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Quality Improvement of Teachers Training In

Higher Education
Dr. Syed Murtaza Fazl Ali

ABSTRACT
Education is globally being perceived on the stake of critical significance, capable
of modifying the economic services and transforming the dream of million for a
better quality of life into an achievable reality. In this 21 st century the challenge to
improve the quality of higher education in the wake of globalization seems overwhelming. Teacher is the kingpin for any educational-system all over the world.
In India, the early 1980s witnessed the need for improvement in the quality and
relevance of higher education. Teacher education systems have expanded
manifold. The number of teachers has increased enormously; unfortunately, the
quality has not necessary improved. This is the matter of serious concern.
Different commission set up at different times have emphasized the need for
improving the quality of teachers in higher education through proper training.
There is at present no provision for the professional initiation of a University or
college teacher. He generally receives no initiation into his duties and no
orientation to his profession. The tradition in India has been to regard training for
college teachers unnecessary. Every newly appointed teacher need proper training
and regular orientation and specialization and guidance by senior professors. With
the passage of time the nature of teaching job has acquired scientific dimensions
throwing new demands and challenges before teachers. The need for teacher
training in higher education has been felt for a long time, but no significant
attempts have been made in this direction except a few in-service programs
through UGC Academic Staff Colleges. The intent of this paper is to highlight and
stress the need and significance of the quality improvement of teachers training in
higher education to identify the set of skills that are fundamental to safe and
responsible teaching. The time has come when we should assess the achievements
of the existing schemes and discuss future strategies for professional preparation
of college / University teachers.

