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15 years on, corporation school teachers’ certificates found to be fake

Teacher education and training


Times of India

CHENNAI: The Central Crime Branch police on Monday arrested two corporation school teachers on charges of submitting fake certificates to get jobs in 1998.

M Kuppan, 48, of Shenoy Nagar and T Raja, 40, of Perambur, teachers at a corporation school in MGR Nagar, were nabbed based on a complaint from corporation education officer K Ravichandran. Police said the two joined the corporation school in 1998 after obtaining fake certificates from a broker named Krishnakumar of Tiruttani. They paid 15,000 each to the broker, police said.

“Their Class 10 and Class 12 marks lists were original, but their certificates claiming they had completed a teachers’ training course was fake,” an investigating officer said.

The corporation education officer in his complaint alleged that he received a petition saying 29 certificates submitted by teachers of civic body-run schools were fake. The certificates were sent for verification to the education department which confirmed that eight were fake. Two of these belonged to Kuppan and Raja, who on interrogation, admitted to the offence. Further checks are on to establish their authenticity.

The two, booked under IPC Sections 465 (punishment for forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 420 (cheating), have been remanded in judicial custody.

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To be a teacher

Implementation, Right to Education, Teacher education and training

Prashant Narang



Mandated by Right to Education Act, 2009, the National Council for Teacher Education requires school teachers to not only have certain minimum academic qualifications, but also to pass a test to be eligible for teaching. The criteria for Classes I-V is 50% marks in Senior Secondary, a Diploma in Elementary Education and passing the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) and for Classes VI-VII is a Degree in Elementary Education and TET.

The question is: why TET? If the successful completion of the Diploma does not guarantee teaching ability, it raises questions of credibility on the certificate granted. Shouldn’t promulgation of an additional entry barrier be instead preceded by review and reform of the existing entry barrier? Secondly, does TET certification guarantee good learning achievements of pupil taught by the TET qualified teachers? The purpose of certification exams such as IELTS or TOEFL that assess one’s proficiency in English is precisely that–potential recruiters can rely on the exam outcome. However, a number of research studies show that there is no correlation between learning achievements and the mandated teacher qualification criteria in primary schools. Learning achievements have a correlation with teacher motivation (read ‘incentives’), not to qualifications and knowledge.

There is no reason why instead of a two-tier entry barrier to the teaching profession, the Government should not allow and certify various reputed private parties such as Pratham, Azim Premji University etc. to offer voluntary certification of the prospective teachers. So for example, to prove one’s language proficiency, one opts for either TOEFL or IELTS. Similarly, there could be multiple alternatives to TET, say for different skills or level of difficulty or subject knowledge.

Opponents may argue: (a) private schools are likely to hire under-qualified teachers to save money; (b) poor parents of first generation learners lack the capacity to demand competent teachers; and (c) how will the government ensure then quality teaching in public and private schools?

Please note that there are 12 lakh vacant posts for teachers in the Government sector alone. Multiple tier entry barriers create supply shortage thereby escalating the salary costs. In addition, every compliance rule has administrative, enforcement and adjudication costs. Instead of raising the bar ex ante, better learning achievements can be ensured with monitoring, assessment and incentives. Schools should be assessed, accredited, rated and ranked – instead of RTE mandated infrastructure-norm based recognition, schools could be assessed by a third party on several parameters including learning outcome of pupils and parental satisfaction, like the way it is designed in Gujarat. This would create incentives for private as well as public schools to ensure quality teaching and provide more information to parents to decide better. Let’s not ignore the fact that private budget schools compete with public schools that charge little or no fees and provide free uniform, books and stationery. There are good reasons why poor parents appreciate quality of education provided by these private budget schools and prefer them over public schools.

