Sushil Kumar Singh
School conditions, teachers’ salaries, working hours, their professional observation, training as well as maintaining the attractiveness of education are key components of teacher empowerment. The quality of teachers in higher education institutions is also at a higher level because the privatization of education is giving more opportunities to cheap teachers rather than professional teachers.
The ultimate test of teachers’ effectiveness is whether the students they teach are capable of reaching their academic potential. The role of teachers is important to replace education and teacher in the struggle for quantity, quality and equity. Although favorable changes are possible with the policies of the government and their strong implementation, practical skills are not possible without a strong teacher.
Empowerment of teachers not only opens the way all-round, but the aura of the spirit from Antyodaya to Sarvodaya is also included in it. Commenting on the Republic and Plato, Barker wrote that the question Plato was seeking to answer was simply how can a man become good? Although the answer to this question lies in the inclusion of justice, beauty and virtues, but education is essential to achieve all these, which cannot be possible without a strong and efficient teacher.
When it comes to good governance, without education it is not complete. Where there is socio-economic justice, the way for public welfare opens up and at the same time public empowerment is encouraged, there is good governance. A teacher is the pool of all those ideas which can create change by developing the behavior, skills and life-stream of the students. But when both education and teachers are not on the right track in the changed times, then the fabric of education and good governance is sure to be undermined.
The need to build a knowledge society is paramount to meet the challenges of the twenty first century. In fulfillment of this aspiration, where strengthening of school education is indispensable, at the same time empowerment of teachers is also essential. The National Education Policy 2020 focuses on teachers as well as children. Significantly, the change in the system of teacher and education in India has been very slow.
Before this, the education policy came in 1986. The exercise of transfer of knowledge is still going on, while the efforts to spread education with research and innovation among the students are still struggling. Perhaps this is the reason why in higher education in the whole country, about four crore students take admission in more than a thousand universities and more than forty thousand colleges of all formats, but are left behind in the matter of research and innovation.
On June 9, only four Indian universities came in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Ratings of London-based world higher education analyst. Whereas seventy one universities in China, two hundred one in America and ninety universities in Britain are involved in this. This is just a figure, but it is a scope of understanding the education of the country which also introduces from the perspective of empowerment of teachers. The Right to Education Act came in India a decade ago. After that the target of primary education was achieved to almost hundred percent. But the problem facing us is the quality of education.
A NITI Aayog report suggests that traditional strategies have to be changed to improve the quality of school education. India is facing two types of challenges today. First, that mediocre universities are being built and secondly, there is an acute shortage of teachers. It is also clear from the report that despite India’s population being almost equal to that of China, the number of schools in India is more than in China. While there are 15 lakh schools in India, there are five lakh in China. In India’s nearly four lakh schools, 1.5 crore students study in an average school. Vacant posts of teachers are also a big obstacle in studies. In such a situation, how can education and teacher empowerment happen?
The Global Teacher Status Index 2018 also shows that there is a direct relationship between teacher status and student performance. Teachers in Europe and Latin America are much more disappointed in terms of respect than in Asia and the Middle East. Teachers are highly respected in China. Statistics also show that more people here want their children to be teachers. In fact, the teacher is such a guide, with whose strength not only the individual, but the success of the country can also be increased. But a weakening perception about it can put the generation at risk.
The 2018 Global Development Report on Education suggests that teacher teaching skills and motivation both matter and should be individually targeted. A study by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCRT) found that teachers’ feedback is not given any importance in designing training for training.
The question is that the empowerment of teachers will not be ensured by any single phenomenon. School conditions, teachers’ salaries, working hours, their professional observation, training as well as maintaining the attractiveness of education are key components of teacher empowerment. The quality of teachers in higher education institutions is also at a higher level because the privatization of education is giving more opportunities to cheap teachers rather than professional teachers.
Governments are also no less responsible for the plight of education. It is necessary to understand that education can change the country and can draw a big line of good governance. But it needs to be honest to the claims. The contexts contained in the new education policy appear comparatively better from the point of view of education and empowerment of teachers.
Significantly, the present system of schooling and teaching in India emerged during the British rule. After independence, this system has gone through many ups and downs but linguistically it could not be free from the dominance of English. At present, hardly 2.5 lakh panchayats and six and a half lakh villages of the country are deprived of the English education system in India. This is a sign of increased desire for English.
However, in the 2019-2020 report for School Education by United Information System and Education Plus, it is clear that seventeen percent of the schools in the country did not even have basic facilities like electricity and hand washing. But the matter is full of dilemma whether teachers who teach in English are also fully available? In 2012, the Justice Verma Commission had also emphasized the need to improve the quality of teachers in pre-service and in-service times.
In 2014, the Ministry of Human Resource Development also reorganized the B.Ed program, increasing its duration from one year to two years. The National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) made many changes in the new teacher education curriculum including qualified education, health and physical education, environmental education and population education. Obviously the need for empowerment remains constant.