In a world where teaching, as a profession is looked down upon, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) is trying to restore the lost legacy of teaching. 

India has historically been a land of great educators and mentors with their vision and idea of revolutionising Indian education. From Roy to Tagore, India has seen a lineage of visionaries, but, with the coming in of commercialisation and private education, have we lost the worth of our teachers?

To counter this growing disrespect towards education as a career, the NCTE is planning to weed out the poorly-performing institutions in providing Bachelor of Education as a degree. In a report by The Hindu, NCTE chairperson Satbir Bedi said, “The B.Ed has become a degree for marriage, not teaching. That must change…Our agenda is to close down the bad colleges.” The move by NCTE aims to include 700 model institutions (at least one per district), a new leadership training programme for principals and headteachers, and an experimental international teaching qualification

Poor institutions exist solely for the ‘namesake’ without any intention of imparting academic or vocational skills required to be a teacher. This not only points towards the sorry state of India’s higher educational institutions but also, the sorry and depreciating state of teaching. Dr Bedi stated to The Hindu, “This oversupply is the main reason for the derogation of the teaching profession. That’s why they get away with paying 2,000-3,000 per month for a teacher who is supposed to be a leader, a motivator, a counselor to a generation of children.”  The growing lack of interest in pursuing a B.Ed arises from the negative factor of being underpaid.

Nandini Sukhija, who is the daughter of a teacher, exclaims, “I’m personally appalled by the way, in which the profession of teaching is viewed these days, both by educational institutions as well as the students and their parents. The work culture is turning worse each day, where even giving wages to employees is seen as a favour. This includes teachers, who are either given extremely low salaries or are asked to “justify” their worth. Educating the future of the nation is a mammoth-sized job, and to do that, respect and dignity in the teaching profession is a prerequisite.”

Teachers for the sake of ‘degree’ are being produced in masses, each year, from institutions that hardly pay any attention to imparting the right values. The education sector deserves teachers who are paid according to their capabilities and efforts. Cutting down on ‘bad’ colleges would not only give way to prominent higher education but also reduce the number of disinterested students who have no desire to take up teaching as a profession.

The causal attitude surrounding the teaching industry points towards the glaring disrespect and disregard which has garnered over the years to one of the noblest professions out there. Prithika Dasgupta, whose mother is an educationist, says, “Teachers are losing their value in schools and colleges, they are being taken for granted. They are the ones who help in growing and shaping other careers. They lay the foundation stone of a child’s future and it is time that they get the long-due respect that they deserve.”

In reference to an article by The Hindu 

Feature Image Credits: Livemint

Anandi Sen

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On this Teacher’s Day, these alternative techniques of teaching give a newer perspective to the rugged old system. They highlight how education system can evolve with the ever-changing world, and keep up with the needs of the 21st century students. 

It’s funny how my aunt and I share an age gap of 20 years, and yet she and I studied for our class 12th from the same book. The ideology followed in 1970s is the same that is being used today, even after witnessing an IT, economical and industrial revolution.

The students are often put to the same rat race, with lack of practical and relevant knowledge in pure, blind thirst of marks. This system shapes great cramming skills, but professional ones lack manifold.

Here are few alternative theories of teaching that need to be learnt by our education system:

  1. Flip the classroom:

One of the best alternative teaching methods is implementing a flipped classroom. Rather than lecturing in class, students watch or read lessons at home, and complete hands-on experiences while in class. This helps the student to have their own interpretation of the topic and not feel left out in the class. The “homework” becomes the lesson, and the “lesson” becomes the action! It also gives them enough time to prepare questions and analyse the chapter well.

  1. From the only one to one-to-one:

It’s amusing how countries like Australia have introduced robotics in their national development schemes but India, the country on the frontline of IT revolution is light years behind. One single teacher in a class of 40 students prevents holistic learning of each student, also adding pressure on the one teacher to reach all the students. Using personal technology as a tool will be a great boon. This could include the use of interactive websites, web quests, videos, and other activities, and could even be utilised as a tool for quick formative assessments and class dialogue. Many research have shown that because of class pressure, many students even hesitate to ask questions, this is a great alternative for that.

