Khagendra Kumar, Editor

Khagendra Kumar, Chief Editor


Globalization has far reaching implications on economic, social and political systems of developing and poor countries. Corporate and private sectors are taking keen interests in exploring profitable markets in developing countries with high population like India leading to increased disparity and diminished welfare concern for common and deprived citizens in the society. Mushrooming growth of private teacher education institutions in a poor state like Bihar is a classic example of extent of sabotage to an educational system can be done by private sectors. The number of private secondary teacher education institutions went from less than two digit number to nearly two hundred within seven to eight years. Majority of them have come up within four- five years. The state concern can be gauged from the fact that only one government secondary teacher Education College has admitted hundred students in its B.Ed. programme from a long gap of over fifteen years another revived few years back appeared to be in trouble and failed to admit students in the current session. Hence it can be inferred that Bihar Government appeared to have abdicated its responsibility of preparing teachers for secondary and senior secondary schools in favour of private sector. Not only this in absence of any state policy regarding admission and fee structure, most of these institutions continue with admission of students throughout the academic session and even beyond that and collect hefty amount from them. Although most of them have impressive building infrastructure but almost all conditions for quality teaching is absent. The state has no policy regarding admission, fee structure, appointment, service condition of employees etc. The decision of the state government to end up with regular cadre of school teachers and appoint teachers on low consolidated salary has affected teacher education institutions in terms of intake of meritorious and committed students.

The authors in this paper have tried to reveal the present state of teacher education in Bihar. The paper also impinges upon shrinking role of the state and domination of private sector without social commitment and quality concern.



Key Words

Teacher education, privatization, globalization and NCTE


Privatisation of Higher Education

Since the impact of privatization is penetrating all sectors of the economy, it is bound to affect education sector as well. Conventionally, education has for a long period been regarded as a public good, producing a huge set of externalities (mainly positive externalities), benefiting not only individuals but also the whole society. In recent years, however, the growth in market forces and more importantly international law on trade in services tend to question or simply gloss over the long-cherished, well-established view of many that higher education is a public good and to propose and legitimize the sale and purchase of education, as if it is a commodity meant for trade.

Higher education confers a broad array of benefits on the individuals, and also on the whole society. These are well recognized by all, including economists, starting with Adam Smith, who also pleaded for the same reason for public financing of education. Treating higher education as a commodity is much more complex and dangerous than it appears on the face of it. According to Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, privatisation of higher education can affect higher education system in a variety of ways:

First and foremost, by treating higher education as a commodity that can be bought and

sold in the domestic and international markets, the public good character of higher education may disappear altogether. Instead of serving public interests, higher education might become disengaged from the public interest and might become an instrument that serves individual narrow interests.

Second, the commoditization of higher education would terribly weaken governments' commitment to and public funding of higher education, and promote a rapid growth in the privatization of higher education. Privatization, specifically profit-seeking private institutions of higher education, might become the order of the day with all its ramifications, converting an institution that is basically a non-profit institution into a profit seeking institution.

Third, treating higher education as a marketable product may severely affect knowledge

production and will lead to "knowledge capitalism".

Fourthly, knowledge is a public good. Higher education adds to society's stock of knowledge, which is an important externality. If research and knowledge are treated as private goods, and access to them is restricted, new knowledge creation becomes impossible as new knowledge is necessarily built on old knowledge.

Privatisation of Higher Education within Indian academia, there has been two contradictory positions on the issue of privatisation. The first not only accepts but also promotes the policy of private control of education on the grounds that the state has no longer any funds for higher education and that through private initiatives alone there could be an improvement in accountability and efficiency in the management of colleges and universities, which are in a state of complete decay. Some commentators have, instead, argued that one part of the contention is wrong - the state has funds for public institutions, but has no political will to mobilise and utilise them in the best interest of the public. Thus this position is highly sceptical of the role played by private sector in higher education suggesting that the state is the only body, which can define and manage public goods. It argues that because corporate houses or private trusts work for their own interests, there is no reason to believe that would eschew doing that in case of higher education. This can be seen from the report of Ambani-Birla committee set up by the prime minister's office.

