While teachers are generally seen as the facilitators of knowledge and quality in schools, teachers are often undervalued for their abilities to think critically about difficult topics and foster creative thinking. In this article, you’ll learn how the National Education Policy 2020 initiative is shifting society’s views on teaching to see that teachers are equipped with the necessary skills and attributes needed to succeed.
Education is the process of learning or acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, and beliefs for full human potential. The NEP lays emphasis on teacher education. How will this be achieved? Minister of Education: The New Education policy strongly emphasizes the criticality of teacher education, hailing the legacy of Acharya Devo Bhava. Teacher education is vital in creating a pool of school teachers that will shape the next generation.
National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) has been designed to put the teacher at the center of the fundamental reforms in the education system in India. It is a well-established fact that education is a lifelong process, and the teacher is the most important factor in each citizen’s learning journey. The National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) sets out to NEP 2020 aim for equitable access to the highest-quality education for all learners. NPST ensures that all students at all levels of school education are taught by passionate, motivated, highly qualified, professionally trained, and well-equipped teachers.
NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.
NEP 2020 focuses on three pillars: Quality Teacher Education (QTE), Quality in Teaching (Q-in-T) and Quality Assurance (QA) – to ensure continual learning. It has been crafted consistent with the needs of the citizens as a demand for knowledge in society and economy called for a need to acquire new skills on a regular basis.
The National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) sets out to NEP 2020 aim for equitable access to the highest-quality education for all learners. NPST ensures that all students at all levels of school education are taught by passionate, motivated, highly qualified, professionally trained, and well- equipped teachers. National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) also lays down the conditions of service of teachers and the means by which they will be appointed, transferred, and evaluated. In addition, NPST describe the academic qualifications, professional competence, and non-teaching responsibilities that will ensure teaching excellence in schools.
Teacher Recruitment & Employment
For recruitment in private or government schools the teacher must qualify through TET, give a demonstration class, pass the interview, and have knowledge of local language(s). The NEP 2020 provides –
- Teacher Eligibility Tests (TETs) will now be extended to cover teachers across all the new stages (Foundational, Preparatory, Middle and Secondary) of school education.
- For subject teachers, TET as well as NTA test scores in the corresponding subjects will also be considered for recruitment.
- NEP 2020 promotes the idea of recruiting teachers to a school complex and sharing them across the group of schools to deal with shortage of teachers particularly for music, dance, art, craft, counsellors, coaches, vocational education trainers, classical language teachers, social workers, technical and maintenance staff.
- The NEP 2020 also encourages school complexes to hire local eminent persons or experts as ‘master instructors’ in various subjects, such as in traditional local arts, vocational crafts, entrepreneurship, agriculture etc to meet the need of teachers to teach the newly introduced classical languages and vocational and skill subjects.
Teaching Career & Professionalism
The NEP 2020 talks about creating performance standards for teachers clearly spelling out the role of the teacher at different levels of expertise/stage and competencies required for that stage.
- By 2022 a set of National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be created that will determine all aspects of teacher career management, including tenure, continuous professional development efforts, salary increases, promotions, and other recognitions.
- NEP 2020 also talks of Teacher audits or Performance Appraisals that will be carried at regular intervals. These standards for performance appraisal will also be formulated. Henceforth, promotions and salary increases will not occur based on the length of tenure or seniority but only based on such appraisal.
- School teachers must undergo 50 hours of CPD opportunities every year to keep themselves by attending workshops or online teacher development modules.
- School Principals too must undergo CPD in modules related to leadership, school management and for implementing competency-based learning.
- In addition, International pedagogical approaches will be studied by NCERT, identified, and recommended for assimilation into pedagogical practices in India through CPD.
Contributing to Teacher Empowerment
Teacher empowerment means investing teachers with the right to participate in determining school goals and policies and to exercise professional judgment about what and how to teach. (Bolin, 1989) When teachers are engaged in the reform process, they need freedom and control over their own work. This makes them feel empowered, motivates them to work harder, and enhances their commitment to their learners.
- Recognizing the contribution teachers can make in reforming pedagogy to improve the learning outcomes, the NEP 2020 gives Teachers autonomy in selecting appropriate pedagogy and encourages them to also ensure socio-emotional learning of their students, which is a critical aspect of holistic development.
- Innovative teaching methods adopted by teachers to improve the learning outcomes will be recognized, documented, and shared widely as recommended practices.
- Close collaboration is recommended among schools within a School Complex as it will reduce teacher isolation experienced by teachers working in smaller schools and create vibrant teacher communities that work collaboratively sharing their best teaching practices.
- To help schools and school complexes evolve into vibrant, caring, and inclusive communities of teachers, students, parents, and principals, the School management has been directed to ensure adequate and safe infrastructure, basic amenities and hygiene, computing devices, internet, libraries, and sports and recreational resources to all teachers and students.
New Education Policy 2020 Key Benefits
NEP 2020 is a step towards achieving the following national learning outcomes, recognizing & identifying the unique capabilities of the child:
- Teachers and faculty as the heart of the learning process
- Respect for diversity and local context in all curriculum, pedagogy, and policy
- Equity and inclusion as the cornerstone of all decisions
- Community participation
- Use of technology in teaching and learning
- Achieving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by all students by
No hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricula and co-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams, Ethics and human & Constitutional values Promoting multilingualism and the power of language in teaching and learning Life skills such as communication, cooperation, teamwork, and resilience Emphasize conceptual understanding
What is Critical Thinking as per NEP 2020?
The NEP 2020 lays emphasis on developing the “creative potential” and “higher-order cognitive capacities” of students. That includes “critical thinking and problem solving” apart from “social, ethical, and emotional capacities and dispositions.
Keeping in mind the importance of teachers in the education system, the NEP-2020 has underlined the role of teachers along with the desired attributes of teachers for nation-building. In this policy, the teachers have been put at the center of the most needed fundamental reforms in the education system. The policy has also emphasized re-establishing teachers, at all levels, as the most respected and essential members of our society, as they shape the future generation of the country. As a step forward, the NEP-2020 has also elaborated on the recruitment of good teachers in a transparent method, to give autonomy while also instilling a sense of responsibility and accountability in every teacher.
Evolving Roles of Teachers and Teacher Education
As our understanding of how students learn best continues to evolve, so too must the role of teachers and teacher education. In the past, teachers were primarily responsible for imparting knowledge to students. However, we now know that students learn best when they are actively engaged in their own learning. Therefore, teachers must now act as facilitators, helping students to explore and understand new concepts for themselves.
This shift requires a different set of skills from teachers. In addition to being knowledgeable about their subject matter, they must also be skilled in critical thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to think deeply about a problem or question, and to come up with creative solutions. It is an essential skill for teachers, as it allows them to help their students think critically about the concepts they are learning.
Teacher education programs must adapt to this new reality and prepare future teachers for their evolving roles. Providing opportunities for future teachers to develop their critical thinking skills is essential. Only then will they be able to provide their students with the best possible education.
Critical Thinking a desired attribute for Teachers
Critical thinking is a highly desired attribute for teachers. Teachers who are able to think critically can identify problems and find solutions more effectively. They can also better understand and communicate with their students.
Critical thinking skills are important not only for teachers, but for everyone. However, they are especially important for those in positions of authority, such as teachers. This is because those in positions of authority have a responsibility to make sure that their actions and decisions are in the best interests of those they are responsible for.
There are many ways to develop critical thinking skills. Some people are born with these skills, while others develop them through experience or education. There are also many resources available that can help people to develop their critical thinking skills.