NEP 2020: Teacher-centric Policies in School Education

Teachers cover

Introduction:

NEP 2020 candidly states the present general condition of India’s Teaching staff & the teaching environment, and how their future ought to be. Let’s look at the following two sections from the School Education Policy document (quoted as is):

“Today, however, the status of the teacher has undoubtedly and unfortunately dropped. The quality of training, recruitment, deployment, service conditions and empowerment of teachers is not where it should be, and consequently, the quality and motivation of teachers does not reach the standards where it could be.”

………

“The new education policy must help reinstate teachers, at all levels, as the most respected and essential members of our society, because they truly shape our next generation of citizens. It must do everything to empower teachers, and help them to do their job as effectively as possible. The new education policy must help recruit the very best and brightest to enter the teaching profession at all levels, by ensuring teachers their livelihood, respect, dignity, and autonomy.”

 

Document Referred: National Education Policy 2020 (PDF format – 60 pages) by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
The NEP 2020 is a vast document, with elaborate sections of “School Education”, “Higher Education”, “Other Key Areas of Focus” (like ‘Adult Education‘) and “Making it Happen” (implementation). We (Miracle Learning Solutions) attempt to briefly cover every important point of this detailed policy document, in our own words. For easy reading, we’ve divided the document into multiple parts, and this part addresses “School Education: Teacher-centric Policies”.

To read the other parts, please use the links below:

NEP 2020: Introduction & Overview of School Education Policies
NEP 2020: Student-centric Policies in School Education
NEP 2020: Policies on School Infrastructure
NEP 2020: Policies on Learning Environment in Schools

 

Ideal Teaching staff, as envisaged by NEP 2020:
ideal teachers

What are the important Teacher-centric policies of India’s NEP 2020?

  1. Teachers will be empowered with improved educational qualification, teaching (and learning) environment, technological skills and remuneration packages.
  2. The 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree or its approved variant will eventually be the basic qualification for all Teachers.
  3. A large number of merit-based scholarships will be given to attract outstanding/excellent students to the Teaching profession, especially from rural areas.
  4. TET (Teacher Eligibility Test) will be strengthened to ensure that only the best talent enters this profession. The passion and motivation for Teaching will be specially gauged.
  5. Teachers will be encouraged to use a bilingual approach (use of the approved medium of instruction, along with the local language).
  6. Excessive transfers will be stopped, allowing teachers to build good bonding with their Students and the local community.
  7. Sharing and/or hiring of Teachers, especially Specialised Teachers, can be allowed in the newly proposed “School Complexes, Cluster” environment. The practice of hiring teachers on short-term contracts will eventually be phased-out.
  8. Teachers will not be put on duties that have no direct relation to teaching, like electioneering or cooking mid-day meals.
  9. Teachers will be given more autonomy and flexibility in choosing the finer aspects of pedagogy, which will suit the community and classroom environment that they deal with.
  10. There will be consistent programs to efficiently update Teachers with the latest trends and technology in Teaching.
  11. NEP 2020 promises better recognition, rewards, incentives, opportunities for growth, and parity across all disciplines, for Teachers.
  12. ‘Special Educators’ will be created to teach/support students with disabilities, and those who need special care. Gifted or specially-talented students will have ‘Special Teachers’.
  13. Teachers will have critical roles in handling the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs) and School drop-outs, to ensure “education for all”.
  14. Teachers will have better representation and say in the School management committees.
  15. There will be clearly laid-out professional standards for Teachers (National Professional Standards for Teachers – NPST).

 

Let’s look at some of the policy aspects a little closer:
Closer look

1. Empowering Teachers:
Well-qualified teaching staff, with psychometric qualities befitting a Teacher (a true “Guru”), will be chosen for the noble role. They will be respected, dignified, consistently trained, supported, rewarded, and will have favorable opportunities to grow in their career.

