Call to review Teacher Training Program

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Call to review Teacher Training Program

Teacher training programmes should be made strong in several respects and Tamil Nadu could set an example by ordering a thorough review of teacher education, director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Krishna Kumar said here on Tuesday.

He was addressing a function at the Karappakkam Panchayat Union Primary School to mark the launch of Reading Corners in schools.

Training in B.Ed colleges had become commercialised and deviated from the national policy. “The National Curriculum Framework says that only when teachers have the ability to think and take decisions on their own, they can inspire students to be creative and imaginative,” Prof. Krishna Kumar said.

He emphasised the need for reviewing the training programmes, particularly in the pre-service process in the District Institutes for Education and Training (DIETs).

Teacher training and education of small girls were two key areas that the Education Department needed to focus on.

He said while enormous achievement was made in enrolment at the primary level, and Tamil Nadu was setting an example in bringing down the gender gap, a lot needed to be done to make boys more sensitive to girls. Growing up in certain cultural contexts made girls feel less confident than boys their age, he said.

The books, to be made available in the Reading Corners in classrooms, on the lines of the idea of reading cells mooted by the NCERT, should focus on needs of girls at classes one and two itself.

The director, who visited a Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Villupuram district on Monday, said such schools, set up by the Centre to provide special support to girls from most poor sections, were being run well in the State but needed to be expanded and enriched further. “There are some financial limitations… but a developed State like Tamil Nadu can overcome them.”

Appointing good Math and Science teachers would encourage them to consider areas that the system had not been allowing them to look at, he said, and emphasised the importance of nature studies, vocational work and activities that link children to the larger community.

If universities andinstitutes of technology would take the initiative of improving science and social science education in primary schools, there was no reason why Tamil Nadu could not excel in academics at all levels, he said. Education was not something pertaining to teachers or village education communities, but something that needed the participation of the community.

Prof. Krishna Kumar commended the SSA wing of the State’s Education Department for its initiatives.

School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the Reading Corners were aimed at making small story books accessible to primary school students. They would be kept in the classroom within the children’s reach, to encourage them to pick up one and read for pleasure. “Learning is, after all, something that goes much beyond the classroom and teachers.”

The initiative would benefit over 38,000 schools across the State. As many as 172 titles brought out by the National Book Trust had been translated into Tamil for this project, taken up at a cost of Rs. 5 crore, he said.

SSA State Project Director M.P. Vijayakumar said the initiative would reach nearly 70 lakh students in Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil translation of ‘The child’s language and the teacher’, authored by Prof. Krishna Kumar was launched at the function. School Education Department Secretary M. Kutralingam and senior officials of the Department were present.