Introduction The role of education in improving the choice and quality of lives, enhancing social and economic productivity, and initiating the process of empowerment and redistribution of resources is well-documented in the past fifty eight years of research. Despite India’s commitment to provide “free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14” and achieve Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) with substantial improvement in the quality, the average years of schooling has remained low at less than three years.
Around 35 million children, in the age group of 6 to 14 years, are still estimated to be out of school and the percentage of girls and other disadvantaged sections is disproportionately high among these children. Various state sponsored efforts at national, state and district levels are currently underway across India, aiming at accelerating the pace of UEE and MDG. In some areas, notable small-scale initiatives by non-governmental organizations and other representatives of civil society are complementing state-sponsored efforts.
There has been a growing realization that a system-wide transformation is crucial for the attainment and sustainability of the goal of UEE and MDG with improved quality. The objectives of improved access and increased participation, reduced drop-out rates and enhanced learning achievements cannot be met and sustained without improving the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of services in the elementary education system.
The organizational structures, processes and practices determine the effectiveness of the whole system to a large extent, including the delivery of the final output and achievement of the ultimate goals. Some of the initiatives that are underway specifically focus on development of academic as well as management processes, and intend to function as catalysts and harbingers of this systemic change. There is a need to take stock of the critical managerial and accountability issues in elementary education in order to consolidate the achievements, identify the gaps and set future goals.
Some initiatives have already been implemented in the past and there is sporadic evidence of institutional reforms having been initiated in some states. However, the available literature appears to be limited either to the activities and interventions undertaken by the project/ programmes, or isolated examples in some areas. Even the interventions and processes initiated by these programmes, or other small initiatives, have rarely been assessed from the point of view of a system-wide transformation.
Therefore, a fresh assessment of existing role and responsibility of teacher in the context of class room management, in elementary education as a whole, was considered necessary to determine the future course of action to achieve the goals of UEE and MDG, and raise levels of systemic effectiveness. In addition, a number of other measures initiated in other sectors, like Local Self Government and Rural Development, have had a direct impact on elementary education management, and the last few years have witnessed rapid changes in this respect.
Any effort to understand and review the elementary education system must take note of this fact as well. (Jha, Baxi, and Saxena, 2001). Author, Nilay Ranjan, Knowledge Coordinator-Education, OneWorld South Asia, nilay. [email protected] net Naimur Rahman, Program Manager, Oneworld South Asia, naimur. [email protected] net Objectives of the paper This paper aims to understand the existing elementary education system through the structures and processes as they exist currently, and how the teachers are playing a role in improving the learning achievement in overall school management.
The specific objectives of the paper are outlined below: (i) to take stock of the administrative and management processes undertaken by the teacher in the class room, as well as practices and processes within organizations, (ii) to assess and reflect on the effectiveness and efficiency of the management and administration of elementary education, (iii).
To identify critical issues which need to be addressed, in order to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in student learning , with particular reference to the need for teacher development and provide solutions to enhance their efficiency (iv) to take stock of current training module for the teacher training and identify demand-supply gap in terms of skill development like information, communication and technology (ICT) and capacity building in the knowledge management process.
Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child 1 Role of Teacher in school management to enhance learning India has one of the largest networks of schools in the world. During the last five decades the system has grown manifold in size both in terms of institutions and enrolment. Some say, that the nature of Indian education system shifted from an elite system to a system of mass education.
For instance, the number of primary schools was around 200,000 in 1950, which is at present more than 600,000. If one were to take into consideration the number of alternate schools that have sprung up in recent years, and include the upper primary and secondary schools, the network consists of more than a million schools. Traditionally, school education acquired immense importance in the post-Independence period and with the consequent expansion of the system, the role of the school teacher also underwent a significant transformation.
An important consequence of the expanding system of schools, with ever increasing enrolment and acquiring of mass character, has been the increase in complexity of school management. The changing pace of technology development like ICT and knowledge revolution has made the job of the teacher more demanding. They are required and should be encouraged to assume the new roles and responsibilities for ICT to improve the quality of education and access to education by learners in an informal and non-formal education setting. (Govinda, 2002) The system demands new knowledge and skills from the teacher and head teachers.
It also demands greater capability at the school level to respond to the emerging diversity in the student population and among those entering the teaching profession. In effect, changes in the characteristics of the system have made the role of the school teacher even more critical than what it was earlier. Has the State, which is the main provider of education in the country, responded to the changed reality? Has the teacher become more empowered? Have adequate efforts been made to equip the teacher to face the emerging challenges?