Nawang Dolma, first-year Philosophy student, Daulat Ram College said, “My history teacher only teaches in Hindi, which I don’t know well, being from Ladakh. It becomes a huge problem for me in class. I have to go back home and see video lectures in English.”
This method also helps to accommodate diversity in schools and colleges.

  1. Colour scheming, all the way:

A lot of students have a huge problem memorising information, especially in Arts courses. Teaching through the medium of different colours helps in clarity and visual comprehension of information. This also helps in making mind-maps, which get imbibed in the mind much faster and stronger. This alternate method takes you away from the rusty book to a more clarified text.

  1. How Genius is Genius Hour:

An hour dedicated to the practicality of the lesson. Throughout college and school, students always ask this question, “Where will I use this concept?” This hour will answer that question. Not only this, it will help students realise the scope of their text, but will also act as a navigation for their respective careers. A great tool for motivation and rejuvenation. It also helps in putting context to otherwise bundles of just paragraphs written unsystematically. Think how much less annoying Mathematics would’ve been if we had known where trigonometry would work, other than the dreaded exams.

  1. Game-based Learning:

    Turning philosophers to gamers is the most experimental ideology of all. This alternative method of teaching, uses games, both offline and online, to familiarise students with a concept. Offline games like playing hide-and-seek in monuments to learn the history of the era combine the exposure of the field trip, while making information more relatable to students. On the other hand, online games have an entire variety to choose from, games like Quiz Up that help in daily assessment, or one of the most popular games that is sure to get students’ attention is the new education edition of Minecraft.

Games will not only help the students learn the content, but also further develop their 21st century skills.

All of these new and contemporary teaching techniques will give rise to a new generation of thinkers who look beyond the old textbooks-notebooks, who are the need in today’s India. Students should be more about being vocationally skill-oriented, than being all about marks. They should be able to have different interpretations and knowledge than that of the ones who passed educational institutions 50 years back. These techniques focus on that very aim.

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Chhavi Bahmba

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After school, university is the place where you learn to be independent and responsible. Many of us took the decision to stay away from home and begin our academic careers at a far-off place. At every step of this journey, there will be loads of opportunities and experiences of both good and bad forms, and it would be up to you how you determine to manage them.

There are many ways for parents to manage the issue of pocket money, but first, you will need a good idea of what it costs to be a teenage student. The contemporary family is described increasingly in ‘democratic’ terms of individuals’ ‘rights’, ‘choices’, and ‘discussion’ where parent-child relationships are being renegotiated – especially those involving teenagers. At an age when it is important for students to learn the significance of saving money, parents with their perpetual hesitance don’t make their kids value hard-earned money. In the Indian scenario, parents do not feel the necessity for their kids to earn their own money even in the late teenage years. It must not only be left to the impoverished and hard-hit students’ to have a part-time job in the student years, but it should be a step for self-dependence from an early age.

After I shifted to Delhi, a senior of mine informed me about home tutoring young students of the locality. When she was in college, she used to tutor kids of fifth to eighth class. I would definitely credit her for inculcating the seeds of self-dependence in me. I started home tutoring young students via an agency that worked towards connecting students who are searching for tutors and people who are willing to tutor. It might not always be financial issues that instigate the realms of part-time jobs, but they can also be a source of independence and responsible behaviour. From my very first class till date, I have had innumerable experiences, both good and bad. I realised the value of small things in life that didn’t make sense to me earlier. When I stepped into the shoes of a teacher, I realised how important it is to have a curious student who wants to know more about the subject. I learned the basic conducts that a teacher expects from a student: attention and respect. I was ecstatic when I heard my first student call me “ma’am”, and glad to know that I became her favourite teacher. “Knowledge is a treasure, practice is the key to it” – I believe in this, and in “Expanding the bounties of knowledge.” I learned that teachers too have a lot to learn from their students, and maintaining a healthy relationship is a key aspect of education. Besides, in our student life, if we are practicing what we had learned in our yesteryears, it would prove to be very encouraging for our future competitive exams.

I would suggest you to open your door to endless possibilities of self-dependence, second to which the storehouse of experiences is that prepare you for adulthood.


Feature Image Credits: My Cute Graphics

Radhika Boruah

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