Privatisation and Mushrooming Growth of Teacher Education in India

The key challenge facing Indian school education is to institute a system to provide quality education. A good teacher is critical to the process of imparting quality education. It is widely acknowledged, and buttressed by empirical research and experiments, that teaching inputs, in the classroom as well as in the form of supplemental inputs, have a very big role in improving the learning outcome of students. Currently, we are faced with a shortage of teachers, and inadequately qualified and poorly prepared teaching staff. Teacher recruitment in most states remained frozen for many years. Limited attention to teacher recruitment is evident in the proportion of single-teacher schools. Official estimates put the shortage of teachers in elementary government schools at over 1 million to meet RTE requirements and fill the current backlog of vacancies (National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) and MHRD). Faced with the shortage of trained teachers and the huge demand created by the universalization of education policy, schools have been resorting to.

In an attempt to capitalize on this high demand for trained teachers, in eighties, two universities, one in Haryana and the other in Tamil Nadu began to offer B.Ed. programme through correspondence mode on a massive scale admitting students from all over the country in thousands every year who were later joined by another university in Rajasthan. Soon it led to an outcry against these programmmes as these programmes were found seriously compromising with the quality of training. It was argued that this unwanted trend in teacher education which may further multiply if not checked, could be curbed only by granting a statutory status to the NCTE as was recommended by the National Commission on Teachers and promised in the NPE 1986. The pre-service teacher training correspondence courses of these universities provided an immediate and strong raison de'etre for action in this regard and it did not take much time and effort to get the non-statutory NCTE converted into a statutory NCTE. In 1993, the Parliament approved the NCTE Act and the Council started functioning from 1995 with a mandate to ensure planned and coordinated development of teacher education in the country and lay down and enforce norms and standards for all teacher education programmes. The Council took up several steps to tone up and regulate the teacher education system and was able to bring a semblance of discipline in the system in its early years of inception. An important fall out of the announcement of the regulatory norms and standards was that the Council could not stop anybody who is satisfying these norms from setting up a teacher education institution (TEI) in any part of the country, as in the absence of any other qualifying condition for starting a TEI, citizens had every right to pursue any lawful profession or occupation as guaranteed in the Constitution including setting up of TEIs. As a result of policy change, the government generally encouraged privatization and liberalization in every sector of economy including education from early nineties. Consequently, a large number of private players, not necessarily philanthropists, entered into the field of teacher education, as they did in engineering and other areas of education also, and soon they substantially outnumbered the state run TEIs. As of today, around ninety percent of the teacher training capacity in the country lies in private and self financed sector. In a free democratic society, there may not be and should not be any objection to private participation in organizing education. But the issue here relates with the object of provision of free and compulsory quality education by the state of which teacher education and development is an integral part and hence, for the sake of providing free quality education to all children, it must be the state's duty to arrange for quality teacher education at its own initiative and investment, instead of leaving it so much to private players who are generally guided by commercial and profit making motive in almost every field of their participation. Nowhere in the world teacher education has been given in private hands on such a massive scale as it has been done here. Generally, in other places it is arranged and maintained by the state as a part of its responsibility towards school education.