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Improving Learning in Primary Schools of Developing Countries: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Experiments

Learning Achievements, Teacher education and training

 Patrick J. McEwan

Wellesley College, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

August 2013

There is a vast non-experimental literature on school effectiveness in developing countries (for reviews, see Velez, Schiefelbein, & Valenzuela, 1993; Fuller & Clarke, 1994; Hanushek, 1995; Kremer, 1995; Glewwe, 2002). It uses regression analysis to identify the putative determinants of student learning, but it is hampered in two ways. First, it does not credibly distinguish between the causal effects of schools, and the confounding effects of the children and families that happen to attend those schools. Second, many datasets contain only simple proxies of school quality, such as teacher credentials and pupil-teacher ratios, that do not encompass the complex menu of investment choices available to policy-makers. Experimental research addresses both issues. The use of random assignment of students or schools to school-based treatments improves the internal validity of causal inferences (Glewwe & Kremer, 2006; Duflo, Glennerster, & Kremer, 2008). Moreover, researchers have evaluated a rich variety of policy-relevant treatments that encompass (1) instructional interventions that combine teacher training, textbooks and other materials, class size reduction, and computer assisted instruction; (2) school-based health and nutrition treatments, such as de-worming and micronutrient supplementation; and (3) interventions that modify stakeholder incentives to improve learning, such as school report cards, performance pay, and school-based management. It is a propitious moment to survey this literature, and assess whether there are lessons for policy-makers and researchers. I conducted a literature search in economics, education, and health, identifying 76 published and unpublished experiments that evaluate 110 treatments (see the Appendix). In each case, researchers randomly assigned children, schools, or entire villages to receive a school-based treatment, versus “business-as-usual” in the same setting. I coded effect sizes and their standard errors for outcome variables in language and mathematics. I further coded study attributes that describe the category of treatment, details on the country and experimental sample, outcome measures, and the study quality. Two categories of interventions—monetary grants and school-based deworming—have mean effects that are close to zero and statistically insignificant (based on a random effects model). School-based nutritional treatments, treatments that provide information to parents or students, and treatments that improve school management and supervision tend to have small mean effect sizes—from 0.04 to 0.06 standard deviations—that are not always robust to controls for study moderators. The largest average effect sizes are observed for treatments that incorporate instructional materials (0.08); computers or instructional technology (0.15); teacher training (0.12); smaller classes, smaller learning groups within classes, or ability grouping (0.12); student and teacher performance incentives (0.10); and contract or volunteer teachers (0.10). The categories are not mutually exclusive, however, and meta-regressions that control for treatment heterogeneity and other moderators suggest that the effects of materials and contract teachers, in particular, are partly accounted for by overlapping treatments. For example, instructional materials have few effects on learning in the absence of teacher training (Glewwe et al., 2004, 2009), and contract and volunteer teacher interventions usually overlap with class size reduction and/or instructional treatments (e.g., Banerjee et al., 2007; Bold et al., 2012).

