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Business of Teacher Education in Haryana

Anita Deswal (anitadeswal172@gmail.com) teaches at PDM College of Education, Bahadurgarh, Haryana.

It seems that the National Council for Teacher Education has failed to maintain the required standards of teacher education after promoting self-financed teacher-education institutions to meet the demand for and supply of teachers at primary, upper primary and secondary levels. A study conducted in Haryana shows how such institutions are a threat to the entire education system. Haryana has become a hub for getting degrees without attending classes in the privately-managed teacher-education colleges. The study also reviews various issues such as violation of rules and regulations, corruption, non-existing resources, poor teaching–learning process, etc.

Teachers are expected not only to impart knowledge and skills, but also help to develop among students understanding of a whole range of social topics. (UNESCO 1996)

Teacher education is the foundation of entire education system. A good education system prepares good citizens according to the need of the society. The success of the education system depends to a significant extent on the characteristics and ability of the teacher who is the cornerstone of the system of education (Gupta 2011). Teachersdeal with the invaluable raw material of human resources (child) of the nation. If teachers do not possess the capabilities and are unable to fulfil the requirements of teaching–learning process, they cannot contribute to build a good, healthy and constructive society. Therefore, a proper education of teachers is not only essential to improve the quality of school education, but is a sine qua non of human development.

Teacher Education since Independence

Teacher education prepares the pupil (the teacher) to become a strong pillar of the education system. After independence, the Government of India realised the importance of teacher education and brought many reforms (Gupta 2011). The University Education Commission1 (1949), Secondary Education Commission (1953), Education Commission (1966), National Policy on Education (1968), National Commission on Teachers (1983), National Policy on Education (1986) and Programme of Action (1992), Curriculum Framework for Quality Teacher Education (1998), National Curriculum Framework (2005), National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (2009), High Powered Committee on Teacher Education (2012) and National Council for Teacher Education Regulations (2014), etc, emphasised the need of quality teacher education. These reforms paid attention towards vision, structure and stages, duration, curricula, assessment and other technological aspects of teacher-education programmes. Teacher education has been modified as per requirements.

The Indian teacher education system has been strengthened by the establishment of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) with regional colleges of education, the State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) with district institutes for educational training, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) and colleges of education for secondary teachers.2

Although the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has been in existence since 1973 as an advisory body to direct the central and state governments on all matters pertaining to teacher education, it had not been able to regulate the system of teacher education. It was given a statutory status in 1993 on the recommendations of the National Policy on Education (NPE 1986) and Programme of Action (PoA 1992)3 to meet the changing and challenging patterns of teacher education. But, by looking at the present scenario of teacher education and teacher-education institutions across the nation, it seems that NCTE has failed in maintaining the deserved standard of teacher education. Self-financing is considered as the root cause of the decline in the quality of teacher education.

Self-finance, Education and Teacher Education

Though education is a state responsibility,4 self-financing in education is not new. Desai et al (2009) have revealed that private schools existed before and after independence to provide education to all sections of society depending upon their economic resources. But government-funded private higher education institutions came into existence in India since the 1970s (Varghese 2012). Further, in 1986, NPE emphasised on vocational courses to meet the growing and diverse needs of changing educational scenario. Many institutions have introduced self-financed vocational and job-oriented courses, and to a great extent, these colleges received encouragement from their own experiences (Rao and Singh 2002). They provided more opportunities and courses than before, and they were getting profits from the students who availed of their services. Thus, self-financing in education became a trend. As a result, education has become costlier despite the availability of many educational institutions and courses at all levels. The same applies to teacher education also.

Initially, self-financing in teacher education was initiated to meet the demand and supply of teachers at primary, upper primary and secondary levels and to expand the horizons of teacher-education programmes so that access to education could be widened. But, now, it is a threat to the entire education system. Standards have declined despite timely amendments in teacher-education programmes. The number of teacher educators is rapidly increasing, but the quality of education they are getting and providing to children is abysmal. We found no significant reforms in teacher-education programmes except the duration of the same courses which was extended to one more year since 2015. Thus, teacher education has been struggling to strengthen its identity in the present scenario.