At the start of the NCTE in 1995 there were less than 800TEIs in the country (NCTE, 1996). These were mostly in government and aided sectors. However, they were unevenly distributed across states and levels. Their number rose to around1900 by the year 2000 and 2500by 2003 (NCTE,2001 & 2003). But during 2004-08, a whopping number of 8650 TEIs mushroomed with the concurrence of NCTE, out of which 2439 TEIs were recognized in 2007-08 alone and thus their number by 2008 jumped to more than eleven thousand TEIs (NCTE,2008). Some experts hold a section of teacher educators themselves partly responsible for this uncontrolled expansion who, 'for the sake of fringe benefits bestowed on them by private players, facilitated their recognition' (Malhotra,2008). The claim even though unsubstantiated, may not be controverted. Progress in TEIs again remained regionally unbalanced and did not equally cater to all levels of education. The expansion mostly concentrated in states like AP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, MP, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, HP and UP, and on ETE and B.Ed. courses. Due to galloping growth of TEIs during 2004-08, the institutions preparing teacher educators could not keep pace with the increased demand of faculty as their capacity did not expand commensurately because the government did not pay any attention on their education and the private sector perhaps did not find it a viable area of investment. In the International Seminar on Elementary Teacher Education, it was rightly observed that though preparation of teachers depends largely on the quality and preparation of teacher educators, this is one of the least talked about issues in the discourse on teacher preparation (MHRD, 2010 b). Perhaps, buckling under the pressure of the strong private TEI lobby, NCTE found out a novel solution to the problem of shortage of teacher educators, and in 2007 it downgraded the faculty qualification for TEIs from M.Ed. to B.Ed. which led to a large scale recruitment of faculty possessing the lowered qualification, some even removed their faculty with M.Ed. degrees and replaced them with B.Ed. pass outs as this saved them some more bucks in their salary. However, scaling down of faculty qualification invited an all round criticism from educationists and the government, as this was going to cause further damage to the quality of teacher preparation at the hands of the fly-by-night TEIs mushroomed recently. Baffled by the bulk recognition of self financed TEIs granted during the last few years and by the reports of rampant malpractices followed in these institutions in admissions, teaching and examinations, the government decided to appoint a committee under the chairmanship of Sudeep Bannerjee in 2007 to study the issue and suggest necessary action. The committee came to the conclusion that the NCTE had moved away from its mandate of ensuring quality teacher education and was preoccupied with sanctioning institutions. It paid scant attention to quality of training and curriculum while fostering privatization in teacher education. It also presided over lopsided development as a result of which some states were overcrowded with TEIs while they were few and far between in others. The government also reported in the Parliament in 2008 that the Bannerjee Committee had observed that the functioning of NCTE was not commensurate with the objectives of planned and coordinated development of teacher education and recommended that NCTE Act should be repealed and that the government has accepted the recommendation. So, the very reason for creation of statutory NCTE in 1993 (mushrooming of sub-standard correspondence B.Ed. courses), had now become the justification for its closure (mushrooming of TEIs and associated rampant malpractices). The government got the nod of the Cabinet and prepared the Repeal Bill in 2008. In the meanwhile, some senior academics questioned the wisdom of the government in closing down the Council for faulty decisions of its functionaries, which was granted a statutory status after a long struggle of two decades in 1973 and had a legitimate purpose to serve which continues to be relevant and valid. While the Bill was pending before the Cabinet, giving a second thought to its earlier decision, the government went ahead to appoint a fresh team of top administrators of the Council in 2008 perhaps, with a view to take another chance to reform the teacher education system through some stringent mandated actions by the Council. Though the baggage for the new team was very heavy and full of challenges, it was like a can full of worms, cleaning of which was a daunting task, yet the effort brought the anticipated results during the next three years and the Council succeeded in enforcing its mandate with a firm hand, initiated many reforms and contributed in improving the quality of teacher education in the country in several ways as explained later.

The most visible impact of successful initiatives taken by the new team of administrators at the Council during 2008-11 was that the government got convinced that, if there is a will there is away, and that, the functioning of the Council can improve and its objectives can be achieved and the system of teacher education can be reformed with Council's sincere intervention. After having observed the distinct changes and improvements brought in by the new team in the working of the NCTE and for the good of the teacher education system, the government decided to put the NCTE Repeal Bill on hold. And having been convinced that the reform attempts have been made in the right earnest, the ministers of HRD on several occasions between 2009-11 also informed the members of Parliament about the recent stern actions and reform initiatives taken by the NCTE to clear the mess and improve the quality of teacher education in the country, as is evident from the record of proceedings of the Parliament for that period. Some of these initiatives taken by the NCTE during 2008-11 that ensured planned and coordinated development of teacher education and impinged on the quality of teacher education have briefly been discussed here.

