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Training for ‘below-par’ college teachers

The UGC will start a 1-month residential training programme for such teachers from the next academic session

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta

  • Published 9.11.19, 3:37 AM
  • Updated 9.11.19, 3:37 AM
Bhushan Patwardhan
Bhushan Patwardhan (Picture sourced by The Telegraph)

Many new college teachers are below par, UGC vice-chairman Bhushan Patwardhan said.

The UGC, he announced, will start a one-month residential training programme for such teachers from the next academic session.

“We are saying that SET, NET, PhD, all these qualifications are necessary. Let they be. But they are basic qualifications. Before you actually go to a classroom you need to be trained properly on what this profession is and how you should teach. So for that purpose, this one-month intensive residential training has been developed,” said Patwardhan.

Those who will train the teachers were recently trained at the IISER, Pune.

The UGC vice-chairman was speaking after attending a seminar on higher education — Globalised Education Forum 2019 — organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Calcutta on Friday.

A person is appointed as a college teacher after he or she cracks the National Eligibility Test (NET) or the State Eligibility Test (SET) and clears an interview.

At the state level, the college service commission conducts both SET and the interview. At the national level, NET and the interview are conducted by the UGC.

Patwardhan said the findings of multiple studies pointed to the need for improving the quality of teachers. The UGC, he said, is worried over the trend.

“Actually, we don’t need those studies. We know ourselves that the quality of the teachers need to be improved,” Patwardhan told Metro.

He blamed the recruitment system when asked why the teachers were below par.

“What has happened especially during the last 10 or 15 years, several faculties have been recruited, those who have even come with doubtful PhDs. Also those who have published papers in dubious journals. The need was felt because of the whole situation. We received adverse feedback from students also,” he said.

Another UGC official said many teachers relied on same notes over the years while teaching in class because they were not good researchers.

“Teaching technologies are changing. The earlier way was more of a one-way teaching wherein the students were given information. Today’s students are much smarter.... So, the next generation teaching is not going to be only teacher to student. But teacher to student and student to teacher,” the official said.

Patwardhan said they had asked those involved in the teacher selection process to ensure that candidates with dubious credentials were not recruited.

Asked what the UGC was doing to train in-service teachers, he said: “These teachers undergo refreshers’ programme, orientation at the academic staff training colleges. But we are revisiting their training as well.”