What is the current reality with respect to status, roles and functions of the teacher and the head teachers in India? And how can we come out from this challenge? These are few issues which need attention especially now when the country is moving towards becoming a knowledge centre and quality education has become determinate in such process. An overview of teacher managerial function in the class room Historically, most of teachers restricted their role to teaching. The different government organizations and departments provided a guide line for the role and responsibility of the teacher.
The teacher plays multiple roles in the school. The role of teacher is assessed in terms of his/her attendance in the class, completion of the course and interpersonal relation in the school. Till now, hardly any indicator is developed to assess the performance of teacher on the basis of learning achievement of the student. The critical managerial functions of a teacher in elementary education are similar to those in other sectors. These are: (i) (ii) Administration. Administration refers to the direction, control, management and organization of human and material resources for educational growth and development.
Personnel management. Planning and managing human resources is personnel management. It includes recruitment, transfer and redeployment; promotional opportunities and performance appraisal systems, grievance redressal mechanisms and professional development issues. Planning. Planning is a systematic exercise of determining a future course of action in accordance with identified objectives, needs, priorities and existing/likely capacities, within a given time frame, reflecting cost-effective choices. Financial management.
Financial management refers to mobilization, deployment and efficient use of financial resources as per stated objectives and strategies. Supervision, monitoring and support. Monitoring and facilitation of teaching-learning processes, and other school development activities, for enhancing their quality through suitable tools, methods and mechanisms. The focus is on school, because this is the unit where primary learning takes place, and any effort to improve the quality of processes should ultimately be reflected here. (iii) (iv) (v)
Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child 2 Information management and communication. Management of information as an institutional resource is “Information Management”. It includes aspects of collection, processing, dissemination and use of information. “Communication” refers to the process of exchange of information and feedback. Management processes are not always clearly defined and are applied in unambiguous terms. It is common to come across a varied understanding of the same function by different organizations/units/ persons in the same sector.
The perception also depends, to a large extent, on the way the particular organization/unit/person handles the function at its level. This study has tried to understand and assess the processes against commonly defined functions. The processes have been defined from the perspective of quality, effectiveness and efficiency. The stakeholders’ perspective is also in-built in these definitions. Unlike business operations, where standardized procedures based on uniform interpretations of guiding principles are more common, the guiding principles of management functions in education could be interpreted effectively in more than one way.
The strength of a particular choice for a process in educational management also lies in whether the sequence brings about a change in totality as well as at different steps. The effectiveness is, thus, linked not only to the quality of output/ outcome, but also to the quality and impact of individual activities. (vi) Who becomes a teacher? Typically, the posts of teachers are recruited at three levels – primary, upper primary/middle and secondary, but there is no uniformity in this regard. Also, the number of teachers in a school invariably depends on the
total enrolment and the number of grades in the class. Generally, a 12th pass with a two-year training at the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) becomes eligible for the post of a primary school teacher. A person with a graduate degree and B. Ed training becomes eligible for the post of a secondary school teacher. These are the general standards prescribed and recommended by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) also. However, empirical analyses showed that there were wide variations in the qualification levels of the teachers.
Apart from this, under a different scheme a local teacher with minimum qualification can also be recruited at the primary level. They are called para teachers. Place of the teacher in the Education Management Set-up While decentralization and community empowerment as rhetoric continue to consider the role of the teacher in school management as critical, the ground reality is altogether different. The place of the government primary school teacher is invariably at the lowest rung in the official hierarchy, and commands practically no authority even within the school.
The teacher is directly responsible for the learning achievement of the student; he or she may never assess the learning achievement of the student. In many states, a specified proportion of teachers are recruited directly as ‘para teachers’, though a majority of the appointees would be from the local area. The directly recruited teachers, who would have a greater opportunity to enhance the learning of the child, are engaged in a different activity rather than teaching.
An emerging factor that is likely to change social perceptions about the place of teachers in a significant manner is the move to implement right to information and effective Management Information System (MIS). This in effect may make the teacher more accountable and improve their status within the system. Instead, apprehensions were expressed in some quarters that knowledge revolution and technology change make the teacher job more challenging. The local Village Education Committees and local self-governing bodies started giving importance to attending to school management issues.
Also there is lack of clarity on the relative position of new posts created in the system, such as cluster co-ordinators vis-a-vis primary school heads. (Mohanty) Internal Management of the School Traditionally, teachers in government schools expect to receive instructions from the head teacher with regard to most of their activities. He or she is also responsible for the effective management of the class which is directly linked with the learning achievement of the student and the level of transition of the student from one class to the other class.
Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child 3 Internal Decision-making in the School Our experience in the field reveals that effectiveness of class room management depends heavily on the personal initiative and leadership of the teacher and his or her style of maintaining human relationships with the children and within the school and with the departmental authorities. It is also observed that the school teacher after certain years of service become reluctant to adopt the change.
In most of the schools there is no custom for regular staff meetings where they discuss new problems at the class room. In contrast, the private school teacher enjoys much greater freedom in internal management and decision-making at the school level. In many cases, the teachers are very close to the head teacher and senior authority so no system prevails to check his/her inefficiency. The closeness of the relations between the Management Board and the teacher seems to be the determining factor in the effectiveness of the roles and functions performed by the school teacher. Management of Personnel.
Student management is a critical area in which most government school teachers feel highly constrained. Typically, a government school teacher looks less motivated in the class and to adopt the new changes. Their lesser attentiveness in the class leads to the drop out of the student from the class. Classrooms which consist of different groups with different levels of learning need an efficient manager who can handle such issues. The performance of government schools is completely different in this context.
It is hoped that the ongoing decentralization process will change this situation and empower the stakeholder to take action against teachers who are not performing in the class room. This again is an area in which the private school teacher seems to more accountable rather then the government school teacher. Academic Management The core area of school functioning is management of academic activities, including curriculum management and conduct of examinations. In general, there is limited freedom for the school teacher with respect to curriculum and annual examinations, which are centrally controlled by school authorities.
However, government school teacher have not taken initiatives so as to improve the teaching learning process. The private school teachers have shown some innovation in terms of experimenting with new learning tools. In the government school structure, there is hardly any evidence of implementing curriculum to introduce flexibility in curriculum implementation, in organization of cocurricular activities, in promotion of innovations in curriculum transaction, and in taking decisions on the nature and periodicity of tests as well as in promotion criteria for students.
Private schools also promote the use of alternate and supplementary texts though they generally follow the officially recommended books. What about government schools? The general refrain of government-school teachers is that they enjoy no freedom at all. They are constrained both by resources and pressures from higher authorities. The field reality, however, shows very little signs of enthusiasm in government schools to innovate curriculum transaction processes which are usually obstructed by the authorities. Performance Assessment and Career Development.
The pivotal role of the teacher in the effective functioning of the class is universally acclaimed. In most of the government set-ups, the standard approach of Annual Confidential Reports form the basis for reviewing the performance of a teacher. These reports are supposed to reflect his or her capability on certain generic parameters, such as: quality of performance, communication skill, sincerity and devotion to duty, initiative, creativity, resourcefulness, willingness to take on responsibility and leadership qualities.
No doubt these are very important qualities for a teacher, but they require careful observation and recording for which there is no provision in the framework of their evaluation. The evaluation essentially consists of examining the reports written by other higher authorities within the department, and cursory observations during fleeting visits by the reviewing officer. Consequently, such reviews of teachers by higher authorities remain practically redundant. Also, as can be seen, they do not constitute concrete, objectively assessable criteria of the teacher’s performance.
That these are still used for departmental promotions is a contentious issue. Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child 4 Career prospects for teachers of primary schools in most of the states are very limited. One often finds teachers aspiring, at best, to retire as head teachers. Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka do provide some opportunities for promotion to block-level positions. Kerala is the only state that allows for career development opportunities that go up to the district-level positions. The situation is significantly better for secondary school teachers.
This is particularly true of those who come through direct recruitment at a relatively younger age or through competitive selection processes. (Govinda) Academic Supports and Capacity Building With the fast-changing social order, as also the economic life pattern of individuals and families, expectations from the school have also increased. What kind of support and training do the teachers have, to face the emerging challenges at the school level? Training and capacity building for teachers is the weakest dimension of the school education system in all the states.
Many of those who become teachers receive no orientation or training. They are expected to receive support and guidance on the job from the supervisors during their school visits, but with highly infrequent school visits by supervisors, the life of the teacher is a lonely journey with practically no professional support or training. In recent years, through special project initiatives under SSA, the states have begun implementing programmes of capacity building for teachers. The State Institute of Educational Management and Training is also implementing a leadership training programme for teachers.
Various NGO also developed training program for the teachers. These are only marginal efforts both in terms of substance and quantitative coverage. In-service professional development programmes have yet to become a standard feature of the system. Similar to the in-service training facilities, creation of decentralized institutions, such as Block Resources Centres and Cluster Resource Centres, may provide useful platforms for collaborative learning and support for school teacher. However, the real change can occur only when a quality parameter is introduced in the teacher training.