Planned and coordinated development of teacher education is a precondition for its quality, and it demands that chaotic and lopsided development of TEIs and TE courses should be replaced by a need based expansion of TE facility and that in this process a close coordination should take place with consumers or the state school authorities and other stake holders so that the need of different level teachers can be defined and estimated correctly and addressed accordingly in years to come. This also means that the regulatory authority should be able to say 'no' to those who wish, and also have the norm based resources to establish TEIs, in places where there is no need of more such institutions as there are already enough of them to meet the needs of the state's schools in the foreseeable future. In a democracy such a decision cannot be taken unless it is supported by sound arguments and reliable data which satisfies all canons of justice and is not found violating the fundamental rights of any citizen to pursue a profession. NCTE got the study of demand and supply of trained teachers and teacher educators in each state expedited on a fast track and, based on initial estimates available, boldly decided that in those states where sufficient training capacity for a particular level of teachers already exists, no application for a new programme/ institution for that level will be accepted. So, for the first time in the history of NCTE, blanket ban orders on opening new TEIs/additional units were notified by the Council for specific courses, first in seven and then in thirteen states during 2008 and 2011. Thirty volumes of scientifically produced reports of the demand and supply estimates of teachers were also published during 2009-10 separately for each state and UT for reference by all concerned and for producing them before the courts as an authentic basis of the ban decision which was challenged by many institutions in different courts of law unsuccessfully. This step greatly helped in checking the unplanned development of TEIs and commercialization of teacher education. Had this kind of detailed need estimation been done by the NCTE right at its birth, between1993-95, teacher education development would not have been so muddled and problematic now. In states/courses which suffered from shortage of capacity, concerned authorities were encouraged to set up additional training facilities. For example, in UP, where huge gaps in demand and supply of, say elementary teachers, existed and there was no likely-hood of boosting the supply of trained teachers and of bridging the gap in this area in a short period, and where supply of other level teachers, say secondary level, was in excess of the demand in the state because in the past, too many TEIs for this level were opened, the problem was addressed by allowing setting up of new elementary TEIs and also by designing an intensive course of six months for giving a detailed orientation in elementary school teaching to differently trained teachers and, through an amendment in teacher qualifications, such trained persons were also made eligible for appointment in elementary schools. Similarly, in West Bengal a special bridge course of one year duration was designed and approved for a given number of primary teachers who were earlier trained only for one year by the PTTIs.

In the past, arrangements were also made with IGNOU to facilitate in-service training of those teachers who were earlier appointed without any professional qualification, especially in the north eastern states and in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. In 2009-10, NCTE got evaluated the curriculum, study material and delivery arrangements made by IGNOU for training of untrained teachers in these states which revealed serious gaps and deficiencies in all the aspects of this programme. NCTE asked IGNOU to remove all these deficiencies within a time frame and revise its curriculum and study material in the light of the new curriculum framework for teacher education, before any decision could be taken by the Council on IGNOU's pending request to renew approval of this programme. The step was necessary to ensure quality of training of untrained working teachers.

