Post-independence, there was always a need to have an organisation that acted as the gatekeeper of teacher’s education in India. Indeed, it was imperative to regulate teachers’ education in order to ensure that the teaching professionals were provided with the right set of knowledge and training. Hence, the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) came into existence.
When was NCTE Set up?
NCTE was set up in 1973 as an advisory body for the government of India and the states to advise on matters related to teacher’s education. Further, the National Policy on Education (1986) emphasised the need to have a statutory body to cater to the growing need for qualitative education for teaching professionals in the country.
Thus, NCTE was conferred a statutory status under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993. The key objective of the NCTE is to promote and achieve the planned development of the teacher education system in India. It also regulates and maintains the norms and standards within the teacher education system.
NCTE’s mandate is extremely broad simply because it covers the entire gamut of teacher education programmes. These programmes tend to focus on research and training of professionals to equip them to impart teaching at all levels of schooling. Here’s a look at the importance of the NCTE for the teaching profession in the country.
Ensures Quality Education
We all agree that the quality of teacher education will directly determine the quality of teachers. This will have a cyclical effect on the education that will be imparted to the students. Hence, NCTE has a wider role to play in enhancing the quality of teacher education. The statutory body has taken several steps to ensure the same.
NCTE recognizes education programmes at different levels, including primary, secondary and higher secondary. In the year 2000, NCTE drafted norms and guidelines for 12 teacher education courses. Secondary teacher education is one of the 12 programmes. This particular programme has brought about uniformity in the curriculum across the country.
Efforts to Reduce Student-Teacher Ratio
India being the second-most populous country in the world has had its own resource shortfall across professions. Education hasn’t stayed aloof from this shortfall. Currently, the teacher-student ratio is 1:26. Understanding the need for improvement in the numbers, NCTE has suggested a 1:10 ratio of teachers to students at the B.Ed level.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) and NCTE have also taken efforts to strengthen the system by constantly monitoring the ratio of teachers to students, programme requirements, staff qualifications, etc. The UGC has also prepared a database of teachers’ profiles in higher education. This database will be made available on the internet to ensure wider dissemination of the strength of the teaching professionals as well as proper utilisation of their expertise.
NCTE has also taken efforts to tone down the time duration of special courses for teaching professionals. With the efforts of NCTE, pre-service education has continually been a one-year programme for more than five decades. Similarly, several universities now offer a one-year B.Ed programme as averse to the two-year duration for regular programmes.
NCTE continues to be the torch-bearer of teacher education in India. Its importance grows manifold as the world transitions towards e-learning. As new forms of teaching emerge, it is NCTE’s responsibility to equip aspiring teachers with the right skills. Thus, the statutory body has a much wider role to play in the near future.