ICT can play an important role in term of capacity building of the teacher. Here the challenge lies in the institution capacity to deliver training. Under SSA most of the northern state doesn’t have up linking facilities. Pre service teacher training The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) was established on 17 August, 1995 by an Act of Parliament (No 73 of 1993) as a statutory body to achieve planned and coordinated development of teacher education system throughout the country, the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the teacher education system and for matters connected therewith.
The mandate given to the NCTE is broad and covers the whole gamut of teacher education programmes including research and training of persons for equipping them to teach at preprimary, primary, upper primary, secondary and senior secondary stages in schools, non-formal education, part time education, adult education and correspondence education courses. Table 1 and 2 provides input on teacher training in India. Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child.
5 Table 1: Number of Teacher Training Institution States/UTs Teacher Training Colleges 87 0 39 15 1 2 51 21 4 8 7 68 21 21 242 3 2 2 2 16 24 45 1 22 1 121 1 26 1 3 0 1 10 0 5 873 Teachers Training School 25 0 1 58 4 1 78 37 12 14 29 134 102 27 286 1 6 2 1 67 27 46 1 82 2 56 9 58 1 1 0 1 23 0 10 1202 Teleconferencing, e-learning facilities NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA.
Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh Assam Bihar Chattisgarh Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram Nagaland Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Sikkim Tamil Nadu Tripura Uttar Pradesh Uttaranchal West Bengal A&N Island Chandigarh D&N Haveli Daman &Diu Delhi Lakshadweep Pondiicherry India Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child 6.
Table 2- Number of teachers at different levels and % of trained teacher States/UTs Number of Teacher at primar y level 179961 3218 86112 78204 58348 2523 18208 39029 29018 26339 30193 61004 42497 146766 123392 8245 14397 4628 7011 85760 41524 92714 2746 123369 8951 384605 36923 151255 788 300 225 277 22611 36 1754 1912931 % of trained teacher 94 28 73 95 61 94 98 89 87 61 95 100 98 65 96 22 45 82 37 99 95 86 50 100 28 98 100 67 93 100 96 100 100 100 96 86.
Number of Training at Middle level 108222 2864 58703 55734 25954 552 196388 13449 9900 36795 26301 167451 46544 148333 189583 8834 5540 6170 4563 48677 13737 157284 1661 56086 5672 148395 15284 11275 723 92 612 156 8295 317 1593 1581739 % of Teacher 88 33 36 95 68 98 94 92 99 69 95 100 96 67 96 19 36 80 42 99 98 91 42 100 20 95 100 81 96 100 97 100 100 100 92 87.
Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh Assam Bihar Chattisgarh Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram Nagaland Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Sikkim Tamil Nadu Tripura Uttar Pradesh Uttaranchal West Bengal A&N Island Chandigarh D&N Haveli Daman &Diu Delhi Lakshadweep Pondicherry India Source: Seventh All India Educational Survey, MHRD Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child 7 From Table 1 and 2 we observe that some states are giving preference to training. At the same time, few are just reluctant about it.
An interesting observation can be drawn from the table 1&2 that number of teacher training colleges/schools does not directly responsible for the percentage of trained teacher.
Like in North-eastern states the number of training school is lesser in number but the percentage of trained teacher is also low. In case of Uttaranchal this is not the reason. Because despite few training school, the percentage of trained teacher is 100 percent. Another important observation we can draw that the level of literacy and quality of education is also not directly linked with percentage of trained teachers in the state like in the case of Bihar and Orissa.
At the same time in the southern states like, Kerala Tamil Nadu and Karnataka the number of trained teachers is high but at the same time quality of teaching in the government school is also far better than many states. In service teacher training policyb In the present context, many of the state teacher training institute do not have sufficient infrastructure to provide training to the teacher.
The changing technology innovations may be able to bridge the demand and supply gaps. The major problem lies in providing sufficient infrastructure to these training institutes. Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the vision to develop a state level training institute also does not look effective. After five years of implementation of SSA some of the states were unable to make SIEMAT operational. Under the SSA the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has initiated teleconferencing to provide teacher training.
Still only in 107 districts are facilities for tele conferencing available. If we analyze the demand and supply matrix still a lot has to be done. Teacher capacity building The role of school teachers is crucial for achieving the objectives of UEE. Therefore, improvement in quality both at the pre-service as well as in-service teacher training programmes is to be ensured. At present, around 35 lakh teachers are serving 16. 92 crore students, in 8,96,656 schools at the elementary stage. Around 14 percent teachers at the lower primary stage and 13 percent at the upper primary stage are still untrained. To provide pre-service of two years duration through formal diploma is a Herculean task.