Monitoring of recognized TEIs as provided in the Act was also carried out on a large scale and many sub-standard TEIs and those indulging in mal-practices and were offering poor quality training were identified and when they failed to improve their ways after an opportunity was given to them, their recognition was cancelled, despite their well orchestrated opposition to this step and their smear campaign against the NCTE authorities. The Council was constrained to take this extreme action against several hundred TEIs, just in the larger interest of quality of teacher education and quality of education in schools. The action led to a salutary effect and forced many other sub-standard TEIs to improve themselves, lest they are also closed down. In order to involve the stakeholders in maintaining a public vigil on the TEIs for their continued adherence to the laid down norms of infrastructure and faculty and keep a check on their academic performance and financial records, NCTE in collaboration with C-DAC launched two portals, one for TEIs and the other for the faculty appointed in these TEIs and uploading of all basic information accurately on these portals was made mandatory for all TEIs. The TEIs and the faculty were allotted UIDs on their hosting of the required information on the portals correctly. The soft ware developed by the C-DAC was smart enough to quickly detect repeat booking of any faculty in more than one TEIs, a malpractice followed in many TEIs earlier, and would refuse to accept him/her on the faculty profile of the TEI and will not allot him/her any UID. This initiative not only made the TEIs more transparent and conscious of the stakeholders' vigil but also checked the malpractice of fake appointments of faculty in these institutions and forced them to improve the status of infrastructure, faculty, and student performance which ultimately had a bearing on the quality of teaching learning. It was felt that for achieving the objective of effective training in TEIs, constant monitoring of their activities and processes is necessary which can be carried out more frequently and regularly by the affiliating bodies who are equally responsible for achieving this goal. One time monitoring in two to three years by the NCTE may not have the optimum impact on quality of training and institution's performance. Though these bodies were urged to collaborate in this valuable exercise, hardly a few of them in states like, Haryana, Gujarat, and AP could visibly participate in this task.

The regulatory framework and norms and standards help create ground level conditions for quality education in TEIs. Ambiguous and poor norms provide scope for interpretation and manipulation which ultimately affect quality of education. The faculty norms, which were tinkered with in 2007, and which had invited severe criticism from all concerned except the self financed TEIs who were the real gainers of this machination, were thoroughly reviewed and revised and along with other norms and standards and quickly notified in 2009 which put the faculty qualification related controversy and criticism at rest and also made other norms also more rational and realistic. The enhanced qualifications for faculty satisfied the UGC norms as well. Some other norms related to faculty requirement which addressed genuine hardships of the TEIs were also rationalized. The Council also increased the size of unit of intake in M.Ed. programme without altering faculty requirement so that out turn of qualified faculty could be enhanced and faculty shortage problem in TEIs could partly be taken care. It also urged the universities without department of education, to set up these departments and start PG and research programmes in education to further improve supply of qualified faculty for TEIs. The faculty requirement in TEIs offering both, UG and PG programmes were also rationalized and marginally reduced. Similarly, land and infrastructure norms were also made more clear and rational keeping in view the constraints of urban and metropolitan areas. An important decision that had a direct bearing on quality of training was regarding imposition of a ceiling of 300 students that a TEI would optimally be allowed to admit in all its approved TE programmes. Conditions of NAAC accreditation and maintenance of a time lag for additional intake and new courses were also laid to serve the purpose of better quality of training. This was done in the wake of reports that during 2004-08 many TEIs got two and more programmes or units of the same course approved from NCTE in a single year without stressing for any gestation time after their establishment and without gaining any experience in organizing the first TE course or first unit of a course successfully. The size of many self financed TEIs was also found out to be quite unwieldy as, in the absence of any ceiling norms, they got approval for 500 to 700 seats in different courses in a short span of two to three years which adversely affected the implementation of curriculum and organization of practice teaching in a large number of schools. Tightening up of the norms in this regard, therefore, was necessary for enhancing the quality of delivery and effectiveness of training.

