HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today stressed the need for improving
service condition of teachers to attract best minds into the
profession and ensure quality education to students, as he also
sought to expand the role and scope of National Council for Teachers
"Shortage of quality faculty is a big
problem today. We have to look into this at the national level and
take initiative at the state level. Recruitment process should be
transparent, quality assurance should be there and teachers''
condition of service should be improved," he said.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 15th foundation day
celebration of NCTE, he said, unless issues like extending
insurance, housing and health schemes, promotion avenues and career
advancement are looked into, people will continue to shy away from
the teaching profession. At the same time he also stressed on giving
a fresh look on the issue of repeated transfer of teachers.
There is a shortage of 1.2 million teachers at the elementary level
alone while at the class XI and X level, the shortage is over two
lakh. Even at the university level, the vacancy level is as high as
33 per cent, he said.
Referring to the functioning of the NCTE, the minister raised
concern over the system of giving recognition to teachers training
institutes. "How is it that so many institutes are getting
recognition only to be de-recognised later," he said.
He suggested that NCTE should not confine itself to performing a
"regulatory role alone and needs to convert itself into a
facilitative, developmental, mentoring organisation" which acts as a
friend, philosopher and guide to teacher education institutions.
He said NCTE should boldly use its
statutory authority to initiate an academic discourse on
professionalising teacher education in terms of new innovative
content and pedagogical practices and undertake more scientific
review of norms and standards for each course of teacher education
for different stages of education.
Sibal underlined the need for enhanced participation of universities
as active partners of NCTE and asked the latter to reach out to
academic bodies like NCERT and CBSE.
He underscored the need to focus on
the use of ICT as an intervention of new pedagogies and an evolving
an efficient structure for ensuring continuing professional
development of teachers and teacher educators.