Putting the right teacher in the right classroom

The database will provide details about every primary and high school teacher’s qualifications, area of expertise and skills.  

Rajanna (name changed), who teaches in a government primary school in Chamarajanagar, was appointed as the mathematics teacher but is often roped in to teach English owing to shortage of teachers. The fact that he does not have the required qualification is never taken into account.

Mr. Rajanna admitted that he gets “nervous” teaching English as he feels his abilities in this subject is not up to the mark. “In our school, there is a draw of lots to pick the teacher who has to teach English. Since none of us have studied in English-medium, it is difficult for us to speak the language, let alone teach children,” he said. There are several people like Mr. Rajanna who often teach subjects without any expertise because of the shortage of teachers.

To address this issue, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has decided to establish a database comprising every primary and high school teacher’s qualifications, area of expertise, and skill. This information will help the department maximise a teacher’s utility and ensure that children are being taught by people with the right qualification. “For instance, a teacher may have been appointed to teach Hindi, but may have completed postgraduation in history also. Such a person will be equipped to teach both Hindi and social sciences. We want to put their expertise to use so that it benefits the students,” said Sowjanya, Commissioner for Public Instruction. Teachers have been asked to fill in all their educational qualifications from SSLC to Ph.D. They have also been asked to fill in the languages they opted from class 10 to the subjects they chose from the pre-university level. A format has been uploaded on the department’s website.

Currently, as per the department rules, primary school teachers need to clear the Teacher Eligibility Test to teach in any school — private, aided or unaided. They also need to have completed a teacher training course, which is mandatory as per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

The department plans to digitise these qualifications and use them during the transfer process. “The idea is to ensure that there are adequate teachers in all subjects in a school. Sometimes, we have teachers who have no qualification for certain subjects. We want to avoid this from the coming academic year,” an official said.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 8:01:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/putting-the-right-teacher-in-the-right-classroom/article18359458.ece

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