NCTE was conscious of the fact that there are substantial variations in the quality of teachers graduating from various TEIs particularly those located in the self-financed sector and that, those coming out of the substandard TEIs would adversely affect quality of school education once they join schools as teachers. With a view to stimulate TEIs to provide better training to their students so that they are readily accepted by the school system as competent teachers and also to provide a level playing field to all the teachers in the employment market, in 2010, the NCTE introduced Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) for elementary school teachers as a part of their essential qualification which is conducted at the state and CBSE levels as per the guidelines and design laid down by the NCTE, under the supervision of a monitoring committee to be appointed by the Council. In 2011, the Council also approved in principle a similar test, Secondary Teacher Eligibility Test (STET), for appointment of secondary teachers. The presumption in introducing TET or STET is that, for the sake of its reputation and survival in the market, every TEI would try to ensure that maximum number of its pass outs are able to clear these tests and for this it would pay more attention on quality of teaching and training and improve its performance. So far, hardly ten to fifteen percent pass outs of TEIs have been able to crack TET which is not a very good commentary on the performance of these institutions, though it is not unexpected also. However, TET is expected to slowly force the institutions to improve or else become unpopular among prospective admission seekers and ultimately become unviable and disappear from the scene.

Quality of education in any institution primarily depends on quality of curriculum it follows and quality and dedication of its teaching personnel. Teacher education curriculum is closely linked with developments that take place at the school as well as societal levels in terms of curriculum and pedagogy, policy changes and other trends. NCTE does not provide any centrally planned and developed curriculum for different teacher education (TE) programmes as it believes, and rightly so, that curriculum should be context based and flexible and should be developed in decentralized manner by stakeholders themselves who have a better understanding of their needs and contexts, within the framework provided for this purpose by the Council. NCTE, therefore, brings out Curriculum Framework for the benefit and guidance of TEIs and their examining bodies that are responsible to plan curriculum for institutions affiliated to them and leaves it to them to draw their own curricula for different teacher education programmes. While preparing the framework for TE curriculum, the Council looks at the latest curriculum framework brought out for school education, expectations and demands of this framework from teachers, other issues and developments impinging on school education and young children like, right to education or sustainable development, etc. and new trends in pedagogical science and evaluation. An updated curriculum framework for teacher education has important implications for quality of teacher training and hence, it needs to be brought out by the NCTE at regular intervals. The last Curriculum Framework for TE was bought out in 1998. Its revision was long awaited not only due to the time lag since 1998 but also on account of two major developments, one, that the NCERT had brought out National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in 2005 and two, that Right to Education Act was passed in 2009 which required teachers to shoulder specific responsibilities for effective enforcement of the RTE. Through a nationwide consultative process and in continuation of some earlier attempts in this regard, the Council developed the new Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) which was released by the Minister of HRD in early 2010 for adoption or adaptation by the concerned bodies and institutions in the states. The new framework stresses that future teachers must be professional in their approach towards their calling and humane towards learners which would be achieved by professionalization of teacher education in true sense of the term. The Framework presents a detailed outline of the new TE curriculum and broad contours of the entire continuum of teacher education and professional development. It describes the expectations from elementary school teachers (as also from other teachers) which in turn has several important implications for their preparation. Some of the expectations include: Sensitivity to the diversity and to the thinking of children, and not considering them merely as receivers of knowledge; belief in the ability of all children to learn; and the ability to construct active and participatory learning experiences situated in real contexts (MHRD, 2010). As a part of the strategy for implementation of NCFTE, several initiatives for advocacy were taken and series of orientation meets in different states to develop awareness and sensitization for the new framework and to encourage its adaptation. With a view to facilitate the implementation and adaptation of the Framework, suggestive syllabi of different TE courses were prepared and uploaded on the NCTE's website for reference of institutions, and for the benefit and help of teachers, teacher educators and student teachers, and simultaneously, development of quality reference reading material for different areas of study at different levels was also planned. As a part of the process of professionalization of teacher education, the entire training was proposed to be more rigorous and of longer duration, which would follow back and forth model. A code of professional ethics for teachers was also developed in consultation with various associations and federations of teachers for adoption by them voluntarily in their professional life.