INTRODUCTION
As we have as already entered the 21st Century, The challenge to improve the quality of
Higher Education in the wake of globalization seems over-whelming to be a daunting task
set against a ticking clock. Teacher is the kingpin for any educational system all over the
world and India is no exception to this. Unfortunately a significant proportion of the
University\College faculty in India is isolated from professional development
opportunities and networks that are crucial for the successful teaching outcomes at higher
education level. Professional development through intensive in-service training can
greatly enhance the capacity of university\college teachings in operationalizing the
innovative concept of teaching-learning process.
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Many education commissions identified the training needs and a team of experts has to
carry out work to develop modules, advanced teaching skills and training material
encompassing various emerging areas keeping in view the national and global
perspectives. It would be a major effort by Govt. if comprehensive teaching learning
material is to be developed at the international standard for training of university/college
teachers. When the advanced teaching skills are translated into practice in the actual
training of university/college teachers will go a long way in equipping the teachers with
teaching and communication skills, which would ultimately meet the need of quality
teaching at Higher Education level in India.
In India, the early 1980s witnessed the need for improvement in the quality and
relevance of higher education. As a key input in the quality, the improvement of the status
of teachers and their contribution becomes a matter of inquiry. The two commissions
were set up on teachers in school and higher education, in 1981-82. They attempted
research studies to analyze the status of teachers and their role in improving quality. The
commission on teachers in higher education attempted research studies to analyze various
aspects of teaching profession.
A program of high priority in the proposed educational reconstruction, therefore, is to
feedback a significant proportion of the talented men and women from colleges into the
educational system. For this purpose, it is necessary to make an intensive and continuous
effort to raise the economic, social and professional status of teachers in order to attract
young men and women of ability to the profession, and to retain them in it as dedicated,
enthusiastic and contented workers. There can however, be no doubt the provision of
adequate remuneration, opportunities for professional advancement, and favourable
conditions of service and work, are the major programs, which will help to initiate and
maintain this feedback process.
Higher education in qualitative terms in depicting a still agonizing scenario that has been
aptly captured by the Ramamurti Committee Report (1990) There are serious complaints
at all level about the lack of responsiveness in the system. Academic activities are at a
low ebb and the academic calendar itself gets seriously disrupted almost every year. The
system of higher education continues to encourage memorization of facts and
regurgitation rather than creativity.
The world that teachers are preparing young people to enter is changing so rapidly, and
because the teaching skills required are evolving likewise, no initial course of teacher
education can be sufficient to prepare a teacher for career of 30 or 40 years. In some
countries teachers are required to reapply periodically for their license to teach, and in so
doing, to prove that they still have the requisite skills.
Although the slogan that Higher education is a non-merit good seems to have lost its
pitch, the govt. dont hesitate pleading their inability to meet the rising demand for higher
education.
The under-current of concern for quality has always accompanied enthusiasm for
expansion of educational facilities. The statutory university Grants commission came to
be established in the year 1956 for coordinating and maintaining standards of university
education. This step was taken in pursuance to Radha Krishnan Commission Report to
replace the university grants committee that was setup in 1945 consequent to Sargent
Committee Report.
In 1987, Academic staff colleges (ASC) were set up to provide opportunities for general
orientation and subject refresher programme for academic staff under the scheme, more
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than hundred thousand teachers have received orientation and subject refresher programs
of 3-4 week duration. Such measures are expected to have greater impact on the quality of
teaching and learning in the system of higher education in the country.
It is heartening to note that the growing concern of the UGC for building quality
assurance in Higher Education Several Schemes and Programs of quality improvement
have been launched by the UGC such as Faculty Improvement Program (FIP), University
Leadership Programme (ULP), National Educational Testing (NET), Academic Staff
College (ASC) and Autonomous Colleges (AC). Above all, we have National Assessment
and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Except for NAAC, all the other schemes have been
in operation for quite some time now, but these have not been able to make more than
marginal impact on the quality of higher education. As a result, we have the paradox of
falling standards of Higher Education and research inspite of multiple schemes of quality
improvement. In fact, credit is due to NAAC for generating quality consciousness in a
manner as never before in higher education circles.
Teachers with adequate training, competence and desirable attitude contribute their share
in the invaluable activity of nation building. The quality of these teachers mostly depends
on the quality of the formal training they receive before joining the profession. The
quality of teacher Education rests on the competence of teacher educators who are
responsible for the producing teachers with requisite professional skills.
Challenges in Teacher Education:
A historical overview of the recommendations of the committees and
commissions on education and teacher education reveals that importance of training of
master trainers has consistently been ignored.
Since teacher preparation follows a top down approach, maintaining quality in the
teachers performance depends on the professional preparation of teacher educators.
Teacher education, in turn, need quality training from master trainers. The teacher
preparation programme seems to be an all purpose training activity where a post graduate
candidate with a B.Ed. degree can teach at all levels of school education.
The NCTE publication entitled policy perspectives in teacher education states, This view
of the professional preparation program as a linearly arranged one makes the whole
programme ineffective.
Teachers in higher education have the responsibility of generating knowledge base both
from theoretical understanding and field experience. It is unfortunate indeed that
knowledge explosion has made very little influence on teacher preparation.
Strategies for quality Assurance in Teacher Education:
The present age of information explosion necessitates the teacher to be
multifaceted personalities. A balance should be maintained between attempts to make
teacher education a broad based one and a specialized programme. A thorough assessment
of the existing teacher education institutions, their programs and teachers in the colleges
and universities, for explicit criteria of quality should be made. The NCTE publication
suggests several activities to meet the challenges faced by teacher education. Providing
periodic refresher courses, professional enrichment sandwich courses, orientation in
emerging areas like special education, value education, environmental education, human
rights education are necessary. Active participation in workshops and state / national level
seminars should be encouraged by all possible means. Research projects must find a place
in all teacher education institutions.
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Ericac, Boling, (2005), revealed that teachers must be prepared to provide technology
supported learning opportunities for their students. In an effort to support pre-service and
practicing teachers in meeting these initiatives, teachers are now faced with new
challenges to prepare graduates who are capable and committed to using technology as a
learning tools (Howland and Wedman 2004, P240). Research has revealed that teacher
educators dont always have the knowledge, skills or dispositions necessary for
meaningfully integrating technology into their classes in innovative and trans-formative
ways.
Charles Lauis Jacobs (1928): Studied that among the most perplexing problems pressing
for solution in educational circles is that of securing better prepared teachers. William
Cahill (2005) revealed that learning for the teachers is always a matter of catching up. It
is unfortunate, that in India we really do not have a nationwide teachers training programs
in higher education.
Debnath (1971), reported that professional training was significant determinant of
teaching efficiently, teaching was significant criterion variable was studied by Singh
(1982), Bhagoliwal (1982), Grewal (1976), Gupta (1976), studies social economic status,
teaching be sound predictors of teacher effectiveness.
The University Education Commission (1948-49) pointed out that, the Universities one
finding it hard to retain their best teachers and their position is far from satisfactory due to
lack of training programs. According to Secondary Education Commission (1952 53),
We are, however convinced that the most important factor in the contemplated
educational reconstruction is the teacher his personal training.
Education Commission (1964-66) rightly stated that quality of education is influenced
most by quality, competence and character of teachers. In order to attract talented men
and women towards teaching profession, we should try to raise economic, social and
professional status of teachers. In addition to adequate remuneration and favourable
working conditions, enrichment of their teaching skills and furtherance of the level of
competence is of paramount importance.
National Commission on Teachers-Il for higher education (1983-85) admits that,
There is a wide spread feeling that no profession has suffered such down grading as the
teaching profession. The present state of affairs is highly unsatisfactory and calls for
speedy remedial action. National Policy on Education (1986), stated that on the whole
the status of teachers has diminished during the last few decades due to lowering of
standards of teacher training. The status of teachers has had a direct bearing on the quality
of education.
Ministry of Education (1964), the education commission (1966), NCERT (1978) have
pointed out various short comings of existing programs of teacher preparation. The
common denominator in all the documents refers to the yawing gap between theory and
practice. The programs are not only heavily weighted in favour of theory, what little
practice is envisaged in the curriculum is considered merely as an appendage. The present
situation of teaching has also been criticized by the Education Commission (1966).
The real problems are that we do not have a reliable system to prepare beginning teacher
and we lack the professional infrastructure to develop teachers skills once they start
teaching. There is a need to radically improve the professional training of teachers, using
what we know about the practice of teaching and its substantial demands. To gain and
maintain the attention of a class to accurately diagnose specific student confusions. To
implement the key objectives of RUSA which are to improve class, equity and quality
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improvement in teaching-learning and research in higher education. Quality education is