Quantitative Perspective

The aim of our descriptive study was to review the self-financed teacher education in Haryana, a state flooded with self-financing educational institutions. Teacher education has become a business in Haryana after the rapid growth of self-financing institutions. Till 2000, in Haryana, apart from one university college, there were two government colleges, 15 grant-in-aid colleges, and four self-financed colleges (Shiv College of Education, Tigaon established in 1992, Vaish Arya Kanya Shikshan Mahavidyalaya, Bahadhurgarh established in 1997, Sant Nischal Singh College of Education for Women, Yamuna Nagar and Kanya Shikshan Mahavidyalaya, Pundri established in 1999) with around 1,700 seats which were facilitating Bachelor of Education (BEd) course.5

A rise in the number of self-financed teacher-education institutions in the state has been observed since 2007.6 At present, there are 524 BEd colleges in total. Mainly, the three state universities, Maharshi Dayanand (MD) University, Rohtak, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra and Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa are offering BEd courses through 327, 169 and 28 colleges, respectively (Amar Ujala 2016) in which only 167 (as it was in 2000) are government and grant-in-aid education colleges. The rest are maintained by self-financed managements. In the session of 2015–16, there were 60,672 seats in BEd colleges; more than 46% of the seats (27,951) remained vacant in the colleges being run under the self-financing mode across the state (Dainik Bhaskar 2016a).

The status of colleges/universities with doctoral (DEd) or postgraduate (MEd) facilities is also the same. As per the SCERT Haryana website, there are 351 DEd colleges in the state (2015–16) in which government DEd colleges are only 25.8 There are more than 60 education colleges which offer MEd degree in Haryana whereas the number of grant-in-aid education colleges are only nine with three state universities with more than 2,300 seats (there were only nine education colleges including universities with around 170 seats in 20009).10 The grant-in-aid education colleges are also offering MEd course under the self-financing scheme. Under the MD University, only 50% seats were filled in MEd course during 2015–16 and the session started only in December 201511 as many counselling sessions were held because of fewer admissions. Counselling sessions were going on till mid-January 2016.12 The duration of the BEd and MEd courses is extended to two years since 2015–16,13 which is also considered a reason behind decreasing admissions. Thus, the private teacher-education sector mushroomed and presently it is declining due to unavailability of students for teacher-education courses.

Threat to the System

Though self-financing expands the accessibility of teacher education, it has also made teacher education commercial. Haryana has become a hub for getting DEd, BEd and MEd degrees without attending the classes through privately- managed education colleges. There are some major issues which have contributed to the deteriorating status and trends of self-financed teacher education in Haryana.

 

Profit-motivated teacher education: Education is a public good, but the self-financing colleges which impart education are profit-motivated. Most of the education colleges are run by businessmen and politicians who are least bothered about the quality of education. They run colleges only for profit-making. Some education colleges which are established by educated, retired and even military personnel also show no improvement.14 Thus, the existence of a large number of teacher-education institutions is the best example of profit-making.

 

Violation of rules and regulations: Most privately-managed education colleges do not follow rules and regulations administratively and academically. Ninety percent of the BEd colleges do not have their own building, but they got recognition and affiliation on the basis of the land lease (Dainik Bhaskar 2008). Many education colleges are functioning in school buildings. After the planned and formal inspections, they remove the college’s board and put on the school’s board at the entrance in the same building (Dainik Jagran 2007). They do not appoint teaching and administrative staff on a regular basis which is essential to conduct a class in the college. In 2012, during a surprise inspection, around 16 colleges affiliated to MD University, running BEd and MEd courses have been found without any teaching or administrative staff or building. Even the university team could not trace the location of these colleges (ToI 2012). They also encourage students to not attend the classes because they do not have the required infrastructure. Only 10% BEd colleges are permanently affiliated to the concerned university and 90% BEd colleges are running on the basis of temporary affiliation. There is no strict criteria to disaffiliate them if found guilty. One education college was found admitting students to BEd course even after disaffiliation (Dainik Bhaskar 2015b). Thus, they violate the rules and regulations of the NCTE, University Grants Commission (UGC) and the respective university but still run smoothly.

