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The need for a changed mindset within the education directorate of Tripura
Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty
My recent visit to my birthplace and interactions with various stakeholders related to the education fraternity made me realize the need to have qualitative and quantitative institutions that can offer Diploma, Bachelors and Masters Programs in Education. Reasons are not difficult to fathom. On one hand there has been a mushrooming of institutions than what it was during our times, and on the other, there is a dearth of trained teachers, as a result of which, many of the pupils aren’t getting what they deserve, especially after doling out huge sums as fees, both to the institution as well as to the private tutors. Random interactions with the students and parents waiting for the school bus, while I was coming back from my workouts revealed that, the branding of the school, where the pupils were admitted were more on hearsay, rather than on any concrete facts and figures. On asking pointed questions to the pupils about the teaching-learning processes, by leveraging the experience of yours truly, it was evident that most of the professional teachers joined this illustrious career as a chance and not by choice! Opined Sravani Talukdar, a guardian who was a trained teacher herself, “most of the schools in the state lack quality teachers as training is a major challenge owing to the absence of institutions offering educational programs”. She reiterated the point by saying most of the training conducted by government schools are more of picnics as there are no concrete takeaways and nor are they related to one’s performance appraisal.
The state government is trying to rope in private players from different states under a PPP model so as to run institutions all across the state. The government in right in thinking to cash upon the physical infrastructure of the government, hitherto lying idle in different parts of the state. But the laidback and time taking mechanism coupled with red tapes are causing major hindrances in making the things happen at break neck speed. From the chairman and secretary of a renowned Kolkata based institution willing to start the programs in the state, it was evident that the chief minister and the education minister are more than willing to make it happen at the earliest, however, the speed at which the files are moving at the education directorate in spite of repeated personal follow-ups, makes the group leaders wonder, whether the plan will see the light of the day, this academic year. The slow pace at which the files moves from one office to another within the education department, makes the investor wonder about the planned timelines estimated by the administrators. Add to it the intra and inter departmental transfer of that file and one can imagine the time delay, the whole process takes. The state and the central government have done tremendous progress over the years, especially in the higher education sector, by bringing in universities and starting Higher Educational Institutes (HEI), which was considered a pipe dream not so long ago. But, the absence of the same thrust in the education sector, especially when primary, secondary and tertiary education has a close relationship, may not be good in the long run, as the quality of the output from those HEI and Universities would be questionable from the employment and entrepreneurial standpoint. The foundation during the schooling decides the subsequent education a student can withstand and use it for his or her personal career growth and therefore, it is imperative to bring in that connect between all the three spheres of education.
In addition to offering formal education like D.Ed., B.Ed. and M.Ed. the state government can do well by roping in trainers and training and educational institutions having credibility nationally and globally, to supplement the shortage of training facilities in the state. Adds, Dr. Ravi Aher, founder, coach and teacher trainer of EQC, Nagpur and a close acquaintance and peer of yours truly, “a state like Tripura where education and healthcare forms the backbone of human spending, there is an urgent need to groom teachers and doctors, both qualitatively and quantitatively”. The absence of a structured training ground and facilities for all existing and prospective teachers is culminating into a situation, where educated illiterates are churned out from schools, colleges and universities, having degrees, sans any relevance in the job market.
Tripura being a the leading state in terms of literacy should take the decisive step of improving the quality of the teachers within the primary, secondary and tertiary educational realm by taking fast decisions, that would be considered as a benchmark of sorts nationally. It is not difficult to pursue, only thing that needs to be altered is the mindset of the education department officials in line with the vision of the state leaders, ministries, students, all teaching fraternity representatives, and guardians. It’s high time to take that call, as it’s now or never!
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TEACHING AND LEARNING RELATED PRESENTATIONShttps://www.slideshare.net/DrManishankar
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Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Manishankar_Chakraborty
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