TEACHER EDUCATION IN JAMMU & KASHMIR

 

Arun  K. Gupta

D. R. Kapoor

 

INTRODUCTION

Jammu & Kashmir  State is the northern most part of the India with population  more than one crore as per Census figures and covers the area of approximately 2,22,236 sq. Kms. The state is divided into three regions namely, Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh and further subdivided into 22 districts for administration and carrying out developmental programmes. The State of J & K has its own Constitution besides the Constitution of India and enjoys special status under article 370. Topography of the State comes in the way of developing adequate infrastructure and is further compounded by terrorism and militancy, which have taken a heavy toll of life and public property besides throwing normal life out of gear.  Education could not escape from this tragedy as most of the educational institutions in rural areas in the valley were destroyed and loss of schooling hours immensely affected the learning outcomes.  As per Economic Survey 2006-07, the State of J&K lags far behind in social sector i.e. education, public health, sanitation, and social welfare. Per capita income comes out at Rs.17,174 per annum as against the national average of Rs.25,907.  J&K figures among the last four most illiterate and educationally backward state. It is fact that no system of education can rise above the level of its teachers.  Good teachers are invaluable assets for nation building and this fact has been recognized and highlighted in the National Policy of Education (1986).  This emphatically calls for a drastic and urgent revision in the existing policies and practices regarding recruitment, training and retention of teachers based on well tried out programme of innovation, experimentation and research.  Therefore, teacher education is in urgent need of reorganization so as to ensure the highest quality and standard. The system of teacher preparation or training in J&K has come under sharp criticism at the hand of both experts and public at large.  Critics have termed our system of teacher preparation as “obsolete” “bookish”’ “ill concerned”, impractical”, “ill planned”, “uninspiring” and ”mushroom growth”.  It affected adversely: (a) the quality of faculty and the head, (b) access and use of learning resources (library and ICT), (c) teaching and evaluation methodology, and (d) professional development. It also suffers from ‘adhocism’, ‘politicization’, ‘groupism’, ‘and half hearted efforts at developing teacher competencies among prospective teacher’.  The casual implementation of pre-service programme for student teacher could not produce good teachers.  It is divorced from realities of the school and suffers from lack of financial support.  These institutions, therefore, are need to be revamped to produce professionally trained teachers, fully equipped with both high academic standards, pedagogical  practical skill, ethical and moral values. In the back drop of the past, quality in teacher education has always been given top priority by the rulers of J&K state.  In order to improve the quality of teaching and to leaven student’s learning activities with conscious efforts and  perseverance, these rulers laid much emphasis on frequent revision of pedagogic learning contents and on periodic seminars and group discussions.  The outstanding teachers were given certificates and  cash awards.  They also provided substantial grants and scholarships for training of teachers at the local normal schools and the college at Lahore.  As a result, the number of certificated teachers increased every year but the proportion of untrained teachers still remained large, especially in the Kashmir province.

 

In 1939, the Saiydian Committee Report recommended that teacher training schools should be properly staffed & equipped and a scheme of Refresher courses for all categories of teachers should be started to acquaint teachers with new thought and trends in education.  As a result, sufficient funds were allocated for ungradation of labs, library and building of teacher training school.  Refresher courses were started for enhancing competency of teachers. In 1950, the Kazimi Committee Report observed that untrained and unqualified teachers could not produce the best results. Moreover, teacher education institutions were not equipped with infrastructure such as building, labs, and library and the teaching staff deployed was also not qualified and trained.  The committee recommended that no untrained teachers should be recruited to the department and that qualified and trained teachers should invariably be posted in the teacher training schools to improve the quality of teacher education in the State of J & K.  The Committee also recommended the scraping of Basic Education Course, Junior Vernacular, and Senior Vernacular (BEC, JV& SV) and the institution of a uniform training to be called certificate in Teaching (CT).  Most of the recommendations of the committee were implemented to raise the standard of teacher education. After independence, Sheik Abdullah, the then Prime minister of J & K State took initiative to improve the quality of teacher education.  Teacher pay scales were revised on the basis of qualification and training.  Scholarships and incentives were provided to the teachers undergoing teacher training courses outside the state.  By the end of the year 1956 two full fledged teachers training colleges each in J & K  were set up.  The concept of multipurpose school was initiated in the country in the year1952-53 and J & K was the first state to accept that proposal and in consequence there of three multipurpose schools were started in the first instance state.  Teachers were also gradually trained to cater to the needs of the new courses of studies.