 

Illusive teaching resources: The various teaching–learning resources, for example, laboratories for science, psychology, information and communication technology, and languages are either not there or are in a pathetic condition in such colleges. They do not have the required infrastructure to run a college even in terms of a proper building, number of classrooms, library and sanitary facilities. All these are being maintained only at the time of inspection. In a surprise inspection conducted in MD University, the team found a pigeonhole instead of a classroom in an education college.15

 

Poor teaching–learning process: Majority of the privately-managed colleges do not appoint regular teaching staff. Their names are only on paper. A teacher is the most important aspect of the teaching–learning process. If teachers are not available to teach, how can values be inculcated and behaviour modified? All these shortcomings are badly affecting student achievement and aspiration levels. The result of 10th and 12th classes declared in 2016 can be seen in the context of poor teaching–learning process (Dainik Bhaskar 2016b). Lack of democracy in the teaching–learning process is also found in such education colleges, for example, students are forced to choose a specific subject out of many options offered by the university.

 

Defective admission process: Teaching is a noble profession which helps in development and preservation of the civilisation. A teacher contributes to all-round development of the child. So the teacher-education system has the responsibility to provide good teachers to society. But, there is no strict criterion for admission in teacher-education courses due to the mushrooming of self-financed education colleges. In BEd programme, entrance examination was abolished and the percentage of the qualifying marks was also decreased since 2009 due to unavailability of students (Dainik Bhaskar 2009). Thus, students from other states, having poor academic background, are getting admission in teacher-education courses. These students lack basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills and they also do not actively participate in the regular teaching–learning process due to non-attendance.16 The same condition applies to MEd course also. Thus, the foundation of education has been weakened.

 

Encourage non-attending student trend: Self-financed colleges have become a profit hub and they do not appoint regular teaching staff. Thus, they are encouraging the non-attending students (Dainik Bhaskar 2015a). This is adversely affecting the quality of teacher education. The attendance record of the students is dismal. Fake attendance record is being maintained for inspection purpose. This trend is also influencing the status and quality of teacher education provided by the government and grant-in-aid education colleges inversely. Students are also not ready to take regular classes due to this trend. So, they are opting for privately-managed colleges to escape from the attendance requirement.17 Some aided education colleges are also slightly encouraging this non-attending student trend to fill the vacant seats in their colleges.

 

High level of corruption: The level of corruption in the self-financed education colleges is high. Funding and the fee pattern are not clearly visible in such colleges. Students pay more fees than the university norms in self-financed colleges (Tribune 2007) and non-attending students pay hidden charges to get a degree. Most of the colleges do not provide good salary to their teaching staff despite high profit earnings. They do not maintain the required infrastructure for the college. From admissions to examinations, teacher education is flooded with complaints against such colleges (Tribune 2007). They have everything available on paper but all the facilities are actually in a pathetic condition. But, they get affiliation and accreditation nevertheless. Non-transparent processes promote corruption.

 

Quantity vs quality: Most of the privately-managed education colleges contribute nothing to promote quality in teacher education. They are just increasing the enrolment ratio in teacher-education courses. No emphasis is given to developing teaching skills and co-curricular activities which are essential for the teaching profession. This is because of poor attendance and unavailability of qualified teaching staff. In 2012, there were 189 C grade BEd colleges out of a total of 468 colleges in the state, but they managed to get admissions (Dainik Bhaskar 2012a). The High Court of Punjab and Haryana ordered an investigation of such colleges (Dainik Bhaskar 2012b), but they are still in business.18 Thus, quantity is increasing while quality is deteriorating.

 

Defective evaluation system: There is no doubt that high-level discrepancies exist in the external and internal evaluation system. Practical examination duties have become an opportunity for extra earning by examiners and management. Students are getting high marks without learning and regular attendance. They pass the internal and external examinations by paying hidden charges. Hence, they are lagging behind in teaching skills. In the session of 2014–15, MD University made the keeping of a video-recording of external practical examinations compulsory in BEd colleges due to a large number of reported discrepancies (Dainik Bhaskar 2015b). The decision was opposed by self-financed education colleges. A petition was filed in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, but the high court maintained the status quo for self-financed BEd colleges only.19

 

Ineffective accreditation process: The UGC has made accreditation mandatory for all educational institutions to maintain the quality in education. The NCTE signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to accredit the BEd colleges in 2007 (Dainik Jagran 2007). But there is a high ratio of those colleges which are still not registered for accreditation. Yet they are admitting students in their colleges on the basis of yearly extensions. Even those who got A grade by NAAC were found to be in an abysmal condition after the completion of the accreditation process.20

No accountability: With so many irregularities, self-financed teacher-education colleges are still getting recognition, affiliation, admission and accreditation. NCTE and the respective universities make regular and surprise visits to colleges. But repeated warnings issued to such college managements by the authorities have proved ineffective. The problem is that they have everything available only on record but not in reality. Everyone knows the actual state of affairs in such colleges. But, by looking at the present scenario of teacher education in the state, it seems that there is no accountability at any level. The government has not been able to stop corruption, violation of rules and regulations and commercialisation of teacher education.