related to the quality of the work undertaken by a teacher, so continuous professional
development (CPD) is the process by which teachers reflect upon their competencies,
keep them update and develop them further.
A few suggestions are made here in the hope that universities will drawn up their own
programs for orientation of their teachers taken these suggestions into consideration.
Newly appointed lecturers should be given some time and opportunity to acclimatize
themselves to the institution, to learn the traditions and pattern of work, to get to know
their colleagues and students. They should be expected to study the syllabus carefully, to
prepare a detailed programme for the teaching work they propose to undertake, to draw
up their schemes of lectures, consult the library and select books to be recommended to
students.
They should be encouraged to attend the lectures of some senior teachers of their subject
and study their methods of teaching and way of handling their students. After the lecture,
the senior teacher can discuss his methods and techniques with his junior colleagues who
should be free to express their opinions and raise questions.
Every university and where possible, every college, should have regular orientation
courses organized for a few weeks early in the session in which some new and some older
teachers participate. The best teachers of the institution as well as some distinguished
teachers from outside should discuss with them the outstanding problems of teaching,
research and discipline as well as the mechanics of the profession.
It may be possible in the bigger universities or a group of universities, to place these
activities on a permanent and continuing basis by establishing something like a staff
college where teachers from all affiliated and constituent colleges as well as the university
will be brought together for orientation, discussions, seminars, workshops, etc. The staff
college or conference center should also produce, in cooperation with other members of
the faculty, occasional brochures, book-lists, guidance materials etc, of use of all teachers.

CONCLUSION
To overview the whole situation and the present circumstances it will not be out of place
to mention that in this 21st century in the wake of globalization the quality of higher
education needs to be improved to attain the desired objectives and purposes at this level.
Teachers being the heart of the whole educational system need proper training to improve
their qualities and competence for doing just to their job. Not only the provision of
adequate remuneration and favourable working condition but the enrichment of their
teaching skills and furtherance of level of competence is of paramount importance. But it
is very unfortunate to see that the number of teachers has increased enormously but the
quality has not necessarily improved. No doubt the different commissions and committees
have not only emphasized the need of teacher training but also given their
recommendations from time to time but there was lake of implementation. The
recommendation and suggestions of education commission 1964- 66, national policy on
education, UGC commission its need to implemented in letter and spirit. If we want to
make this higher education fruitful and quite according to the demands of this changing
world. I dont think it necessary, however, to propose that fulfill-aged training colleges
should be established for college teachers though it is possible. For the present I suggest
that the Universities individually and co-operatively give their attention to this problem
and work out practicable methods of solving the present crises. The services of UGC
Academic Staff Colleges are not sufficient in this regard. We have to do much more work
and there is need for an institutionalized system of teacher training for the improvement
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of qualities and competence of teachers in higher education to meet the new demands and
challenges of this scientific world. It is necessary that the government has to provide
ample financial assistance and the Universities have not only to award degrees and
conduct examinations but have to take steps in this regard.

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