 

In 1972, Bhagwan Sahay Committee Report observed that one of the weakest areas in the state was that of the training of teachers.  The percentage of trained teachers was low as 63% in primary school, 78% in middle school & 89% in secondary schools and the duration of training for primary and middle school teachers was only one year as against the needed two years.  There was hardly any provision for in- service education.  The teacher training schools did not have adequate status and high quality staff.  They were also not properly provided with building, land, labs, libraries, hostels and equipments. The committee recommended that:

-Infrastructure i.e. buildings, labs, library, hostels should be provided at teacher training schools and college level.

-Qualified & trained teachers should be posted in teacher Education schools and colleges.

-Teacher in college of education should have a master degree in education (M. Ed.)

-Model school at district level should be attached with teacher education school or college for practice of teaching.

-Resource persons (subject wise) should be identified & trained through subject expert of the NCERT.

-In service programmes such as complex Programme, refresher courses based on selected themes, and refresher courses of two months duration  for every teacher  of  five years  of service.

-The college should have three specific responsibilities-pre-service education of one year, refresher course for teachers and provision of extension service to schools in the district. They should function as local agents for many programmes of the State Institute of Education.

As a result of the Committee Report, the backlog of untrained teachers was reduced. Teacher training schools and colleges were equipped with infrastructure and trained staff. Services of NCERT were requisitioned in the preparation of subject-wise resource persons who further trained teachers to improve the quality of education in J & K State.

 

The First College of education in the private sector was sanctioned by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir in the year 1980-81 at Model Institute of Education and Research, Jammu to meet the burgeoning demand as well as to provide quality education. The first attempt was made in 1973 to restructure the curriculum and the document on teacher education was prepared. The objective of the teacher education programme in this document was to have change in the content and the design as also the restructuring of teacher education programmes.  In fact the recommendations which were made through this document could not be translated effectively, meaningfully and purposefully by the state.

 

As a follow up of 1986 Policy,  a number of programmes were initiated to improve the quality of teacher education in J & K State. These include establishment of  District Institute of Education (DIET) and Institutes of Advanced study (IASE) in Education.  Substantial financial support was provided in upgrading of existing buildings, labs, library, hostels etc. Qualified trained and experienced teachers were deployed in teacher education institutions. Various programmes for teacher capacity building were initiated. Innovative good practices in teacher educational institutions were introduced. Restructuring of teacher training curriculum was carried out. More emphasis was laid on practice of teaching. In fact, much emphasis was laid on expansion of teacher education in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and little effort was made in the direction of improving the quality of teacher education. In 1990, the report submitted by NCTE Review Committee chaired by late Prof. Buch corroborates with prevailing teacher education scenario in J&K that leaving aside a few universities, department and colleges of Education that can be counted on finger tips, a large majority of teacher education colleges are effectively run for less than three months a year.  Practice teaching is a ploy.  Guides rules the scene, learning from text books is unknown entity.  As in all other colleges, a large majority of faculty reproduce what they had learnt as students” Under these circumstances, “there is an urgent need to make a detailed study of state of art of teacher education curriculum and research on teacher education.”At present(2007), there are 146 B.Ed. colleges in the state where except two, the rest are private colleges with intake capacity of more than 44 thousand as against three colleges of education in the year 1981 with intake capacity of less than three hundred. More than 70 colleges of education opened during 2001 and 2003. Most of these colleges have hardly any infrastructure but got affiliation without any questions being raised.  Expansion of teacher education could not match the quality in teacher education. Various programmes are as follows.

