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Reiteration of teachers’ role on Teachers Day- with respect to NEP

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer


No soldier can handle a war/gun without helping. Similarly, training is as important to the teacher. 

For a long time, India’s Education Policy has been centred around “equity” and “access’ in education to schoolchildren. Equity meant equality i.e., to have an equal opportunity (to educate) and access (to have a school within the reach) for all children in India. Education has become a fundamental right like: right to life only in 2008. The Right to Education Act (RTE) was made as an amendment to the Indian Constitution that year. According to the RTE Act, the state would provide free and compulsory education to children from six to fourteen years of age.

After the promulgation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, efforts were made to provide equal opportunities and access to all children for education in the country. As a result, many neighbourhood-schools were established. Access to schooling has become easier now, even in far flung places. However, the “quality of education”, has not improved, specially, among schoolchildren. School education is the foundational one that needs attention. When studies were made as to why China, South Korea and other Asian countries have been developing faster, it was found that their school-education is in a good state. To fulfill the Skill-India dream, the Govt. of India is now planning to focus on quality in school education by adopting measures stated in the new NEP. 

The lack of quality in school education has a history:

The history dates back to fifty years i.e., 1971 or so when “detention” was abolished from education-system to check the drop-out rate of schoolchildren.  In its place free- promotion from one class to the next class based on attendance was introduced. To do so, the view of the education-experts was: regular attendance of a child would ensure learning (to take place). They validated it— by saying that there won’t be any communication gap for understanding the subject, if a child regularly attends school. However, mere attendance would not lead to learning. Learning depends much on the “quality of teaching” by the teacher and the receptiveness of the schoolchild. Various factors are taken into account for this process to happen.

Prior to the New Education Policy, for years, teachers have been teaching content-based syllabus. Their main aim has been to effectively complete the syllabus within the time-frame. They depended on available teaching aids. In any case, the in-put the teacher gives would not automatically become the in-take of the child. To make certain that the learning has to happen, the teacher needs to motivate/trigger their cognitive (mental) faculties. For which, a lot of background work on the part of a teacher needs to be done.

 The Paradigm Shift in the New Education Policy

Now, the scenario has changed. In the present National Curriculum Framework (NEP 2020), there is a big overhaul. The syllabus now is confined to core-concepts and a competency based one. The earlier burden of loaded-schoolbags is reduced to the minimum. This is a welcome-step.

When core-concepts are paid attention to, the child understands better. That is how what is essential to him is drilled into mind. To get more details, the student could search the internet and thereby listen to subject-experts or read related material. This is a kind of “learning by doing”, where the learner exercises his autonomy. This is not difficult in this Internet-social media-Age.

In the earlier content-based syllabus, with books being bulky, content being vast, the teacher used to rush through the syllabus. As far as students are concerned, they used to mug/ rote-learn answers. Rote-learning is no good in the practical world. For, it would not help in the application of their job. It stunts their creative faculties at an early age. 

Role of teachers 

For teachers, strategizing teaching items and planning needs time and patience. Since the content is far less now, teachers could apply the time available to nurture creativity/critical thinking among students. Of course, this critical thinking is a higher-order skill. It is also difficult for a teacher, who has not had her studies in that method to teach it. In any case, those that could be trained in the teachers’ Continuous Development Programmes (CPDs). 

Now, in this new NEP there is ample scope for teachers to ask thought-provoking questions to elicit answers and encourage students’ creative/critical thinking. What was earlier thought of impossible could be made possible with little effort, as teachers’ mobile phones could work like computers. As schools are reopening after Covid-19 impasse, teachers need to gear-up with new skills. Hence, the role of school teachers has become vital. As professed by educationists: ‘the destiny of India is being shaped in her classrooms’.

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer
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