Saving School Education: The Verma Commission

Bijoy *

Justice Verma Commission on  (JVC) Teacher Education
Justice Verma Commission on (JVC) Teacher Education
Read full at

"Fellow citizens, why do you turn and scrap every stone to gather wealth and so little care for your children to whom one day must you relinquish it all ?" thus wondered the Greek philosopher Socrates on the state of education of our children many centuries ago. The preface to the Report of the Commission on Teacher Education Report (2012) popularly known as the Verma Commission also starts with this perennial question. It was a high powered commission on teacher education constituted by the Supreme Court of India.

The report is going to have a big impact on teacher training programmes in the country and the government is rushing to implement the recommendations of the report as best as it can. Teacher education plays a significant role in making Education a potent tool for development. The quality of the people also is closely associated with the quality of education which in turn largely depends on the quality of teachers. Though everyone would agree that the destiny of India is being shaped in her classrooms, as the national education report 1964 stated, precious little has been done in terms of appreciation of this profound statement.

Today school education system has many unattended issues which question our commitment to quality education at all levels. How can we have quality higher education when school education is neglected so much? Gandhiji considered the teacher the true textbook for the pupil. A teacher should teach by practice, not merely by precept. Just as education, according to Swami Vivekananda, is the manifestation of the perfection already in us, the role of a teacher is to trigger the thought process for facilitating this manifestation.

Thus teacher education is a serious business because the quality of education is inseparable from quality of teacher. The NDA government has taken it very seriously. Teachers' day had not been observed for many years in such a scale and the Guru diwas this year was indeed a break from the past.

Teachers in Manipur were indeed surprised at its observance on September 5. As a result the National Council for Teacher Education ( NCTE) and University Grants Commission have come together to improve the quality of teachers at school level to begin with. Vice Chancellors of more than two hundred Universities and State Education Secretaries met in Delhi on 15 September to discuss the roadmap for such convergence.

The HRD, the UGC and the NCTE sat together with the policy implementers. The issue was not to discuss whether this was the best option available, it was to discuss how best it could be implemented. The quality of teacher education also depends on the quality of entrants to the teacher education programme. The quality of teacher educator in terms of his competence, capability and scholarship is also equally important. That is where the university enters.

According to the education Commission (1966) " of all the different factors which influence the quality of education and its contribution to national development, the quality, competence and character of teachers are undoubtedly the most significant". Yet improving teacher education programmes used to have a low priority .This time the university system is going to be involved in the teacher education sector.

Five themes were taken up in the consultative meeting viz bringing entire teacher education under the university system, curriculum and quality of teacher education in the context of NCFTE 2009, enhancing the duration of B.Ed. and M.Ed. programmes, strengthening research in teacher education and finally coordination amongst universities and state boards for recognition of vocational courses for ensuring vertical mobility to vocational stream students who would like to earn higher degrees instead of entering the job market immediately on completion of the course.

All teacher education programmes such as early childhood care and Education (ECCE), teacher education at Elementary level, teacher education at secondary level will be made a part of higher education. It will now be the responsibility of the university to develop the curriculum, conduct examinations and certification for ECCE and elementary level also. The DIETs will become redundant. The additional work will be handled by the School of Education, a separate school in every university.

The UGC will be providing fund to every eligible university to introduce this change in policy. In Manipur University, the department of Physical education, the department of Education, the department of Adult, continuing and extension education and the newly established department of Teacher Education will constitute the School of education. In response to suggestions from NCTE and UGC to renew the curriculum out of 239 universities with teacher education programmes only 73 which include Manipur University have revised their curriculum in the light of NCFTE 2009.

Implementing the curriculum framework is not the end, the norms and standards of NCTE should be strictly enforced in affiliated teacher training institutions and teacher education institutions should go through Accreditation process for quality control. NCTE approval needs to be renewed following an inspection as rigorous as the initial recognition.

The new approach to teacher education has several important dimensions .Reflective practice is to be the central aim of teacher education. Teacher trainees should be provided with opportunities for self learning, reflection, assimilation and articulation of new ideas. There should be opportunities for developing capacities for self-directed learning and ability to think, be critical and working in groups. They should have opportunities to observe and engage with children, communicate with and relate to children.

