Educators are the figureheads in the realm of knowledge, guiding everyone on the right path and illuminating the way to the future. It can be difficult for teachers to remain updated with innovations and industry-best standards because professional ethics, educational technology, and coursework requirements are all continually evolving. “A skilled teacher understands the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of the area they teach, and also the best ways to educate students in an effective way. Teachers are integral assets and contributors to modern society as they shape future generations. Professional development of educators is needed as it can help them become more efficient and competent,” highlights Pranav Gupta, Ashoka University Founder.
The value of teacher preparation cannot be overstated, as it equips teachers with the knowledge and skills for the complexities of instructing students to reach their full potential. The need for teacher training in the 21st century is mostly due to the incomprehensibility of traditional teaching techniques, which are continually altering with the times. Each student differs from the next in a variety of ways, notably the way they approach academics and how they analyze and comprehend things. The key to altering the situation is training educators to see their students as individuals with varied learning needs.
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 caused the education industry to undergo a large-scale digitalization, and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is going to change the Indian educational system as a whole. Through the utilization of various teaching and learning resources, digital tools, etc., the policy seeks to establish a national curriculum and pedagogical framework. In fact, employing ICT tools for instruction and a quality learning environment are among the main features suggested in NEP.
“There is a need to adopt some new approaches and ideas in the domain of teacher training to advance the skill set of educators, and the demand for teacher training programs remains crucial in light of the present educational landscape. It is necessary to address the lack of tech-advanced instructors who are suitably educated and trained. The pandemic changed everyone’s mode from chalk and talk to behind the screen, which required fresh content in a new format and to be delivered in a new manner. As a result, preparing teachers is essential to handle modern material and contribute to the NEP’s vision for the future of hybrid learning,” states Pranav Gupta, Ashoka University Founder.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, educational institutions were obliged to switch to online instruction. That period of change in the education system showed the level of teacher preparation for digital learning and the student-teacher ratio, both issues affecting educational quality. Only one out of every four educators in India, according to UDISE 2019–20, has computer-based training. Several states, particularly in higher education, had a student-teacher ratio that was greater than what was advised, i.e., roughly 30:1. Even in the traditional classroom setting, a high ratio is a problem, but with virtual learning, its relevance has escalated.
The goal of NEP 2020 is to transform India into a knowledge powerhouse. The policy enables dual degrees, the embedding of skills, multidisciplinary education, and other forms of academic cooperation with higher education institutions worldwide. Teachers are encouraged to establish connections and gain knowledge via these collaborations as well in order to better comprehend and implement international pedagogies and research methodologies for the learner community. The need for dynamic, credible material is still a prime concern when learning shifts to the digital realm.
Pranav Gupta, Ashoka University Founder, adds, “The ability to integrate thinking skills, technological literacy, and scientific reasoning into the classroom requires educators to undergo special training. There is an increase in contractual teaching, a deficit in professional training, and a drop in pedagogical quality, and students undoubtedly suffer as a result. Education professionals should be equipped with the latest educational tools and resources, and it is good to see the importance given to it. They are rapidly catching up with the new normal of teaching and learning while adjusting to the new standard and motivating young minds.
The student-to-faculty ratio plays a vital role when talking about professional development and imparting quality education. We at Ashoka University stand at student-faculty ratio of 11:1, thereby offering students with adequate access and opportunity to engage with some of the professionally trained brilliant minds from around the world.”