Technology to empower Teachers:
Teachers will be adequately trained to handle Smart Classes of the Information/Digital Age. Without any hindrance to their routine teaching activities, they will receive consistent training via physical mediums as well as digital platforms like Smart Phones (smart apps), DTH, Digital bulletins, Virtual conferences and online training sessions.
IT empowerment

The Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Program:
This is a specialized program to strengthen and integrate all activities that improve professionalism of Teachers. Platforms (especially online platforms) will be developed and deployed for teachers to share ideas and best practices. Each teacher will be expected to participate in, say, 50 hours of CPD programs every year for their own professional growth.

2. Career Management and Progression:
Teachers who innovate well, and perform outstandingly will be recognized, and may be given salary raises, promotion, or incentives. To assess Teachers most proficiently, a system based on multiple parameters like peer reviews, attendance, commitment, hours of CPD, and other forms of service to the school and the community etc, will be developed by the State/UT Government.

3. Improved Academic Qualification:
Qualification

Existing Anganwadi teachers will be taken through a six-month or one-year certification / diploma course based on whether they have 10+2 or lower qualification. Going forward, they will have to acquire the regular 4-year Integrated B.Ed. academic degree that NEP 2020 stipulates as the basic qualification for all School teachers. There’s also the provision of two-year or one-year B.Ed. program for aspirants with higher qualification in other academic disciplines. Every teacher will be given additional training based on his/her role or engagement with the System.

4. Specialized teachers to coach gifted students, exceptional talent:
B.Ed. programs may allow specialization in the education of gifted children, and Teachers with such specialization will be employed to coach them. Teachers will help gifted students to reach greater heights, involve them in peer-tutoring, and conduct accelerated mode of learning for them to fully utilize their potential.

5. No disparity across disciplines; no hard separations:
Parity

This rule is applicable to both Teacher and Student communities. Ensuring Equity, NEP 2020 strictly prohibits disparity in every aspect of teaching and learning. Every subject for teaching will have equal value, respect and chances. Teachers in various schools – foundational to secondary level – will have more or less the same pay, roles, importance and respect.

6. Involvement to handle school drop-out cases:
Teachers will be given incentives if they adopt innovative & effective measures to stop or minimize drop-out cases. India’s school dropout cases have always been high, which the new Education System will address with vigorous drive and focus. There will be government funding and special support to bring all dropouts back to school, and to block future cases.

7. Caring the disadvantaged / underprivileged / transgender / physically or mentally-challenged:
Caring

Specially qualified & trained teachers will be employed to teach/support the physically or mentally challenged students. The under-represented groups and areas of the Country will be identified and given special attention. The pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) will be adjusted to Students’ advantage in such cases / areas (like 25:1 rather than the standard 30:1).

Timelines to implement the new Policy:

  1. A common guiding set of National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) to be developed by 2022.
  2. The professional standards for Teachers will be reviewed and revised nationally in 2030.
  3. The minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated BEd by 2030.
  4. Teacher education will gradually be moved into multidisciplinary colleges and universities by 2030.
    Timelines

Policy revision frequency:
By the end of 2021, the Teachers Policy set will be revisited and updated by NCTE (National Council for Teacher Education), taking into account the new NCF (National Curriculum Framework) and the changing context of teacher education.
NCFTE (National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education) will be revised and adapted once in every five years, based on the changes in NCFs and emerging needs in Teacher Education.

 

summary

 

 

 

 

NEP 2020 is determined to reinstate the dignity, respect and the high professional standards for Teachers. It details out the policies required to make this objective a reality. Only the best will be chosen for this noble profession, and they will be empowered with consistently updated Knowledge, highly enabled environment that’s conducive to Learning, sufficient autonomy and flexibility in customizing the pedagogy, greater opportunities for career growth, and competitive remuneration packages. The very-Indian “Guru culture”, in its full goodness, honor and glory, must be rediscovered, NEP 2020 envisages.

 

NEP 2020: Introduction & Overview of School Education Policies
NEP 2020: Student-centric Policies in School Education
NEP 2020: Policies on School Infrastructure
NEP 2020: Policies on Learning Environment in Schools

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