The distance learning mode can complement/ supplement the face-to-face mode of training in terms of time and unit cost per trainee. Similar situation arises for in-service teacher training programmes in updating and upgrading contents and pedagogical skills.
Structure of present teacher training process It is important to understand the structures that perform various functions in order to analyze the processes. Traditionally, the government machinery, in the form of administrative structures, controlled all the activities in school education, including elementary and secondary levels. Although this continues to be largely true even now, space has been created for players other than administrators both within and outside the administrative structures.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) were established under different names, mainly by bringing together a number of government-owned training institutions in the school education sector. Though this institution was established as one of the wings in the administrative setup, this had the character of an academic structure in terms of nomenclature, staff structures and job roles.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) were established under a centrally sponsored scheme to provide academic/technical support to elementary education. Some states, like Gujarat, have started giving autonomous status to the SCERTs/ DIETs within the broad governmental framework, but these remain part of the government’s administrative structures in most other states in India.
Local Self-Government in the form of elected Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in rural areas, and Municipal governments in urban areas, had some power or say in elementary education in almost all the states during the 1950s and 1960s. However, the structure of these bodies, as well as their roles and responsibilities, varied widely across the states.
During the later years, while the PRIs were strengthened by the delegation of additional powers for an enlarged role in development in some of the states, in many others these bodies experienced a contraction in their role. By their very nature, the PRIs are political bodies and do get affected by the character of the politics of the land.
In 1992, the Government of India (GOI) passed the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments which provided for compulsory direct elections to three tier Panchayat bodies, with reservations for weaker sections like Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and women. Role of Teacher in Enhancing Learning Achievement of Child 8 Thus, the structures in elementary education could be divided along three lines – administrative, academic and local bodies.
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the emergence of a number of large programmes bringing in a holistic approach and covering almost all aspects of the primary/elementary education sector, as different from schemes focusing on one or two individual items. These projects/ programmes are supported by external funding and came into existence primarily under “Education for All” initiatives.
These included the Bihar Education project in Bihar, Lok Jumbish in Rajasthan, UP Basic Education Project in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project in Andhra Pradesh, and the District Primary Education Project in 15 states. These projects and programmes added a fourth dimension to the elementary education system. Although these do not have any administrative powers, many of the interventions have far-reaching implications. Political/Local bodies, Administrative and Academic Support structures in Elementary Education Level State District Block/Sub-block (Taluka/ mandal) Village * ** Political/Local bodies State Ministry of Education Zilla Panchayat Block Panchayat Gram Panchayat **V Edu. Committee.
Administrative Secretariat/Directorate of Education District Education Office Block Education Office/ School Inspectorate Headmaster Academic Support SCERT DIET Block Resource Centres/ Cluster Resource Centres* Teachers These structures have been created by the District Primary Education Programme, or some other similar project and, therefore, may not be present in every district. A Gram Panchayat generally covers a cluster of 4-8 villages, depending upon the size of population. The knowledge revolution and role of the teacher The pace of technological revolution and emergence of a knowledge society can change the traditional role of the teacher and the students.
Traditionally, the teacher used to be the source of knowledge for the students. There is some cooperation among students to explore new knowledge. In many cases, the teachers do not posses adequate knowledge to supplement the view of the student. And the main source of knowledge remains limited to text book. The development of ICT changes the epic centre of knowledge. At present, in a number of cases the student is more informed than the teacher. Furthermore, there is likely to be confusion in the teachers mind about his/ her new role in relation to the use of these technologies i. e. teachers find themselves in a situation where they are no longer the principle source for delivery of information.
In the new phase of the knowledge revolution the source of knowledge has shifted from a one source to a different source. In other words, we can say that there is a decentralization of the knowledge source. This has an overall impact on the development of learning abilities among the children. There is a need to facilitate training on ICTs for teacher both at the pre service level and in service level. ICT a solution for the improvement of the expertise of teacher ICT enabled distance education is poised to rule the world. This would not only strengthen the elementary education needs of the country but would also increase the dependence of education on ICT.
Technological development always warrants transition to newer technologies by jeopardizing the cost effectiveness of the distance education programme. Retaining the already existing technologies for a considerable period of time and subsequently embracing new technologies should have fine balancing, so as to improve also the quality of education. India is one among the few countries in the world, which has not allowed the expenditure on education to shrink over the years. The increase in expenditure on elementary education alone over the last four Five Year Plan periods has been more than the increase in expenditure on education as a whole.