The processes to be followed by TEIs for effective implementation of curriculum require various academic and instructional resources to be available with them. It is often seen that many TEI managements have no clear idea as to what constitutes good instructional resources and what should be the contents of different resource centers. In 2009, NCTE developed a detailed Manual for Instructional Resources in TEIs and disseminated it among the institutions which greatly helped them organize and update their teaching resources and use them for imparting training more effectively. Similarly, in 2009 the Council also produced a valuable edited volume, Teacher Education-Reflections towards Policy Formulation, for reference of teachers, educators, educational researchers and policy makers and widely circulated it among the TEIs. It contained high quality thematic papers contributed by renowned experts in the field which informed the practitioners about the status, issues and latest trends in almost all the aspects of teacher education. The new curriculum requires teachers and teacher educators to be savvy in ICT skills for their effective integration in teaching and training. Under the collaborative project, XPDITTE, for teacher educators' empowerment in ICT, more than 2000 TEIs were covered by 2011 and the exercise was continuing. The project was a good example of handholding and support to working teacher educators to improve their teaching competence and performance. Some areas in school teaching like performing and non-performing arts, which have been emphasized under the RTE for affecting all round development of children in schools, were not taken up systematically in many schools by duly qualified teachers for the reason that the Council had not yet framed any norms for training of such teachers. Considering these areas as integral parts of school education, NCTE in 2010, notified norms for training of teachers in both, performing and non performing arts and, to help institutions organize these courses effectively, the Council also developed and disseminated detailed curriculum for the two training programmes.

The Council could pay limited attention to academic support to TEIs due to its preoccupation with regulatory activities and, more importantly, for not having academic resources in its organizational structure. To be able to provide better academic support and research based advocacy to the institutions on continuing basis and help them in reforming the content and practice of teacher education in a more meaningful manner, in 2010, the Council approved creation of some senior and middle level positions of academic advisors for its headquarters as well as for its regional offices and committed their funding from its resources. Although the Council enjoys statutory autonomy yet, the decision needed concurrence of the government before its implementation which could not be received until the supersession of the Council. Induction of full time academic experts in the Council which was visualized earlier also by the Kaul Committee appointed by the government in 2002 for suggesting reforms in the NCTE, would have brought a more visible change in functioning of the Council from being predominantly a regulatory body to a body which is concerned with and provides effective leadership in bringing qualitative change in teacher education.

However, as observed by some experts in teacher education, while the mess was being cleared by the Council against all odds and the things had started moving in the right direction and the new curriculum framework and other initiatives were being recognized and applauded by stakeholders for bringing visible reforms in the teacher education system in the country during the short period of three years, the Council received a rude shock which shattered its plans to take forward the reform process. The entire statutory Council consisting of 43 members who included parliamentarians, working and former vice chancellors, scholars, and other select citizens, was shot down by a single notification, which perhaps conveyed the message that the Council in its present term performed no better or rather worse than what it did during 2004-08 and hence, it deserved this extreme action. The government enjoys abundance of resources and powers. It could have easily singled out and caught the defaulting top official/member of the Council who could have been thrown out and handed out severest exemplary punishment and this way the Council and the momentum of its reform initiatives could have been saved. Stifling the autonomy of the apex bodies of education in the name of accountability kills innovation and initiative and harms the cause of education brunt of which is borne by the people and the country. Today, it is rather frightening to imagine about the power and influence of the vested interests in the education sector that, if not pleased by the decisions of one or two officers in the organization, have the capacity to get the entire body demolished to satisfy their ends and egos. Commenting on the present TE scenario, an educationist observed that the NCTE again lost its head just as it began to take up and respond resolutely and sensibly to important agendas-such as preparing anew teacher education curriculum framework , setting down teacher qualifications to be notified under RTE; and formulating the teacher eligibility test. Some states which had just begun to initiate a review of the state D.Ed. curricula, have now put the processes on hold in response to these confusing signals from the Center (Sarangapani, 2011). The processes must be restarted with a fresh vigour in the larger interest of teacher and school education.

