State policy on teacher education
Amidst the developments regarding scrapping of 2-year B.Ed programme & suggesting many alternatives including 4-year Integrated B.A-B.Ed/B.Sc-B.Ed programme, it is high time that J&K Govt. rises to the occasion and formulates its own policy on Teacher Education. It has been a long time now that J&K Govt. is not formulating any policy document to address specific issues concerning School Education, Higher Education, Teacher Education, Professional Education & also teacher Education. Earlier, the State Govt. would formulate a policy on its own & execute the same very meaningfully through its autonomous Higher Education institutions especially the Universities. But now no serious effort is being made except that State Govt. waits at the receiving end to receive the guidelines & implement the same.
2-year B.Ed programme
In 2015, NCTC very hurriedly decided to extend the duration of B.Ed from one to two years. Although, Justice Verma Committee report was made the baseline, but still without applying the mind, the mere thrust on duration only has proved to be Counterproductive. The fact of the matter is that at the time of formulating the 2-year programme the senior academicians from the Universities & experts in the field of teacher Education across the Country were not taken on board. Senior academicians in the Universities had expressed their reservations on this move saying that without diagnosing the cause of ailment one cannot afford to extend the period of treatment from one to two years without any effective intervention. The better course of action was to identify the fault lines in the existing one-year B.Ed programme & suggesting remedial/corrective measures, rather straight away extending the duration of the programme.
Feedback during 2015-17
During the last three years, one batch of Students (2015-2017) has passed out with a 2-year B.Ed degree. Another batch (2016-2018) is likely to complete the programme by August 2018. At the same time, it is surprising to note that the intake of students in Govt/Non-Govt. institutions of Teacher Education has sharply decreased to an all time low 30% as national average, which implies that the revised B.Ed 2-year programme has failed to attract the students’ clientele across the Country. The other important point to be noted is that even after undergoing 2-year training, no substantial improvement has taken place in the quality of product.
The Supreme Court Verdict
It is pertinent to mention that in 2005, Govt. of Rajasthan filed an SLP in the Supreme Court against the decision of High Court at Jaipur in a case titled Azhardin v/s State of Rajasthan, seeking de-recognizition of B.Ed degrees awarded by the Universities of Kashmir & Jammu. The then chief Minister, late Mufti Mohammad Sayed immediately constituted a team consisting of the then Advocate General, Mr. Altaf Naik, representatives of Kashmir & Jammu Universities & representative of Govt/Non-Govt. Colleges of Teacher Education from Kashmir & Jammu and directed the team to defend their case in the Apex Court. As Dean, Faculty of Education, I represented the two Universities in that team. The Rajasthan Govt. pleaded that the two Universities & their affiliated Colleges are not recognized by NCTE, therefore their B.Ed degrees are not valid. Govt. of J&K pleaded that NCTE Act of Parliament has not been extended to J&K & therefore seeking recognition on NCTE does not arise. After a number of hearings, finally the Supreme Court dismissed the SLP filed by the Govt. of Rajasthan. Pursuant to the Supreme Court Judgement, NCTE issued Circulars mentioning clearly that B.Ed degrees awarded by the Universities of Kashmir & Jammu are valid for admission to higher studies & employment throughout India.
The Present Scenario
After Apex Court decision in 2005 till date (2018) no change has taken place. Therefore, it is imperative for the State Govt. to formulate its own policy on teacher education in such a way that quality wise the teacher Education programme are Compatible with leading institutions at the National/International level. The State Govt. may constitute a high power Committee consisting of eminent experts, representatives of the universities and Govt./Non- Govt. institutions to consider the launching of broad based, comprehensive & quality oriented teacher Education programmes in the Institutions of the State.
I am of the opinion that in the State of J&K, The following teacher Education programme can be launched very effectively without any hiccups or deterrents.
1. Integrated 4-year B.A-B.Ed/B.Sc-B.Ed;
This programme which is already run by 05 Regional Institutions of Education (NCERT) can be launched with a multiple exit option. First exit at the end of First year wherein a candidate can exit with a Diploma in Pre-Primary Education(D.PP.Ed). Second exit at the end of 2nd year wherein a candidate can exit with a Diploma in Elementary Education(D.El.Ed) and the last exit after successful completion of 4-year programme leading to award of B.A.-B.Ed or B.Sc-B.Ed degree.
2. Integrated 3-year B.Ed-M.Ed programme;
Since there is a vast majority of Graduate Candidates who cannot travel back to their 10+2 stage, therefore for such aspirants the alternative is to get enrolled for this programme. This programme can be run with an exit option after 18 months(3 semester) wherein a candidate can exit with B.Ed degree(Phase I) and finally after the completion of 3-year programme M.Ed degree(Phase II) can be awarded.
Teacher Education at CUK
Under the dynamic leadership of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj-ud-din Mir, we have succeeded in achieving some quality bench marks for our teacher Education programmes. A very comprehensive curriculum, most appropriate & learner centric curriculum transaction strategy, thrust on Practicom, comprehensive internship training programme, thrust on skills through Microteaching/Simulated teaching, field studies & citizenship training, delivery of 40 lessons in practice of teaching, emphasis on application of knowledge through skill based, ability based & OGE( Peace Education, Value Education & Environmental Education) and compatibility between learning outcomes & Graduation parameters are some of the salient features of our teacher education programme. Our efforts have been acknowledged by the experts at the national level. We shall feel privileged to offer our Consultancy to the State Govt. for formulation of Teacher Education Policy, if it desires so.