsibility of teacher training institutes along with  the course have increased manifold as because they are bound to make the existing teachers professionally competent to be able tocontinuously attempt to formulate oneís own professional orientation  as a teacher in a situation specific context. However, besides reviewing the curriculum and syllabi the existing teacher training institutes have lots to do in terms  of infrastructure development, empowerment of teacher educators and in development of teaching-learning materials To address such a phenomenon complete restructuring of entire teacher training scenario of the state is the need of the hour. For doing so, a state level Core committee comprising of distinguished educationists, representatives from universities and teacher training institutions etc may be formed with the aims of advising the Govt. to1. Restructure teacher education programmes from pre-primary to university level; 2.Establish linkage between various teacher education programmes; 3. Monitor and supervise and to extend support; and 4.Undertake timely need based intervention related to implementation of curriculum. In order to overcome problem related to appointment of untrained teacher there is an urgent need to re- introduce need based context related Pre-service teacher education course especially  at elementary level. As stated earlier that the state had introduced PSTE course in 2000 but could not continue it due many reasons. Problem related to this course and its successful implementation in letter and spirit may be found out if any, so that it can be introduced again in the larger interest of the state. For teaching profession at Secondary and Sr. Secondary stage there is an urgent need to introduce compulsory B.Ed course for those who do not have this degree at the time of their recruitment. Besides, the practice of  organising time to time refresher course of short term duration on various emerging educational issues may be continued with renewed vigour. This may be made compulsory and for better result may be linked with professional incentives. This will go a long way in motivating the teachers to undergo training. In order to provide quality teacher education there is a need to introduce Integrated Teacher Education course of 4 years duration at degree level. This may be introduced  in some selected colleges or teacher education institutes of the state having sufficient infrastructural facility. This course is being successfully run in some Regional colleges in Education of the country. If required, we can take help from these TTIs.

CONCLUSION

As can be observed, to be able to face the challenges of the new millennium, the teacher education requires a new approach. At present teachers are not the mere transmitters of information but facilitators in the path of students urge for more knowledge. If he/she fails to play this role confidently and effectively then, the status of the teacher would be eroded in the eyes of the students. He/she has to continuously evaluate the activity undertaken by him/her to see whether the activity undertaken by him/her has achieved the desired result in terms of studentsí performance. If not, why? How it can be improved? Therefore critical analysis of oneís teaching-learning methodology, practicability of curriculum in use need to be re- evaluated time and again till desired objectives are achieved. The existing teacher training institutions of the state has yet lot to do for themselves in order to articulate innovations in terms of approach, pedagogy for qualitative improvement of school education and so that they can response to the various demands of the student community.