‘Prashikshak’ to bring quality teacher into Indian school education system

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 Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani dedicated ‘Prashikshak’ – a teacher education portal, to the nation at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today. ‘Prashikshak’ is launched with a vision to strengthen District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and bring quality teachers into the Indian school education system.

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for Human Resource Development addressed the gathering at the launch of the programme. She highlighted the fact that though the Prashiskshak has started only for DIETs, it will cover Block level institutes in the future and identify gaps at the bottom of the pyramid. The Union HRD Minister also announced that the Ministry of Human Resource Development also has plans for enhancing Prashikshak to cover all Govt. Teacher Education Institutions in the country, which are recognized by the NCTE. She also made an appeal to all State Government teacher education functionaries to make full use of the ‘Prashikshak’ to bring about transformative changes in the monitoring system of these institutions.

The event also saw live interaction about ‘Prashikshak’ through Video Conference with DIET Principals across 6 States – Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. During the interaction, State Education Ministers of Assam and Madhya Pradesh appreciated the initiative and extended support along with their state functionaries. Also, suggestions received like sharing of materials in regional languages, creating a corner for ‘solution exchange on issues related to teacher education’ were also well noted and appreciated by the Union HRD Minister.

Prashikshak is thus, a first of its kind in the country, a unique IT initiative which will contain a comprehensive database of all DIETs in the country with all relevant performance indicators. It will help benchmark DIETs to enable aspiring teachers to make informed choices about their future. At the same time, it will give the opportunity to Central and State Governments to do real time monitoring of the institutions.

Prashikshak was established through joint collaboration between Ministry of Human Resource Development and Central Square Foundation. The objective of Prashikshak is to define the quality benchmark and thus, helping DIETs to make informed decisions about their institutes, compare the performance of their institute against other DIETs in the state/country as well as helping aspiring teachers make informed decision making.

Teacher education system has seen a phenomenal expansion during the last two decades and today it is the single largest professional educational system in the country which turns out the highest number of ‘trained personnel’ for our schools.

DIETs were created in the early 1990s to strengthen elementary education and support the decentralization of education to the district level, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education. DIETs offer pre-service and in-service teacher training programmes for Government elementary school teachers. They also undertake studies in education, annual academic planning and reviews and function as resource centres for teaching learning and material development. As on 31.05.2016, 588 DIETs are functioning in the country with an annual intake capacity of 49026 students.

Dr. Ram Shankar Katheria, MoS, (HRD) and Shri Upendra Kushwaha, MoS, (HRD), also addressed the gathering and appreciated Prashikshak as a milestone in strengthening the quality of teachers’ education. The event was also graced by 11 State Education Ministers from the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. Dr. S.C. Khuntia, Secretary, School Education and Literacy, Smt. Rina Ray, Additional Secretary, School Education, Education Secretaries of various states, Directors SCERTs, Principals DIETs, senior policy makers and representatives of Autonomous Bodies such as NCTE, NCERT, CBSE and NUEPA, also attended the programme.