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POLITICAL INTERFERENCE AFFECTING TEACHERS’ EDUCATION IN UP: GOVT REPORT

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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