Aiming to improve the quality of teaching in government schools, the HRD Ministry is working on an action plan which proposes to introduce a national-level entrance test for the B.Ed course, certification of B.Ed colleges, exit test for all B.Ed graduates and a compulsory induction programme for government school teachers.
According to ministry sources, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has been tasked to work on the modalities for conducting the entrance and exit tests and also draft the module for the compulsory induction programme.
“School education will not improve unless the teachers are good. We are looking at a multi-pronged approach to achieve this. For starters, we want better quality of candidates entering the B.Ed programme. B.Ed cannot be the last resort for youngsters who do not qualify for other disciplines. An entrance test will ensure that those serious about teaching take up this course,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified.
The official added: “To ensure the country is producing quality teachers, all B.Ed colleges should be compulsorily certified. There should be an exit test for all graduates of such colleges to ensure that they achieved the desired learning outcomes. It’s also important that fresh recruits in government schools attend an orientation programme to understand what is expected of them. These teachers should be thoroughly evaluated.”
The ministry is also working on a pilot project to ensure that teachers attend school regularly. For this, the ministry has proposed to give one computer tablet to each government school through which teachers can mark their attendance. The HRD Ministry estimates that each tablet will cost about Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000. The pilot, which could cost about Rs 7 crore to Rs 10 crore, will be implemented in government schools in Chhattisgarh.
“We want to freeze the specifications of the computer tablet by March and place the order. We have discussed the project with the World Bank and they are on board to fund the pilot. We will also use some of the SSA funds for this,” the official said.
The computer tablet provided to government schools will not only be used to register attendance of teachers, but also enter data such as the number of students who have eaten mid-day meal, their attendance and Aadhaar details.
“We will also load educational content on these tablets which will aid in classroom learning,” the official said.