A challenge to the interpretation of learning effects is that some treatments, particularly deworming and school feeding programs, affect enrollment and attainment, despite weaker effects on learning (Miguel & Kremer, 2004; Baird et al., 2012; Petrosino et al., 2013). Even when attainment increases, it is plausible that student time is not being used productively in classrooms. This suggests that interventions with a primary focus on access should be combined—in future research and in practice—with interventions explicitly designed to increase learning. Most papers contain minimal data cost on costs, complicating an assessment of whether specific treatments in the meta-analytic sample—or categories of treatments—are relatively more cost-effective despite smaller effect sizes (or less so despite larger ones). As an alternative, I combine effect sizes with auxiliary cost estimates for 15 treatment arms that are analyzed in Kremer et al. (2013). The results suggest that some interventions are relatively less cost-effective than others, such as computer assisted instruction in India and class size reduction in Kenya. However, the conclusions are tempered by the small samples, the inability to statistically distinguish between ranked cost-effectiveness ratios, and the evidence—cited above—that many treatments affect additional outcomes such as attainment. The review also suggests methodological lessons for the conduct of future experiments. The overwhelming majority of instructional and incentive-based experiments use cluster-randomized assignment of schools (or groups of schools) to a treatment. The statistical power of these experiments is primarily determined by the number of clusters and the intraclass correlation of the outcome variable. The intraclass correlations for test scores are higher in developing-country settings than typical U.S. standards (Zopluoglu, 2012). Further, this paper shows that “typical” effect sizes of some categories of treatments are smaller than commonly assumed. Viewed together, the evidence suggests many smaller cluster-randomized experiments—particularly those with fewer than 50 schools per treatment arm—are under-powered. I further argue that experiments can enhance the potential external validity of their results by (1) adding treatment arms that manipulate key features of the treatment (such as the implementing agency); (2) experimenting within representative samples, and conducting subgroup analysis within policy-relevant and pre-specified subgroups of the full sample; (3) measuring a wider range of learning outcomes and not “cherry-picking” effects across those outcomes; (4) collecting process data that can be used to conduct (non-experimental) tests of the potential causal mechanisms of “black-box” experimental effects; and (5) complementing their findings with high-quality quasi-experimental research that evaluates scaled-up treatments using representative samples of schools. I further suggest that experimental reports, especially in economics, could benefit from a common reporting standard, along the lines of the CONSORT standards widely used in medicine. The next section describes the conceptual framework that organizes the review, including a typology of school-based treaments used in the coding of studies. I then describe data and methods, including the literature search, the criteria for study inclusion and exclusion, the coding of experiments, and the statistical methods used to analyze effect sizes. The results section describes mean effect sizes by categories of treatment, as well as meta-regression models that analyze the correlates of those effects. The final section reviews lessons for policy and future experimental research.

Click here to read more. http://academics.wellesley.edu/Economics/mcewan/PDF/meta.pdf


Do natural teachers need qualifications?

Teacher education and training

The Telegraph


Nick Clegg’s plan for free schools to employ only trained staff is misguided

Anita Zarska says her hands-on training has made her a good teacher: 'I feel that I have enough knowledge of the students’ emotional and psychological development to do my job well'

Anita Zarska says her hands-on training has made her a good teacher: ‘I feel that I have enough knowledge of the students’ emotional and psychological development to do my job well’ Photo: Paul Grover

By Ben Riley-Smith

7:33PM BST 25 Oct 2013

Comments36 Comments

It was during his time at Trinity College, Cambridge, that Howard Bowden was   inspired to become a teacher. While studying geography among the manicured   lawns and cobbled courtyards of the university’s richest college, he joined   a scheme that took students to help out in inner-city schools in London.   Working hands-on with underprivileged children convinced him he should   dedicate his life to education.

“I enjoyed the smiles on the children’s faces and the feeling you were making   some sort of a difference,” Bowden remembers. His decision to become a   teacher came mid-way through the third year of his degree – too late to   apply for the following year’s training courses – so, after graduating, he   took a job at Sherborne School, an independent boys school.

Thirty years on, that decision could cost him dearly. Bowden is now head of   geography at Batley Grammar School in Leeds, which was one of the nation’s   first free schools to open in 2011. The department has won national awards   for the quality of its exam results during his tenure. Yet, under plans   adopted by the Liberal Democrats and Labour, Bowden would face the sack.

The threat emerged this week as Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister,   declared that free schools should only employ “qualified” teachers, arguing   that it would help to “guarantee” minimum standards in state education. The   announcement, which followed similar comments by Labour’s new shadow   education secretary Tristram Hunt, led to accusations of a Lib Dem   about-turn – after all, Clegg had signed off plans to let free schools   employ whomever they wanted.

None the less, his comments have raised a question mark over the future of   many teachers employed in free schools, which represent one of the   Coalition’s flagship education policies. Pioneered by the Tories’ Michael   Gove, the Education Secretary, the initiative gives parents and other groups   state funding to create schools that remain outside local authority control.   Some 174 are already up and running, with dozens more due to open next year.