1. One Year Nursery Teacher Training by Social Welfare Department (Fee: Rs.8, 000);

2. One Year Elementary Teacher Training for In-service Teachers by J&K Board of Secondary Education;

3. Two Year Elementary Teacher Training by J&K Board of Sec.Edn. (Fee: Rs.32, 000);

4. One Year B. Ed. by Universities (Fee: Rs.24, 100);

5. Two Year B. Ed. (Distance Mode) (Fee: Rs.8, 600);

 

ELEMENTARY TEACHER TRAINING

There are 107 Elementary Teacher Training Institutions in Jammu Region and 60 in Kashmir Region. More than 20,000 trainees are admitted annually to undergo for Diploma in Elementary Teacher Training. 98% of the trainees are from adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Rajasthan. Reason of low intake from the home state is that no weighatge is given to elementary trained teachers in recruitment. Elementary Teacher training is of two year duration. There is centralized system of admission under the exclusive control of J & K Board of School of Education(BSE). Admission is strictly on the basis of academic merits.  Allotment of trainees to various educational institutions is prerogative of BSE. Courses of study comprise of theory and practice of teaching. There are four compulsory and one optional subjects and five teaching subjects namely, Math, Science, any two language and Social Studies  in 1st year focusing of class I-V, and in 2nd year there are four compulsory and one optional and three teaching subjects pertaining to class VI-VIII. In practice of teaching there are 30 Mirco and 40 Macro lessons which each trainee has to deliver. Academic Calendar is circulated by the Board of School Education but not followed in letter and spirit by the BSE. Frequent changes and cult of adhocism has given a lot of controversy question marks to the functioning of the apex body. Of late, the falling standard of teacher education in elementary teacher training institutions has forced government to revise its policy for issuing ‘NOC’ to these institutions . Therefore, Elementary Teacher Training Institutions have been categorized into three categories namely, ’A’’B’ and ’C’, and the following conditions have been laid down:

(i) They will record an attendance of 75% and above for the students pursuing ETT course. In case of shortage such students would not be eligible for the examination;

(ii) The principals of DIET or his/her authorized HOD and District/Sub-Offices of the J&K Board of School Education are empowered to have surprise / periodic checks to monitor the attendance and teaching practices of the students. However, the checking will be done by DIETs /J &K BSE on rotation basis to be directed by the Board of School Education.

(iii) The institutions will fulfill all the norms and standards as laid down in Government Order No. 446-Edu of 2006 dated 21-9-06 read with Govt. Order No.251-Edu. of 2007 dated 16-7-2007 prior to the start of academic session Oct.-Nov. 2008;

(iv) That one trust will be permissible to run only one ETT in the name of such trust

Course Outline includes: Theory - Compulsory Papers:Philosophy of education;              Sociology of education;  Child development;  Educational technology ; Physical & Health                                                         Education; Process of child’s learning;School Management; Guidance & counseling; and Population education;  Optional:Physical  & health                                                                          education and Delivery of Lessons Micro-  30 and  Macro- 40

 

BACHELOR OF EDUCATION COURSE

At present, there are 146 B.Ed colleges in the state where except two, the rest are private colleges. A total number of 44,241 candidates were enrolled in private colleges which included 11,845 locals and 32,396 non-locals in the year 2007-08. Most of these colleges have hardly any infrastructure but got affiliation without any questions being raised.  The Government however constituted a committee to examine the matter for opening up of more colleges in the state after the matter was taken up in the high court and a suitable criteria have not been  fixed for setting up  new colleges. Expansion of teacher education could not match the quality in teacher education. There is a centralized system of admission under overall control of University of Jammu or Kashmir as the case may be. Admission is strictly according to academic merit i.e. marks obtained in graduation. Minimum 45% of marks in graduation are mandatory for open category and 40% for reserved category for admission to B.Ed course. 6% is earmarked for management quota. Allotment of student to the institution is done on the basis of preference given by the candidate and the intake capacity of the respective institution. There are two Government colleges of education, one each in Srinagar and Jammu. Admission to these colleges are made through common entrance test conducted by the J & K Competent Authority and is meant for the state subject of J&K. Duration of the B.Ed course is of one year both for Govt. as well as for private educational institutions and following same pattern and  courses of study .B.Ed Courses of study comprise of four compulsory subjects, one optional and two teaching subjects carrying 700 marks. 20% is earmarked for internal and 80% is for external examination. Internal assessment is further subdivided into two tests, one assignment and attendance each carrying 5marks. Academic Calendar is issued by the University and followed in letter and spirit. 180 days working schedule is mandatory for each institution imparting B.Ed. courses.Each trainee is groomed in micro and macro skills in teaching and trainee has to deliver 15 Micro and 20 Macro lessons in each teaching subjects. Internship of two week is compulsory for each trainee. Practice of teaching carries 300 marks. Out of which 150 marks are earmarked for two external examiners for two final lessons to be observed in two teaching subjects offered. Internal practice of teaching carries 150 marks which are further subdivided. Distribution of marks are: 15 Micro-Lessons (30 marks); Teaching Aids (10 marks); 20 Macro-Lessons (50 marks); Two Criticism Lesson    (one in each teaching subject)(10 marks);  Observation of 20 lessons (10 marks); and Internship (30 marks).B.Ed through distance mode is of two year duration. The courses of studies are same as pursued by the regular students of University of Jammu/Kashmir. Course Outline includes Theory:Education for Emerging Indian Society;Psychology of teaching learning process;  School Management & pedagogy of Education; Development of educational system in India;One Optional out of given 11 choice;Teaching Subjects: Language, science, Mathematics, Social studies;Delivery of Lessons Micro - 15 and Macro-20 and Optional- One Open Course.

