08 October, 2021

‘No Teacher, No Class – State of the Education Report for India 2021’ released by UNESCO with CETE

This report is a tribute to teachers in India who have nurtured generations of learners over time

The Teacher Education Initiative (TEI) of the Tata Trusts envisages the revitalization of the teacher education sector by developing and offering quality programmes in pre-service and in-service teacher education. The initiative also aims to offer quality academic and pedagogic resources towards teacher education, and undertake national interventions to develop the skills of the teachers of the country.

Founded in 2018 under the TEI, Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE) at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, is all set to make a positive dent in one of the most neglected and important sectors within education – Teacher Development. The latest evidence of CETE’s ability to take up research and evidence based advocacy is witnessed through its collaboration with UNESCO. The collaboration has led to the publication of the much awaited “No Teacher No Class – State of the Education Report for India 2021”.

Authored by the strong academic team of CETE, the report situates the teacher in the context of a citizens’ right to education, as stipulated in the Constitution of India under the Right to Education Act 2009. With approximately 9.7 million teachers currently teaching in India, the report attempts to provide an understanding of the key aspects of the teaching profession. The report strongly recognises the importance of a teacher’s professional development in ensuring quality education for students and emphasises on the teacher’s autonomy, motivation and agency, and suggests ways like vibrant communities of practice.

Important findings of the report are weaved around the following important areas:

  • Profiling of Teachers – The profession is gender balanced with about 50% female-teachers. There are however significant variations in the inter-state and rural areas
  • Status and Terms of Employment – The teaching profession is regarded with an average status in India. It is however a career of choice for women and youth from rural areas in particular. Private school teachers and early childhood education teachers are highly vulnerable groups.
  • Teaching Practices in India – Teacher-centric practices dominate the Indian pedagogical landscape in both government and private schools, and in most subject areas. These practices are linked to the teachers’ beliefs regarding their learners, the process of learning, subject matter and the aims of education.
  • Pre and in-service Professional Training – A large proportion of teacher education programmes in India are run in ‘self-financed’ colleges. Pre-service teacher education curricula need to be improved, and supported with Indian language teaching-learning resources. In-service teacher education is widespread and now incorporates technology, although research is still needed to understand models that work effectively.
  • Teachers and ICT – Most teachers are found to have positive attitudes and beliefs about integrating technology in education. However, they feel that it is time-consuming, and that they lack professional skills. COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the vulnerability and insecurity of teachers.

Following are the key recommendations of the report to ensure a meaningful march towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4):

  • Improve the terms of employment of teachers in both public and private schools
  • Increase the number of teachers and improve working conditions in North Eastern states, rural areas and 'aspirational districts'
  • Recognise teachers as frontline workers
  • Increase the number of physical education, music, art, vocational education, early childhood and special education teachers.
  • Value the professional autonomy of teachers
  • Build teachers' career pathways
  • Restructure pre-service professional development and strengthen curricular and pedagogical reform
  • Support communities of practice
  • Provide teachers with meaningful ICT training
  • Develop teaching governance through consultative processes, based on mutual accountability

The report was also made available to the public at large on 5th October on World Teachers Day. Read the report here.

*The report is also available on the UNESDOC website

Tata Trusts is proud to share that with the report, an important milestone of deconstructing the need for teacher education and building a roadmap has been attained.

Achieving this goal would require active collaboration between the government, civil society organisations and academic institutions.

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