No Teachers’ Aptitude Test for minority schools: HC

Teacher education and training


Times of India

Gujarat high court on Friday ruled that the compulsory Teachers’ Aptitude Test (TAT) for appointment of headmasters and teaching staff cannot be made applicable to the minority education institutes in the state.

The state government recently introduced additional qualification for appointment of headmasters in the grant-in-aid educational institutes and made it compulsory for candidates for the post of headmasters to clear TAT.

Nearly 15 trusts running Hindi-medium schools approached the high court seeking exemption from this rule. Earlier, they were exempted from this procedure but the state government, through two resolutions passed on August 5 and 17, withdrew the exemption granted earlier to minority institutes in deciding qualification for appointments of teaching or non-teaching staff. The petitioners had questioned the two resolutions.

Senior counsel Girish Patel and advocate Mamta Vyas, who represented the institutes, contended that the state government cannot change rules by merely passing resolutions and the recent provisions are in violation of the parent act. Hence, the amendments should go.

The high court accepted the arguments that the change in rules cannot affect the schools established and administered by the minority institutions, either linguistic or religious.


UGC to set up teacher education centre in state

Teacher education and training


The New Indian Express

The University Grants Commission has decided to set up an Inter University Teacher Education Centre in Andhra Pradesh for conducting training classes to teachers to improve the quality of teaching in higher education, UGC vice-chairman H Devaraj has said.
Speaking on ?Quality concerns in higher education’ at the Osmania University here on Saturday, he said that only teachers could improve the quality of education and not others.
Lamenting over lack of quality in the research done by PhD holders in India, Devaraj said they could not find even one eligible candidate for appointment to the faculty of a university though 160 doctorates attended the interviews conducted recently. None of them had even basic knowledge of the subject.
Explaining another instance of lack of quality in research, he said they had found one university, which has a faculty strength of 60, that awarded 360 PhDs in a short span of time. Saying that the responsibility of guiding research scholars and roping in best candidates for teaching lay with professors and leaders of university administration, he said merely awarding PhDs on the basis of cut-and-paste thesis culled from old data available on Internet would serve no purpose.
?Discovering something needs brains, not bricks,” the senior bio-chemistry professor at Madras University said in response to criticism of lack of infrastructure to pursue research in India. He also lamented saying that the research in India is going  horizontally as a huge number of candidates concentrated on a single concept at a time. He advocated trans-disciplinary research as in western universities  which yielded great results.
Earlier, Devaraj attended the convocation of Osmania University Women’s College at Koti as chief guest


Over 7,000 posts for teachers vacant in MCD schools: Govt

Teacher education and training


Times of India

More than 7,000 posts for teachers are lying vacant in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

“In MCD schools, as many as 7,068 posts of teachers of various categories are lying vacant,” Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran told Lok Sabha in a written reply to a query.

On appointment of guest teachers in the civic bodies, the minister told of no such engagements in the MCD schools during last three years and the current year.

“No guest teachers have been appointed in MCD schools. However, 4,279 teachers have been engaged on contractual basis against the vacant posts,” he said.

The minister also talked of figures for the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for the same periods and the facilities provided to teachers engaged in the same.

“NDMC has engaged 225 guest teachers only this year. These guest teachers are paid a fix amount per period, based on their categories, i.e, PGT (Post Graduate Teacher), TGT (Trained Graduate Teacher), etc. No other facility except the remuneration is paid to them,” he said.


