There is no way 250 million students could be taught to academic excellence in a second language (poor children must succeed in ‘academic-level’ English, ‘educationists’ and politicians cannot dictate otherwise) when effectively over 90% of the students are first-generation learners and are from more than 6,00,000 villages!
Instead, what we need is an education system that is children-led (therefore personalised), rightly hi-tech (no ‘smart class’ please), parent-inclusive and ‘teacher-monitored only’.
Eeven a lay parent will have the following clarifications on the teacher-led education mindset all around us:
- How do we educate our children NOW, not waiting for the ‘duly trained’ teachers?
- Where are the teachers who could ever be prepared to get our children ready for all academic transactions in English?
- Name a school in the country, not totally infested by tuition and coaching by class X? Are the teachers in the top 100 so-called best schools also not prepared/trained?
- Who can’t imagine what a truly world-class standard in Board question paper design and evaluation system can do to our education system? It’s the simplest solution for immediate quality improvement across schools.
- The ‘culture of performance’ is totally missing in school, it’s always children’s and parents’ fault; and this issue is certainly beyond the usual sense of ‘teacher quality’, it’s a philosoplical position.
- Name a country with quality education where what happens at home is irrelevant in education. The gross neglect and lack of support to parents in educating their own children is a system issue (and another philosophical position), not teacher quality issue.
- In a country that doesn’t seem to know ‘teaching’ at any level – pre-school, school, polytechnic, engineering, medicine, MBA, and skills etc. – who has any sense of confidence that we can do teachers training at any acceptable level of quality?
- Technology must have solutions for quality in education. Yet, a global leader in technology has nothing to showcase in the use of technology for mass quality education. What’s the teacher’s role in appropriate use of tech in education?
- What kind of teacher training can ever prepare teachers for supporting career discovery and preparation of students for the times ahead? The economic ends of education is very important for the overwhelming majority of Indians, and any teacher would be clueless about careers in the decades ahead.
- And the worst part, will we be able to prepare the last teacher to be quality in this century? What’s the fault of hundreds of millions of students who have to wait for their great grand children to get quality education, if at all?
Teacher training focus has long deflected us from real, working and immediate solutions.
I look forward to a blue-print of educational transformation that can work in the remotest villages of the country WITHOUT teachers (a current harsh reality)! Let’s solve 80% issues less dependent on teacher preparation and the other 20% of the teacher related issues be resolved along the way.