Situation of Teacher Education in Bihar


Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have high percentage of untrained teachers and grossly inadequate teacher education capacity. In Bihar 47% of the teachers are untrained. Annual capacity of D.Ed. and B.Ed. programmes is not more than 8000. Among Indian states Bihar has the worst record of highest percentage of untrained teachers and very high PTR. The increasing need for teachers in these states is not being addressed due to the limited capacity of teacher education institutions. The number of teacher education institutions is insufficient to upgrade the large proportion of untrained or unqualified teachers already in the system and providing adequate opportunities for teachers' continuing professional development. (Report of the Working Group for the 12th Five Year Plan).

During last seven years nearly 3.2 lakh teachers were recruited at a low consolidated salary. The state government has again started the process of recruitment of nearly one lakh teachers in 2013. The number of untrained teachers will increase further as there is acute shortage of trained manpower among women and deprived social groups.

During 1990s there were a few functional institutions teacher training in Bihar. Most of these institutions were closed. During last decade many private B.Ed. colleges came up. The growth became faster during last five years. But intervention of private players is almost nil in opening elementary teacher education (D.Ed./ D.El.Ed.) colleges. Private parties are not interested in opening elementary teacher training colleges as they expect to earn lower profit in comparison to B.Ed. colleges. During last 5-6 years the state government has somehow activated over 50 PTECs and DIETs and measures are taken to start D.El.Ed. programmes in these institutions. In Bihar most of the secondary teacher education institutions are private whereas most of the elementary teacher education institutions are public.

Only four government teacher training (secondary level) colleges are functional and running B.Ed. programme. At present Bihar has over 150 private B.Ed. colleges. These institutions have primary motive to earn profit. Around 20 general constituent colleges are running B.Ed. programme under Self- Financing Scheme (SFS). These colleges also charge hefty amount for SFS B.Ed. programme. In the absence of any state policy regarding admission and fee structure, most of these institutions continue with admission of students throughout the academic session and even beyond that and collect hefty amount from them. It is very difficult for persons from marginal social groups to afford training in private colleges. Although most of them have impressive building infrastructure but almost all conditions for quality teaching is absent. Low salary is the basic criteria for appointment of teachers, rather their quality and merit. Almost all principals and teachers are underpaid and have no administrative or academic freedom to discharge their duties. The state has no policy regarding admission, fee structure, appointment, service condition of employees etc. These private B.Ed colleges harass students to pay more fee than prescribed. Though NCTE has begun the taking care of infrastructural and other technical issues of private TEIs, the issue of faculty, which is most important factor to improve teacher education is yet to be addressed. Some issues regarding this are following:

  • Rights at work: The situations of teacher in private B.Ed. colleges are very bad. On paper they are appointed as permanent teacher but in practice they are treated as contract informal worker. Exploitation of teachers are very common in these colleges. They don't have rights regarding his work which are meant for the teachers of a educational institution.
  • Condition of work (regarding facilities, leave etc.) is very bad.
  • The remuneration of work: Teachers are treated as contract informal worker and is paid very low salary in most of the private colleges of Bihar. Even in Government colleges the condition of adhoc teachers are very bad.
  • There is no equality and inclusion in these organizations.



In India, higher education was traditionally looked after by the government, but after globalisation which started in 1991, private sector has been allowed to share the responsibility. Globalisation always leads economy toward liberalisation and privatisation. Higher education institutions managed by private sector emphasize more on commercial aspect than creation of knowledge which leads to deterioration of quality of education. Private educational institutions are being questioned by educationalists with concerns revolving around quality of education, equality of educational opportunities, and the availability of free education to all etc. Privatisation of education is leading towards commoditification of education. As a result those who can afford the high cost of higher education look forward for the opportunities while the others have to compromise with sub-standard education. If India has to emerge as preferred location for education in the globalizing world it will have to develop a national policy to address the challenges of higher education in general and teacher education in particular. The existing body, NCTE is not taking care of quality concern of teacher education.


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(reproduced from Ideal Research Review)