Management of Quality and Change: Some Critical Issues by R. Govinda, NIEPA, New Delhi in DPEP Calling, April 1999, DPEP Bureau, Department of Education, MHRD, New Delhi – 11 00 20 (INDIA)
There is no ready formula to ensure change and innovations in teacher education. Nor can any one design uniform mechanisms to improve the quality of teacher education across the country. The efforts have to be more localized depending on the environment in which the teacher education programme functions and the school system it serves. Every institution has to become the base for change and quality improvement. This also highlights the need for decentralizing the system of teacher education. This is particularly relevant in case of the primary stage, which is made uniform throughout the state with no regard for local variables in the school conditions.
What facilitates management of change and quality at the institutional level? Again there is no final answer in this regard. However, literature on institutional management has some pointers that demand our attention. Several propositions seem to emerge when we link these pointers to the functioning of teacher training institutions.
Proposition 1: what happens when teacher training institutions often remain a black box phenomenon to the outside world, including the schools they serve. The first requirement is to create more transparency in their functioning the curriculum, transaction processes and evaluation methods.
Proposition 2: Create a system of social accountability. The teacher education institutions cannot remain with a self-righteous than there attitude. They have to take the responsibility for the success or failure of the school system they serve.
Proposition 3: Make institutional development planning a standard feature for initiating planned change and innovations. Let each teacher training institutions develop an individual identity.
Proposition 4: Let each training institution be subjected to periodic evaluation against planned quality improvement measures which are designed and implemented by the teacher educators.
Proposition 5: Provide for continuous professional development of teacher educators not merely through training programmes but also through opportunities for participating in field based research and development activities.
Alternative Strategies in Teacher Education by Marmar Mukhopadhyay, NIEPA, New Delhi in DPEP Calling, April 1999, DPEP Bureau, Department of Education, MHRD, New Delhi – 11 00 20 (INDIA)
India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural society. Any single form of training cannot be good for all levels, all places and all requirements. For example, whereas in most of the States the challenge is retention of primary school children, the problem in Kerala is improvement of quality. Can the training requirements of Kerala and Bihar be same? What is required hence is a flexible framework of training strategy that can be adopted and adapted to suit the local needs.
Secondly, there is hardly any choice but a modern state of the art multi-channel distance education mode of training. Incidentally, the multi-channel distance education mode is quite adaptive to differential training needs of different groups of teachers. A caution however. Distance education is flexible, adaptive, yet centralizes through common instructional material, educational television programme and even I-TV. Caution needs to be exercise to minimize centralization by bringing down the epicenter of training to the State or district levels.