The status of education in India has had a chequered history. While the country enjoys the reputation for having one of the youngest workforce across the globe, the same does not go too well when it comes to providing quality education to its burgeoning population. The Legatum Prosperity Index, assembled by Legatum Institute has recently ranked Indian education system at 92 out of 142 countries, which vindicates the same.
It is with the idea of ameliorating those dismal statistics that the Human Resource and Development (HRD) ministry, in collaboration with Central Square Foundation, has come up with its flagship idea ‘Prashikshak’, the teacher education portal for District Institute of Education and Training (DIET). The portal was launched by the HRD minister Smriti Irani on June 30.
To quote her, “Quality (of teachers) across has become a concern across the country. But what is the quality which is expected? Is it defined by how well your curriculum is devised? Is it defined by when was your last curriculum revised? When was it restructured to meet current needs? Is quality defined by how many people got placements? Such a monitoring mechanism was not available, which through ‘Prashikshak’ is now available.”
Ms Irani also lampooned that- “when education is discussed in the country, an atmosphere lacking in enthusiasm prevails. Same words that ‘nothing is right’ are there on everyone’s lips.” Thus, the objective of Prasikshak would be to help DIETs make informed decisions about their institutes, compare the performance of their institutes against other DIETs in the state/country as well as help aspiring teachers make informed decisions about which institute to join.
The 588 DIETs in the country, created under Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education, consist of 98052 students and a sanctioned faculty strength of 12647.
The major users of Prashikshak will be Pre-service teacher educators, DIET principals and faculty, Policy makers at district, state and National level, and the general public.
This portal would entail the etablishment of a strong mechanism with a database of teacher education institutes with all relevant performance indicators. With the program already gone live, it won’t be too long before the merits or demerits of the program present themselves for actual judgement.