 

Poor research and innovation scenario: There is a lack of good research and innovations in teacher education. University teacher-education departments only undertake inspections, conduct interviews and attend practical duties due to the large number of affiliated education colleges. Good teacher educators are not to be found.

 

Teacher educators: Teacher educators are also responsible for the worst condition of the teacher education. Due to the existence of a large number of privately-managed education colleges, the number of teacher educators working there is also very high, more than those serving in government and grant-in-aid education colleges. They are unable to revolt against the discrimination and exploitation because most of them are unqualified and are thus employed on a low salary. Further, there are informal groups of teacher educators such as university teacher educators, grant-in-aid teacher educators and self-financed teacher educators and they all are busy in fulfilling their interest according to opportunities available to them.

Conclusions

Teacher education is considered as the backbone of the entire education system and teacher educators are strong pillars of the education system. If they themselves are not getting a proper education and environment to learn the basics of the teaching–learning process, they cannot contribute to nurture and direct the future human resources (children) of the nation. But surveying the present status of teacher education and teacher educators, it can be said that it is in a horrible state not only in Haryana, but all over the nation because self-financed education colleges are existing in other states too.

To establish the required standards and maintain the quality of teacher education, the UGC has made it mandatory for every university to have a teacher-education department. The Supreme Court is also concerned about the declining quality of teacher education. It is also decided by the NCTE that no affiliation is given to new BEd colleges for next two years. Despite regular inspections and interference of the high court, there is no implementation of essential rules and regulations in the state till date. Then, how can we expect the new regulations (2014) to improve the status of teacher education?

But, it is time to find out the main loopholes of the teacher-education system so that teacher education can get its identity back. There are some unanswered questions. Despite all the irregularities, how are these colleges functioning? At which level and who is responsible for their smooth functioning? A strict review of inspection committee reports of the last three years, especially the reports on those colleges which have defaulted should be undertaken. If found guilty, action should be taken against all the involved parties. These are time-consuming tasks, but, these are essentially required to strengthen the teacher education.

It also needs strong will power and accountability at the higher levels with strict implementation of rules and regulations as per the deadline. Hard decisions must be taken if discrepancies are detected. There is also an immediate need to look into the matter of self-financing, which has given a bad name to teacher education. The worst part of the self-financed education colleges is that everything is available on paper, but not in reality. In the era of Make in India, teacher education calls for revolutionary changes with intensive fundamental administrative reforms because academic reforms are being implemented since 2015–16.

Notes

1 The Report of the University Education Commission (December 1948–August 1949), http://www.educationforallinindia.com/1949%20Report%20of%20the%20University%20Education%20Commission.pdf.

2 All these teacher-education institutions are established by the Government of India at national, state and local levels to impart the quality teacher education at diploma, degree and postgraduate stages. These institutions, especially NCERT and National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUPEA) promote high quality research work in teacher education and provide insights to the Government of India in policy formulation in teacher education.

3 National Council for Teacher Education, NCTE at a Glance, http://ncte-india.org/ncte_new/?page_id=782.

4 See 7th Schedule (Concurrent List, 25th item) in the Constitution of India.

5 Refer “List of recognised institutions in State of Haryana as on 22nd October, 2007,” nrcncte.org/recog/haryana%20list.pdf.

6 According to the above list, the number of self-financed education colleges rose to 370 in 2007.

7 One aided educational institution with various constituents, namely, B P S, Khanpur Kalan, Sonepat has become the first state women’s university in north India since 2006.

8 State Council of Education Research and Training, Haryana, DEd 2016 Admission Application, www.dedharyan.org/StaticPages/CollegeList.aspx?did=148.

9 For detailed account of MEd colleges and seats refer List of Recognised Institutions in Haryana as on 22 October 2007.

10 For detailed account of available seats for MEd course in the university education departments and education colleges in the state in 2015–16, see http://www.mdurohtak.ac.in/info/med_college.html; http://www.kuk.ac.in/m_ed_colleges_2; http://www.cdlu.ac.in/cdlu-sirsa-m-ed-admission-2015-16-prospectus.