 

INSERVICE TEACHER TRAINING

SIE Jammu covers districts of   Doda, Jammu, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri and Udhampur. SIE Srinagar covers districts of   Anatanag, Baramula, Budgam, Kupwara, Leh, & Kargil, Pulwama, and Srinagar. In- service teacher preparation programmes in J&K are being run exclusively for teachers working in government schools especially during vacation period. These programmes include training in pedagogical act, subject knowledge and basic computer skills. In-service education is expected not only to fill the gap/deficiency of pre-service teacher preparation but it also aims at continually updating and increasing the competencies of the teachers. When these programmes are evaluated in terms of learning outcomes, situation is deplorable in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. At state level. there are two State Institutes of Education (SIE).at Srinagar & Jammu. State Institute of Education Srinagar/Jammu coordinates training programmes of their respective region. SIE conducts courses at elementary and secondary levels; prepares personnel for DIETs; organize training programmes for preparation of soft ware and use of educational technology and as well prepare research workers. In the Plan Document of J&K for the year 2007-2008 it is earmarked that: State Institute of Education Srinagar will be upgraded into State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT).State Institute of Education Jammu will be upgraded into State Institute of Educational Management and Training (SIEMAT). Each District is provided with an Institute of Education and Training (DIET) to cater to in-service training need of the district. At present there are 14 DIETs and eight new District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) will be opened in the newly created districts in the state during the year 2007-2008. The DIETs are designed to (a) improve and enrich the academic standard of elementary school teachers especially in mathematics, science and language, (b) non-formal and adult education functionaries and other personal at the lowest level of educational system. The in-service programmes conducted by DIETs and number of beneficiaries during last three years 2004-05 to 2006-07 are: Total 10,530 :(a) Languages(Hindi, Punjabi, English, Urdu) 1420; (b) Science1,310; (c) Mathematics 2,000; (d) Social Studies1,800; (e) Computer Application 3,000; and (f) Others 1,000. As per Economic Survey of J & K 2006-07, during 2006-07, 9,876 teachers were appointed in the newly opened schools; 5,563 teachers were appointed in the newly upgraded schools; 43,165 teachers received in-service training; and nearly 15,000 teachers were to be recruited during 2007-08.

 

Most of the teachers appointed were Post-graduate plus B.Ed. or Graduate+B.Ed. No individual figured with ETT qualification. As per Digest of Statistics (2006-07), P.338, the strength of trained teachers has increased from 39,702 in the year 1990-91 to 61,910 in the year 2005-2006. The details are: male-36,114 and female-61,910. The numbers of trained teachers according to qualification are: PG male-6,407; PG female-16,679; Graduate male-13,115; Graduate female-7,069; Undergraduate male-7,516; and Undergraduate female -19,421. No doubt the number of trained teachers has gone up but when compared with the number of untrained trained teachers during the same period, the scenario is quite dismal. The number of untrained teachers has gone up from 16,287 in the year 1990-91 to 55,148 in the year 2005-2006. As per Digest of Statistics 2006-07, p309,  there were 55,148 untrained teachers:male 23,819 and female 31,329. The numbers of untrained teachers according to qualification are: PG male 6,978; PG female 5,052; Graduate male 10,851; Graduate female 7,085; Undergraduate male 8,855;   Undergraduate female 16,801. Nearly 47% teachers in primary schools, 40% in middle schools and 35% in high and  higher secondary schools are found untrained in the year 2005-2006. Most of the untrained teachers are working in the government schools. Therefore, the pass percentage in government schools could not cross the limit of 35% in Matriculation and 10+2 stage during the last decade, while the private educational institutions registered 75% pass percentage during the same period.

