Schools in the country have been becoming increasingly digital. At the same time, facilitating digital and online education, to an extent, depends on the skills of the teachers.
Various courses are being linked directly to requirements of the industries. Therefore, in this era of transformation, teachers need the necessary education and training, and the Central and various state governments have started working on this.
Experts say that there should be emphasis too on skill development of teachers to meet the goals of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020.
They believe that educational institutions, society, and the governments are required to work together prepare the students for Industry 4.0.
On the other hand, major changes have taken place in the field of education since the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital and distance education has been receiving attention for better education delivery and learning outcomes.
According to the Ministry of Education, over 3 million primary school teachers received digital training during the pandemic, which reflects a fresh progress.
Going ahead, the Ministry has set a target of training more than 50 lakh school teachers through the online portal, National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) Scheme.
According to the Ministry, all 18 training modules of NISHTHA were made available online during the pandemic and have been translated into 10 regional languages including Bengali, Assamese, Bodo, Gujarati, Kannada, Odia, along with Hindi and English.
Anustup Nayak of Central Square Foundation told IANS that educational institutions should focus on training teachers in the coming years.
He said that a standalone teacher training workshop was crucial but not sufficient.
Nayak said: “Teacher training workshop will be more effective when more focus is on demonstration and practice of desired skills, rather than emphasis on theories and principles. In order to change the behaviour of a teacher through teacher training, it is necessary to follow up with classroom observation, coaching and regular feedback.”
Gaurav Goyal, CEO of Toprankers, underlined the need for the skill development and enhancement of digital skills of teachers in the increasingly digital schools of today.
He said that armed with such knowledge, the teachers would be able to connect with students with tools like gaming and provide an immersive learning experience.
According to Goyal, educational institutions can emphasise teaching skills, along with the core curriculum in line with the advancement in technology, which would help the teachers to handle new dimensions of communication and learning with students easily.
Experts believe that it would be necessary to start workshops and courses for teachers keeping in view the special needs of children in 2023.
Such training programmes will result in a positive and inclusive learning environment and a new learning experience.
Radhika Shrivastava, Executive Director, Fortune Institute of International Business, said: “Every profession in the world undergoes changes or reforms to become better. Education is no exception, teachers play a vital role in the education of students and it is very important that they are well prepared and knowledgeable in their subject.”
She added: “They should have a good understanding of current business trends and work processes. Also, it requires necessary skills and strategies to teach these concepts to the students.”
Shrivastava said that by benefitting from a good teacher training programme, teachers will be aware of the latest research and best practices in professional education and will be more able in engaging and supporting their students.
She added that by such training, schools will be able to attract and retain high quality teachers, resulting in better student learning outcomes.
On the other hand, due to the Centre’s initiatives, like NISHTHA, the quality of school education will increase through integrated teacher training.
But at the same time, there is a long way to go in this direction, with the joint efforts of central and state governments, educational institutions and society.