Teacher Training and Professional Development in the Context of NEP 2020

The necessity to introduce fundamental changes in the Indian education system has been expressed over the last few decades. Furthermore, education is a dynamic concept that must adapt to evolving trends, discoveries and socio-cultural phenomena. 

Therefore, NEP 2020 is the right step towards reforming the entire academic system, wherein students will receive high-quality education and overall development. And that is where the teachers will play an integral role. 

But how does the new national policy help teachers, and how can it prepare them to facilitate enriching education experiences? Let us find out. 

Drawbacks of the Teacher Training Courses

Teachers are more than just mere moderators; their role goes beyond delivering lessons, disseminating knowledge, and maintaining discipline in the classroom. They are responsible for guiding students, helping them understand their potential and overcoming individual shortcomings. 

However, if the teacher does not receive proper training or lacks the basic and specified competencies, they will fail to provide effective education. Furthermore, ineffective training and knowledge cause them to face indefinite issues.

Besides, the teachers’ education program is outdated, and the curriculum is rigid and traditional; plus, the content is theoretical, giving less emphasis on practical. Also, the teacher selection procedure is unclear and inconclusive. 

Any individual possessing the minimum required educational qualification can easily enrol in the teacher’s training course without assessing their attitude and aptitude. Additionally, there are plenty of other critical issues concerning teacher training that NEP 2O20 addresses and provides respective solutions. 

Improvement of Teacher Training and Professional Development in the Context of NEP 2020

  1. Continuous Professional Development 

The national policy highlights the establishment of the 5+3+3+4 education system, which will include students aged 3 to 18. The first academic group, which includes students aged 3 to 6, will receive a strong base of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). 

Therefore, the policy focuses on preparing an initial cadre of high-quality ECCE teachers in Anganwadis; current Anganwadi workers or teachers will be trained through a systematic effort in accordance with the curricular or pedagogical framework developed by NCERT.

Furthermore, teachers will get sufficient opportunities for continuous self-improvement and learning the latest innovations and developments in their profession. These will be offered in multiple modes, including local, regional, state, national, and international workshops as well as online teacher development modules.

Besides, each teacher will be expected to participate in at least 50 hours of (Continuous Professional Development) CPD opportunities every year for their own professional development, driven by their own interests. 

CPD opportunities will, in particular, systematically cover the latest pedagogies regarding foundational literacy and numeracy, formative and adaptive assessment of learning outcomes, competency-based learning, and related pedagogies, such as experiential learning, arts-integrated, sports-integrated, and storytelling-based approaches, etc.

  1. NISTHA 

NISTHA( National Institute for School Heads and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement) is a strategic initiative by the NCERT entity. The program aims to build capacity and core competencies for teachers and school heads/ principals. 

It can be implemented from the elementary stage with adequate support and resources to improve the quality of school education and curriculum development. NIstha training modules include four program levels, including elementary and secondary levels. 

NISHTHA is being customised for online mode and is conducted through Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) portals; NCERT coordinates the whole process. NISHTHA online includes multiple approaches for interaction, which will serve the 5+3+3+4 education system‘s ultimate purpose. 

  1. Professional and Personal Growth 

Academic qualification is not enough to sustain a long and sustaining career; therefore, teachers must undergo additional training to inculcate ethics and human and constitutional values like empathy and respect for others.  

They must also learn the significance of cleanliness, courtesy, democratic spirit, the spirit of service, respect for public property, scientific temper, liberty, responsibility, pluralism, equality, and justice among students.

Moreover, to ensure the success of the 5+3+3+4 education system, CPD will help equip teachers to become informed and responsive tostudents’e social, emotional and psychological needs as first-level counsellors. 

In fact, the teachers will also learn to use art as pedagogy to enhance creativity and innovation among students; and strengthen their personal social qualities for their holistic development. And they will work towards making the classroom an engaging, inclusive and enriching environment. 

Furthermore, one of the aims of NEP 2020 is to encourage teachers to practice multidisciplinarity and holistic education across the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and sports. It will help to incorporate unity and integrity of various knowledge. 

  1. Maintaining a Holistic Approach 

Teachers and school leaders are at the centre of the educational reforms of the National policy; therefore, induction-level training must be made compulsory for all newly recruited teachers. Furthermore, CPD programmes must especially address the professional development needs of the teachers working in rural, remote and disadvantaged areas. 

Schools’ administrators should provide a supportive environment to teachers for attending CPD activities conducted in blended mode, giving enough choices to teachers according to their differential needs.

Furthermore, a comprehensive teacher’s training and development programme will help to achieve the following: 

  • Understanding education, school, and society and their interrelations 
  • Understanding issues of knowledge construction, curriculum development and pedagogical transaction in an inclusive classroom setup
  • Understanding the importance of language, the centrality of language in learning, MLTs
  • Understanding the nature of different school subjects, and their interrelations with other subjects

In Conclusion, 

Teachers bear the responsibility of nurturing a bright future for not just students but the nation as well. But to generate favourable outcomes, teachers must obtain excellent training, as pointed out by NEP 2020. In fact, the policy highlights several mechanisms, including continuous professional development, to ensure their preparation and growth.