Education dept adopts ‘cafeteria approach’ to train primary teachers

Jan 21 2013, 10:54 IST
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SummaryAims to provide a customised training module as per teachers’ demands

Aims to provide a customised training module as per teachers’ demands

Keeping in mind the poor performance of primary school teachers in its annual report Gunotsav, the state Education Department has decided for a 360-degree change in its teachers’ training approach. After deliberations and discussions with experts including teachers, the department has come up with a “cafeteria approach”.

This means that the standard one-fits-all in-service teachers’ training for them will be replaced by a customised training. The department has already started the process of taking suggestions from its primary school teachers on what kind of training they feel they require. For instance, apart from subject related tips, if they want pedagogical or motivational training.

“The teachers will no longer be trained as per the standard guidelines set by the department. Rather, the department is asking teachers what kind of training they want. The department is referring to it as a “cafeteria approach - you get what you request for,” said Manoj Aggarwal, Commissioner Primary Education.

Experts will prepare training modules as per the demand. However, from time to time the department has experts on its panel to impart training, further more experts will be roped in for the purpose. It is the first time that along with students and schools, the department had also categorised teachers in its annual report on the basis of their performance. Teachers were graded from A to E and these performance indicators were made public along with details of teachers including name, school, village, cluster and block

The reason cited by the officials for these initiatives is not only improvement in performance standards of teachers and students in government schools but also to make an attempt that people get to know where their school and teachers stand on the scale of grades.

At present, there is around 2 lakh faculty in total 34,000 primary schools in the state. These include all the schools directly run by government, municipal corporations and district panchayats. The number of villages as per the official records is 18,500.

The department believes that the quality of teachers has been controlled with the recent implementation of Teacher Aptitude Test (TAT) and Head Teacher Aptitude Test (HTAT). The entrance test ensures recruitment of teachers and principals to be entirely on the basis of their understanding and subject related knowledge, it is the existing teachers who requires to be trained.

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