Over 100 ‘video vans’ to record classes at teacher-training colleges

The government decided the step after reports of falling standards of such colleges that have multiplied rapidly in India.

Teacher training colleges
Video vans across the country will record classes at teacher-training colleges.

A fleet of more than a hundred “video vans” will fan out across the country to record classes at teacher training colleges, a move aimed at assessing faculty, facilities and overall standard of these institutes.

The government decided the step after reports of falling standards of such colleges that have multiplied rapidly in India. It was also decided that no new college will be cleared for accreditation in 2017-18.

“We have decided to commission more than 100 video vans” to record teachers teaching in class, a Union human resource development ministry official said.

The National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE), the regulator for schoolteachers’ training, is likely to start the exercise soon. It oversees procedures and standards for the Indian education system, and clears new teaching institutes.

“Earlier we used to have inspections by our expert teams. But this is a better tool as it will lend an element of objectivity to the entire process. The material recorded by them will be reviewed by our experts,” the official said.

Above all else, the NCTE will select random students to put them through a computerized test for assessing their institutes and fellow students. This is expected to help gauge how much they are learning.

“Institutes conduct their own tests and give marks. By conducting another test we will be able to compare the students’ performance. They too will be able to judge whether they have learnt anything or not,” the official said.

The government is pushing to make India an education hub, but dipping quality and the proliferation of teaching shops have become a cause for concern. An effort is underway to stem the tide.

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said 2017 will be a “zero year” for new colleges offering BEd degrees and existing ones will have to go through a quality audit.

The minister said such colleges were opening like “fly-by-night operators”. “You pay today and get the degree tomorrow.”

The NCTE will publish a list of teacher training institutes that have provided basic details about them. Students will be advised to enroll in these institutes.

There are about 12,000 colleges. But “once inspections are done, many of these 12,000 colleges will be taken out of our ‘good-to-go’ list,” said a senior official.

The council’s website will also carry names of 200 best teacher education colleges in the country. “We want the market to work by helping students make informed choices,” the official said.
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