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By: Rayees Masroor

Training programs in an organisation is a process by which people are updated with fresh set of skills and given the necessary knowledge or attitude to enable them to carry out their responsibilities to the required standard in the present job and to undertake greater and more demanding roles for effective performance.

Training program is as important in the education sector as in any other sector or organisation. The need for training in education, particularly for teachers, is important to improve the quality of education.

Teachers are crucial in implementing educational reforms in accordance with the aspiration of the true Philosophy of Education. The success of a school curriculum is closely related to its effective implementation. Teachers have to be personally aware of the school curriculum, improve and enhance the necessary skills to interpret the concept changes accurately and to implement the modified curriculum according ti its requirements, aims and objectives. As such, the need for in-service training or staff development and skill enhancement programme for teachers plays an essential role in successful education reform. It also serves as a bridge between prospective and experienced educators to meet the new challenges of guiding students towards higher standards of learning and self development. In developing the professionalism status of teachers, the training program such as in-service training should not be run away from the reformation that occurs. In-service training offers one of the most promising roads to the improvement of instruction. It includes goal and content, the training process and the context.

The need for in-service training in schools is getting more attention for teachers to equip with new knowledge and skills for them to face new challenges and reformation in education. In-service training can enhance the competence and effectiveness of teachers to enable them to impart much needed quality education to the students. The knowledge, idea, skills and attitude of the educator must be developed through integrated and systematic way.

As such it’s now an established fact that one of the important component to improve the quality of education is through in-service training for teachers. With respect to this, even though there are many in-service training programmes being organised by the school Education Department through State institute of education (SIE Kashmir) and the DIETs (District institute of education and training) the effectiveness of in-service training in schools is not up to the satisfactory levels as felt various educationists and experts in the field. It would be sheer injustice to assess the quality of education in terms of the annual results only because the whole purpose of teaching learning process is to produce efficient and competent moderate global citizens.

One of the most important indicators to suggest the lesser quality of education in schools and colleges is the rising unemployment because the learners do not possess enough skills to strive for self sufficiency and to compete as global Citizens. In such a system the pass out students from schools and colleges would wait for years together to look for a government job rather than to make themselves more capable, skilful and competitive in a world where there is no dearth of opportunities. To keep the process of teaching and learning updated and dynamic, the institutions of training and learning like SCERT Kashmir and the DIETS at the district level have a seriously important role to play but its widely believed that these institutions need to be modernized and upgraded enough to impart trainings and skills to the in service teachers which would ultimately benefit the students only.

Education like others fields of life has been facing new challenges and issues in a fast changing world and it would be suicidal to ignore the new roads to the improvement of instruction. In our state the teachers training hasn’t received the attention it deserves.

One of the basic reasons behind the lack of activity and ineffectiveness of DIETS in the state has been attributed to the fact that most of the people serving in these institutions have been there for so many years and in some case decades together despite the fact that the school education department, at few times, issued orders and instructions with regard to the transfers of these officials. Two years ago the education department, in an attempt to rejuvenate professionalism, Google form was circulated where interested teachers were asked to apply for the postings in then SIE and DIETs and some very tough qualifications were set for the eligibility of postings in these institutions. But unfortunately nothing happened despite some qualified and competent teachers applied for it. The school education department is yet to give any reason for ignoring the applications. If the state government is spending huge sums of money for the teacher training and for the advancement of the professional competence of teachers there is a need to use these institutions and their services.

There is a growing perception that the department should either frame a foolproof transfer policy, with regard to the postings or transfer to these institutions, or the full time staff should be recruited for these institutions so that the fundamental goal of skill enhancement of teachers and professionalism related to the quality of their work is achieved. The inservice teachers also need to be motivated to attend these institutions of learning by proper remuneration and rewards. The experiences gained through these training should be counted during promotions and career advancement of teachers. In this aspect, it is necessary for the Administration to provide a process of involving teachers in the identification of professional skills that need to be improved and for involving them in the design of activities and programme to provide this skill development.

Relating to this, teachers that have high positive attitudes toward their job are more interested to try new techniques and strategies, including those that they have learn from training conducted in their schools. Apart from that, the objectives of in-service training in schools is to change attitude and work schedules of teachers so as not to depend solely on instructions or circulars that will cut down the emphasis on prescriptive culture.

In this way, teachers will emphasis on team spirit and feeling of ownership as a source of importance when they attend in-service training and this will contribute towards the effectiveness of the training. Attitudes are important issues for training because they effect motivation. The effectiveness of the in-service training is influenced by the role of administrator, teacher’s attitude, needs analysis and strategies used in the training. The ongoing crisis due to covid 19 has thrown new challenges to the system especially the educators who had to try and test new techniques to keep the teaching learning process going. The virtual mode of education and new methods of teaching learning are the order of the day. Digitalization and online platforms are posing new challenges for the educators to upgrade their skills and sharpen their saw to fit into the system.

One hopes for a positive attitude from all sides because our future lies with our children and is shaped in the classroom.

(The writer is a columnist and academic counselor at IGNOU and can be reached at rayeesmasroor111@gmail.com)

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