11 Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak; www.mdurohtak.ac.in/info/notices.html/schedule of terms & vacations of MEd.

12 Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak; www.mdurohtak.ac.in/info/archive_notices.html/schedule for 2nd MEd counselling for 2015–16.

13 Refer NCTE Regulations, 2014 for detailed account for BEd and MEd courses.

14 This can partly be explained on my long-time observation of education colleges.

15 This explanation is made on the interaction with a team member of inspection committee of the MD University, Rohtak. This surprise visit was conducted in 2012.

16 This explanation is based on my observation as a teacher educator since 2008.

17 This can partly be explained on the basis of my interaction with students during BEd counselling sessions of 2015–16 at Bahadurgarh. Many students showed their willingness to take the advantage of non-attending trend.

18 These colleges were in list of MD University, Rohtak for admission in BEd for 2015–16, available at www.mdurohtak.ac.in/pdf/affiliated_colleges_inst/List of Education Colleges of Bed Regular Courses Session 2015–16.pdf.

19 Refer MD University, Rohtak Notice for Making Videography mandatory for conducting BEd practical for 2014–15 by the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

20 Those education colleges which got A grade by NAAC in 2011–12 are found in the defaulter list of the MD University, Rohtak in 2014–15 and they are also in the list of the MD University, Rohtak for admission in BEd for 2015–16.

References

Amar Ujala (2016): “bI 0D kašlejes ¨a.sfr se m d iv v\ k iv ka ibgD_a A4RxaS5…” (M D University and K University BEd colleges transfer to ….), Amar Ujala, Jind edition, 29 April, epaper.amarujala.com/20160429/05.html.

Dainik Bhaskar (2008): “bI 0D kašlejes kI maNyta me. tak pr” (Violation of rules to get affiliation of BEd colleges), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 23 August.

(2009): “bI 0D me. daiqle ke il0…” (No entrance exam to get admission in BEd this time), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 15 May.

(2012a): “sI g/eD bI 0D kašlejes me. daiql…” (Court strict on admission to C Grade BEd colleges), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 6 September.

(2012b): “ha{ ko3R ne AaDRr…” (High court ordered for BEd colleges), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 19 September.

— (2015a): “vIiDyog/afI ko lekr bI 0D….” (BEd practical exams postponed due to videography), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 6 August.

— (2015b): “bI 0D kašlejes me. Ainyimtta0.” (Irregularities in BEd colleges), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 19 June.

(2016a): “do sal tk p/dex me. bI 0D…” (Ban on new BEd colleges for next 2 years in the state), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 21 April.

— (2016b): “bI 0D kašlejes ke nam pr bNd…” (Stop business on account of BEd colleges), Dainik Bhaskar, Rohtak edition, 19 February.

Dainik Jagran (2007): “bI 0D kašlejes kI wUim ka ByOra ma>ga” (Land inspection of BEd colleges), Dainik Jagran, Haryana edition, 15 December.

— (2007): “bI 0D kašlejes pr….” (NAAC mandatory for BEd colleges), Dainik Jagran, Haryana edition, 5 October.

Desai, Sonalde, Amaresh Dubey, Reeve Vanneman and Rukmini Banerji (2009): “Private Schooling in India: A New Landscape,” India Policy Forum, Vol 5 pp 1–58, Bery Suman, Barry Bosworth and Arvind Panagariya (eds), New Delhi: Sage.

Gupta, Renu (2011): “Teacher Education in India and United States of America: A Study,” University News, 49(46), pp 11–16.

Tribune (2007): “Private Colleges Make a Killing,” Tribune, Chandigarh edition, 19 October.

ToI (2012): “16 Maharshi Dayanand University-affiliated BEd Colleges Only on Paper,” Times of India, 3 August, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/16-Maharshi-Dayanand-University-affiliated-BEd-colleges-only-on-paper/articleshow/15332667.cms.

UNESCO (1996): “Learning: The Treasure Within,” Report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the 21st Century, Paris: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Varghese, N V (2012): “Private Higher Education: The Global Surge and Indian Concerns,” India International Report, 2012, pp 145–56, New Delhi: IDFC Foundation.

Updated On : 21st Mar, 2017

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