Teachers' trainings and its efficacy

Randhir Kumar Yendrembam *

A test during Inspire Next-Gen 2013 at Moirang Multipurpose Higher Secondary School, Moirang on 01 Sep 2013
A test during Inspire Next-Gen 2013 at Moirang Multipurpose Higher Secondary School, Moirang on 01 Sep 2013 :: Pix - Shanjoy Mairembam

A government high school crowded with trained teachers cannot produce good results in the HSLC examination may signal the failure of the efficacy of the teachers' trainings conducted in Manipur is not up to the expectation. Does it not tell us that the teachers' trainings programmes should be modified to some extent? Can we not conclude that there is something wrong with teachers' training in Manipur?

My expectations before undergoing teachers' training programmes were too high and optimistic. Now after joining the different training sessions I don't feel myself different from pre-training time. I expected the teachers' trainings would make me adequately equipped with all the practical teaching skills. I see that these training courses could not produce any good results in me as I expected. I had high hopes from them, but I got a little.

Any teacher who has a plethora of factual knowledge on the topics he is going to teach may not be able to teach efficiently if he lacks the knowledge of teaching skills and teaching methods. A teacher, who secured high marks in mathematics, may not be able to teach even a simple addition or subtraction to his students properly. This is where training is necessary. My colleagues face this problem always even after they have joined and passed all the teaching courses.

A bad teacher can become a good teacher after training. A teacher should posses the technical knowledge of teaching skills and methods. This can happen only when the teacher gets trained. People talk about the inborn qualities of a teacher like a God's given gift and as if someone is born a teacher. This may be true to some extent but not true always. The teaching skills of a teacher cannot be regarded as the inborn qualities at all. They are to be acquired.

Because of many reasons one may become a teacher unwillingly. Teaching may not be one's favourite profession but one adopts it as an alternative job. In a country like India where unemployment problem is great, people have to choose any profession for livelihood not to mention teaching profession even though they didn't love this profession in the beginning of their career.

So, they enter this profession half-heartedly. People become teachers unwillingly as a last resort to earn livelihood .This is a shame for all of us. Then what? Each and every teacher has to join teachers' training course whatever may he be gifted for teaching or not. Trainings are a must these days as teaching cannot be an easy task, too as well as it is a profession requiring skills.

For a teacher entering a classroom, opening a text book, reading it to the students, explaining some difficult phrases as well as asking some questions and leaving the classroom after giving homework cannot not be called teaching in any way. Today, teaching becomes very difficult and complex as compared to that of some years back. Subject matters to be taught become huge and complex.

To teach these new avenues of knowledge a teacher needs training. Teaching is to make the students learn something without tears. A student may learn by himself but this cannot be possible for a student to learn the huge lessons which should be covered within a short stipulated time. However, young and old teachers without having any knowledge of teaching skills and methods cannot teach a lesson efficiently. A teacher must learn the methods and skills to be employed during his classroom teaching.

Teaching mathematics will require teaching, aids methods and skills different from those of teaching of poetry. A science teacher will use a microscope in order to magnify the shape and structure of plant cell whereas a rhyme teacher will like an audio-visual aids like tape recorder or computer in order to teach pronunciation, accents and movements.

As a teacher who longed for a quality teacher training, I feel most of the teachers' training programmes conducted in Manipur cannot fulfil the needs of the actual classroom teachers. A teacher trainee cannot get what he expected before joining a training course.

He might step out of the training institution by learning a few theories of education by rote which he may not find useful in his real classroom teaching. He can get all these things even without joining any training session by way of scanning some web pages. To be frank, any teacher trainee cannot be believed to be fully equipped with the practical teaching skills to cope with the classroom problems.

Teachers' trainings can be made more useful and practical if some changes are made. I also think that teachers' trainings can be improved a lot if some blunders and overdoses inherent in the training courses are removed. All the lectures given during the training should be supported by the appropriate audio-visual aids. Number of dreary lectures should be cut down.

Theoretical part should be minimised as it poses a burden to the minds of old teacher trainees. I don't think the detailed study of the theories of learning by different educators is relevant to a school teacher though useful as it is a very time consuming. The teachers need only a little dose of it. Overdose will kill the teachers.

Areas of the teachers' trainings courses should be minimised and limited. Vastness nullifies the merits. Co-curricular activities should be reduced in teachers' training as it gives unnecessary burden to the trainees. I don't say that all these are useless.

A working teacher is supposed to posses the required knowledge of the subject he should teach, he will use some methods and audio-visual aids in order to teach the subject efficiently. A teacher cannot be expected to become a perfect philosopher in the field of education. Our teachers need only a few practical skills to teach young minds.

Beautiful syllabus, beautiful theories and beautiful technical jargons will not do in teachers' training. It is necessary to acquaint the teachers with new and sophisticated teaching methods and application of various audio-visual aids. Such training will empower teachers.

* Yenning wrote this article for The Sangai Express as part of "Hoi Polloi And Mundanity"
The writer can be reached at yenning05(at)rocketmail(dot)com or visit
This article was posted on September 16, 2013.

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