 

CONCLUSION

*The State of Jammu & Kashmir enjoys the special status under article 370 of the Constitution of India and jurisdiction of the NCTE act has not been extended to the state of J&K. This invites the attention of government of Jammu & Kashmir to ratify the Act Passed by Parliament to enable NCTE to play its significant role.

*Information and Communication Technology (ICT), has not become a compulsory part of ETT, B.Ed. (Pre-service) or in-service teacher training   courses so far in Jammu & Kashmir.   Most of the trainees are, therefore, deprived of the opportunity to make use of ICT to enhance their teaching and learning capacities.

*At present duration of teacher education programme is one year. The main purpose of teacher education programme is to develop values, skills, professional attitude and personality which are not possible within a short duration of one year. This makes the course more examination-oriented and not profession-oriented. A little attention is paid to practice of teaching. Over emphasis in theoretical subjects hardly gives any space to practice the learned skills. When these trainees move in real context they are not able to perform efficiently.

*Professional preparations of teacher educators are not relevant and satisfactory to consider them as teacher educators. M.Ed. degree of University of Jammu/Kashmir prepares theoretical teacher educators. No experience in teaching is required while seeking admission to M.Ed. course. Moreover, no practical training is there as how to teach teacher trainees. There are  nearly 146 colleges of education with intake capacity of nearly 43000 teacher trainees, where students pursuing M.Ed. can get practical training provided it becomes mandatory part of curriculum.

*Teacher education has been conventional in its nature and content and therefore, it does not adequately meet the requirement of the school as a result of which teacher education is not able to deliver, what the school system demands. Most of the time of the trainees is devoted to theoretical curriculum in the classroom and they get little exposure to the practical aspects of teaching and learning.

*Integrating science with technology (i.e., observation, verification experimentation and generalization), is to develop scientific temper. For developing scientific temper, how much a teacher- trainee in the training college or in-service teacher training, is being trained in making observation, in making verification of the verbal facts, in experimenting with those facts and generalizing about those facts. Action-research needs to be part of teacher training, if we have to improve the quality of teacher education programme. Education for learners with special needs is a very important component. Therefore, teachers are to be trained to deal effectively to meet the needs of inclusive education.

*In J & K State, there are more than 148 colleges of education with more than 4200 intake of teacher trainees, what would be the fate of quality teacher education if not properly monitored? Most of the colleges of education do not fit on the criteria of transparency and accountability

*Effort should be made to see that there is balance between manpower demand and supply to maintain the reasonable standard in teacher education. Quality and quantity should not be compromised with each other. In the competitive world, quality has become buzzword. Quality demands sound infrastructure-physical, financial and manpower. Teacher education programme/curriculum should be improved, modified & updated so that it can meet the challenges of the day.

*Most of the senior teacher educators consider posting in SIE/DIET as punishment.  They take little interest in teaching and learning. Trainees on the other hand come for sake of attendance and certificate.  No effort has been made to evaluate the impact of in-service training.  Moreover, these institutions are ill-equipped, lack finance, and learning resources.  In order to make these institutions a center of excellence, need arises to equip these institutes with adequate infrastructure and latest technology, and learning resources. Teacher educators working in these institutions should be given incentives for home library, lap-top and study tours. The best teacher educators in these institutions should be picked up for state, national and international awards.

*A huge back-log of 40% untrained teachers is a cause of concern, which has adversely affected the learning outcomes in all schools especially of Government schools.,  SIE/DIET should take up the challenge of training of teachers on priority basis in phased manner. Sufficient financial support needs to be given to SIE/DIET so that no teacher is left untrained within the stipulated period of five years. 

 

REFERENCES

Education Department, J & K (2007) Digest of Statistics (J&K). Govt.of J&K, Srinagar.

State Institute of Education Jammu/Srinagar (2007-08)