Such skills can only be imparted to trainees by making the currently one year B.Ed. and M.Ed. programmes into two year programmes or integrated course. We have the option to go either for a two year B.ED. programme after graduation or a four year B.A., B.Sc., B.Ed programme after plus two. There is also an option for either a six year MSc. Ed programme or a two year M.Sc.Ed programme after B.Ed.

School teaching is a low status profession and teacher training is a low rated academic field. The outcome of the inadequate research in teacher education in India manifested in the huge gap between the inputs provided in teacher training institutes and the reality of our schools has continued to overawe a fresh teacher. That calls for some introspection in the university academic circle whose research should be critical and authentic inputs for policy. UGC will be funding a number of research projects through NCTE to make our knowledge base more authentic and broad based. Teacher educators would be given opportunities for pursuing higher levels of research.

Let us look at the implications for our system. School teacher used to be a residual profession with almost zero accountability. One becomes a school teacher by compulsion, not by choice. There are indeed a few exceptions but their commitment and sincerity get drowned in the noise all around.

Who would question the commitment of Ojha Shitoljit in Ram Lal Paul High School and Prof Kaul in DM College? Schools and colleges used to have dedicated teachers who really deserved to address as Ojha. Both my grandfather and father took teaching very seriously and earned the title. Today the term ojha is bereft of its respect.

In the consultative meeting Shri Rajarshi Bhattacharya, Secretary, Deptt. Of School education & Literacy, MHRD made such a passionate plea for saving school education that prompted Shri Ashok Thakur, the Secretary (Higher education) MHRD to comment that only the hurt could feel the pain. Smt Smrity Zubin Irani, Minister of Human resource development stressed on the Swachhta mission and said that it was not only cleansing the school toilets but about a holistic cleansing of the school education system.

Had there been accountability in school education system, most of our schools would have been closed and teachers shown the door. The incidents in RIMS would have been nothing in comparison. Now teaching need no longer be a profession by default. The longer time period, the expected skill matrix and the opportunities for rising higher will make it a profession of choice. The teacher educators will be given a social status commensurate with their responsibility. The involvement of the university will help in standardising the teacher training programmes at all levels.

* Bijoy wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
The writer is with Economics Department of Manipur University.
This article was posted on September 22, 2014.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Heigru Hidongba (Boat Race)
  • The Eternal Moment :: Poem
  • Why is oiling good for the hair
  • Jobs at SKY Hospital
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Creating Future Media Leaders in NE
  • Understanding Communist ideology
  • Suspended but drama not over yet
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Chingyainu, Chingnguremba :: eMing
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco, Tura
  • Condemns MU VC's vindictive stance
  • 'Policy of India to suppress people'
  • NDPP congratulates Abu Metha
  • Pandey back at MU! Violating spirit of MoA
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Life's heck :: Poem
  • Environment & lung health are vital
  • Innovation for the common man
  • Humanitarian crisis with NRC in Assam
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [02 Sep]
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Rebirth of Manipur Human Rights Comm
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Lecture: Governance & Public Services
  • X-rated poem :: Poem
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Baton changes hands at IGAR (South)
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [01 Sept]
  • A Wake-up call
  • Lok Sabha polls : More crucial for BJP
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Effects of the Burning of Meitei Puyas
  • Soil Technician required at MaolKeki
  • Jr. Mr. India 2018, Gyanendra Thokchom
  • Rejoinder to HTC & allies' statement
  • Consensual sex..Does it amount to rape ?
  • Need for all to keep their sanity
  • Sanagi Tenawa :: Funga Wari
  • MU: Den of Insurgents or Den of Ideas?
  • Can NRC Update save Assam and NE ?
  • Victim of Enforced Disappearances
  • Admission for Ph.D. at Tripura University
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco College
  • Resolution: Right of Human Right Defender
  • Advancing rights of Human Right Defender
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • 47th Nagas Annual Meet at Mumbai
  • Transcending Patriots' Day(s) #4
  • Sangai Fest: Fashion Show #2 : Gallery
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #3
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Architects announces 1st MADE 2018
  • Expedite FA Rally #2 : Gallery
  • Billie's Book by Ranjeeta Mayanglambam
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic