The editorial, “Training the teacher” (Jan. 17), rightly says “the overall system of teacher training in the country has been found wanting for decades.” No improvement in the present system will yield the desired results. A new system should be introduced. Like engineering and medical professionals, we should produce teaching professionals. It is necessary to establish teacher training universities (with affiliated colleges) offering three-year diploma courses for the elementary level, four-year degree courses for the middle school level, and five-year courses for higher secondary. The salaries for teachers should be on a par with that of other professionals.
The fact that many candidates with B. Ed degrees could not clear the Central Teacher Eligibility Test speaks volumes of the poor state of teacher training. Besides improving the quality of training institutions, it is important to organise special training sessions to change the mindset of those opting for the profession. They have to appreciate their onerous responsibility of moulding young minds to be better citizens.