The integrity and credibility of the teacher education system has unfortunately taken a great hit and witnessed a severe decline due to the thousands of "Teacher Education Institutions" that are solely commercial operations where little if any teacher education is taking place, says the draft National Education Policy (NEP). The policy also says the teacher education sector has been beleaguered with mediocrity as well as rampant corruption due to commercialization. The 484-page draft NEP report was prepared by the government-appointed committee led by eminent scientist K Kasturirangan.
The report was put in the public domain by the Human Resource Development Ministry last Friday to seek public suggestions.
"If teacher education is to improve and reach the levels of integrity and credibility required to restore the prestige of the teaching profession and thereby attain a successful school system, such substandard institutions will have to be closed immediately while good institutions with positive intent strengthened," it said.
"Corrupt and substandard "institutions" cannot and must not be allowed to run. They must be shut down," it added.
"Heartbreakingly", the section draft NEP regarding the teacher education says, "the teacher education sector has been beleaguered with mediocrity as well as rampant corruption due to commercialization".
It also says most institutions providing teacher education today are small colleges in the private sector that offer only a single narrow programme, and where "there is a general lack of commitment to the need for rigour and quality in teacher preparation".
The reports quotes AISHE data for 2015-16, and according to that, of the 17000 plus colleges in India that teach just a single programme, nearly 90% are teacher training institutes.
"Moreover, according to the Justice J. S. Verma Commission (2012) constituted by the Supreme Court, a majority of these standalone teaching institutes - over 10,000 in number - are not even attempting serious teacher education, but are essentially selling degrees for a price," the report says.
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