IGNOU launches elementary education course for teachers

Teacher education and training

New Delhi: To help untrained teachers acquire professional skills in elementary teaching and meet the 2015 deadline of the Right To Education (RTE) act, a new diploma course has been launched by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), an official said on Saturday.
The two-year diploma in elementary education will enhance the understanding and competency of teachers at “elementary-level teaching”.
IGNOU launches elementary education course for teachers

Under the RTE, provisions related to the training of untrained teachers were given an extension and now have to be met by 2015. As a result, the Arunachal Pradesh government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IGNOU.
“The teachers will be professionally trained by 2015 through a two year course as per the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) norms,” said Srikanth Mohapatra, director, regional services division of the varsity.
IGNOU launches elementary education course for teachers

“The percentage of untrained teachers in Arunachal Pradesh is high. IGNOU has taken up the challenge to train 9,000 inservice teachers in the state,” said Joseph Kuba, regional director, Arunachal Pradesh.
IGNOU is the world’s largest open university system with a pan-India and international reach with flexible entry qualifications and a wide range of academic programmes at affordable cost.


Teachers to meet education secretary

Teacher education and training, Teacher performance

Times of India

31-Jul-2013 :

CHANDIGARH: A seven-member delegation of teachers under the banner of Government Teachers  Union would meet UT finance-cum-education secretary V K Singh on Tuesday, asking him to take a considerate view on the 100 teachers served a show-cause notice by the UT education department for not attending the faculty development programme on July 20.
The teachers had staged a protest outside the school, following which an FIR was lodged against four of them for obstructing the faculty development programme.  Seven of our members will be meeting V K Singh on Tuesday to discuss some pending issues and to request for a sympathetic view on teachers served show-cause notice, so that the matter is resolved and teachers get their focus back on students,a?? said Vinod Sharma, president, Government Teachers Union.
The union has also decided to organize a teachers conference to debate quality education, extending of school timings and faculty development programme among other issues on August 22 at Moti Ram School auditorium in Sector 27. The conference will be attended by principals, educationists and psychologists too.



Teacher education and training

29-Jul-2013 :

Times of India

In a stark observation that flies on the face of Akhilesh government, the ministry of human resource development has said that political interference is taking toll of education sector in Uttar Pradesh. The ministry in its latest report, titled ‘Teacher Education in UP’, has said, “Political interference appears to be part of the functioning of DIETs (district institute for education and training), the conduct of BTC (basic teaching certificate) and the recruitment of teachers.” DIET is the primary center for training new teachers. It is also the place where existing teachers undertake on the job trainings.

The poor quality of teacher education reflects in low standards of teaching in schools. No wonder agencies like Pratham conclude that children in UP fail to do simple maths, identify alphabets join them to make words and sentences. Poor quality of teaching fails to retain children in schools which can be the reason for high drop out rate. The report which has been prepared by a Joint Review Mission (JRM) headed by Prof Venita Kaul and her team after a proper inspection of different centers for teacher education in UP.

In the section, ‘Critical Systemic Concerns’, the report further says, “It is important to recognise that systemic issues of DIET faculty recruitment, promotional avenues, career advancement issues, linking admissions into BTC with job assurance, government control and patronage over the BTC institutions (private and DIETs) form a web of conditions that give legitimacy and reinforcement to political interference. Elementary teacher training institutions thus becomes hubs of reinforcing a culture of status-quo and resistance to change. There will need to be mechanisms to minimise this kind of interference.”

The JRM has noted the deficiencies in educational infrastructure. For example, the report stated that there are approximately 69% vacancies of lecturers and senior Lecturers’ positions and 72% vacancies of principals’ and vice principals’ across the board. Then, there is variation in the type of physical infrastructure for DIET schools in different districts. For instance, inspecting team found that Barabanki DIET was housed in an old building located in a flood prone area and was under the threat of monkey menace. It has a small camp office in the city where the office files are kept and staff and students are forced to run from one place to another for their work.

However in Hardoi, major part of the DIET campus was lying unused and untended. “It had an old and musty feel about it, as it has not been whitewashed for more than two decades,” noted the team. DIET centers in Barabanki and Hardoi didn’t have a Science or Language Lab. In fact, the team members found that the faculty did not seem to have much concept about such Labs. DIET School in Lucknow was a story of contrast – full of facilities and activities.

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