The debate which started on Poonam Batra Committee recommendations regarding qualifications for teacher educators had developed into a full-fledged war. One can call it ‘teacher education war’ on the lines of ‘math wars’ and ‘science wars’ that raged in the western academia about 20-30 years back. I think academic wars are good signs for a society. What might have been decided earlier in some cases on the basis of patronage from establishment and academic alignments is being fought openly. That should help in sharper articulation of positions and more rigorous argumentation in public. Academic wars, of course, are fortunately bloodless and can also avoid creating bad-blood if fought with sensitivity and intelligence. I do hope that this war will be fought with such intentions. This article is certainly guided by this sentiment.
The latest move in this war is an internet petition put up by a group that calls itself “Save Teacher Education”, if the name reflects the motto of the group it certainly is loadable. The said petition has two parts in its title. One, “Reconstitute a more representative and non-partisan Committee on Regulations, Norms and Standards of the NCTE”, and two “Make Post Graduate Degree in Education an essential qualification for teaching”. In my usual selective manner, I will leave the first part alone; it seems to me that it does not matter as all committees are likely to have some or other bent of mind that can easily be called partisan. The second part, to my mind is more important; and therefore, I will spend my energies on it.
The question, then, for me is: should we make post-graduate degree in education essential for teaching in our Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs)? Before attempting an answer to this question, like a true Indian, I will review the poorva-paksha; and poorva-paksha in this case is the arguments put forward by the said petition, as this article is occasioned by it.
Actually both the pleas of the petition rest on the argument they build for making M.Ed./MA (Edu) essential for teaching in TEIs. Because the argument for reconstitution of the committee rests on the inadequacy or partisan nature of the committee in specifying the qualifications. And the acceptance or rejection of the qualifications depends on how good is the argument for making M.Ed./MA (Edu) essential.
The main argument the petition builds is as follows:
a. “Education has a small core of theory and a large periphery where one draws from the other disciplines in an eclectic manner.”
b. Masters stage “gives one the exposure to draw, connect and weave in from these inter related and inter dependent areas of knowledge and constitute an organic whole.”
c. Therefore, masters stage is necessary for being able to create an organic whole from the eclectically chosen knowledge from different disciplines.
d. And so, “Doing away with M.Ed./MA (Edu) degree as an essential requirement for TEIs is a dilution in the efforts towards teacher preparation and quality education …”. (Emphasis mine)
One understands that public petitions are not academic papers, and therefore, they state their arguments in a simple and summary manner rather than building them with all the detail and rigour. One of the principles of fairness in philosophical argumentation is that one should critique the strongest interpretation of the opponent’s position. This evening I want to follow this principle in letter and spirit.
The first premise of this argument, as it is stated, is seriously problematic. One, this makes education a collection of eclectically chosen knowledge from different disciplines around a small core of theory of its own. Eclectic means “selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas”, where the principle of selection is rather vaguely defined. If the principle is clearly and strictly defined then it becomes ‘derived’ on the basis of the principle rather than being ‘eclectic’. Two, the contributing disciplines are seen as periphery of education studies. They are not really the core of it, but rather somewhat intuitively selected collection, which may not be essential for education or may be selected differently without creating any serious incoherence. This makes education a very loosely defined field of study. Three, where that “small theory at the core” comes from is not clear; nor is its nature known. That makes the whole of education a very vague area of knowledge.
This characterisation of education studies is a popular one among people coming to education from other supposed to be well-defined disciplines like psychology and sociology. And this encourages them to push education on lines suggested by their own mother disciplines; a sure starting point for turf wars so common in education departments. As it is, it will not give the petitioners’ argument enough force to make M.Ed./MA (Edu) compulsory as that “small core of theory” can very well be acquired by anyone who has an academically disciplined mind capable of dealing with conceptual issues. Such a mind is supposed to be cultivated in master’s programmes in all disciplines; and definitely at the research level. So master’s degree in education may not be necessary. But I assume that the articulation here is simply a way of expressing something much stronger and more solid characterisation of education. Therefore, this is a minor point, and is made here only to replace this characterisation with a stronger one; and not as a critique of the whole argument.
One can easily replace this characterisation of education with, say, “education studies is a field of study unified by its central concerns immerging from intentional teaching and learning, with a well-defined domain that includes all issues arising out of this endeavour, from its impact on the individual and the society, and from its organisational arrangements”. At the heart of this endeavour is flourishing of the entire society and wellbeing of the individual learner. Education in this sense, when perused gives rise to a whole lot of fundamental questions about life, humans and society. These are its foundational questions. Insights gained from various disciplines become necessary conceptual apparatus to address those questions. The knowledge that is essential for addressing these questions becomes foundational; but the guiding principles emerge from the central concerns of education and not from the contributing disciplines. Also, no single contributing discipline is capable of shaping those principles as they necessarily admit different perspectives and are essentially contested. For example in deciding aims of education philosophical, sociological and historical perspectives necessarily interact; no single perspective is capable of providing sufficient grounds for decision. Therefore, education studies strives for an intellectually coherent and comprehensive understanding of education; and this understanding necessarily used insights from other disciples.
The main claim being made in the petition, then, is that such an intellectually coherent and comprehensive (organic whole, in the petition’s language) picture of education emerges only at the study of education at the master’s level. Therefore, a teacher without M.Ed./MA (Edu) is unlikely to have such an intellectually coherent and comprehensive picture of education. And a teacher who himself lacks such an understanding cannot give rise to that understanding in the student-teacher’s mind. Therefore, education will remain fragmented in the minds of the faculty and the student-teachers if the faculty has not studies education at MA/M.Ed. level. A teacher with fragmented understanding cannot provide good quality education to the children at school level.
Now, I accept that the following points could be successfully argued (though I am not working out the arguments here):
1. To be able to provide quality education a teacher requires intellectually coherent and comprehensive understanding of education. Otherwise, s/he is unlikely to be an efficient reflective practitioner.
2. Unless teacher educators themselves possess such intellectually coherent and comprehensive understanding most of the student-teachers will not develop such understanding.
3. One needs to study education for such an understanding; it does not emerge automatically and study of other disciplines to master’s level is not geared to develop such understanding of education.
But acceptance of the points 1 to 3 above does not necessarily lead to the requirement of MA (Edu)/M.Ed. for every faculty member of a TEI for a variety of reasons.
One, it is fairly possible to develop required understanding of education at the undergraduate level; that is, a good quality B.Ed. or B.El.Ed. should be able to develop such required understanding of education. I believe that even a good quality D.El.Ed. can succeed in forming an intellectually coherent and comprehensive framework of education in student-teachers’ mind. There is no reason to claim that it can happen only at the master’s level. But that simply shifts the focus from M.Ed./MA (Edu) to B.Ed./BA (Edu). The main argument remains the same.
The second reason for not accepting the necessity of M.Ed./MA (Edu) lies in the nature of education, teaching and institutionalised learning opportunities. The petition seem to see each teacher educator as a complete Guru in himself/herself. It seems to assume that each one will teach in isolation and completely oblivious of others. The nature of education is such that the overall capabilities of any student are a result of collective efforts of the faculty. However good or well (and appropriately) educated the individual faculty members might be, if the institutional collaboration, dialogue and awareness of what else (other than a single teacher’s subject) the students are learning are lacking, the institution will fail to develop adequate understanding of education in its students. Therefore, collaboration, dialogue, awareness of the total curricular learning is essential in any case; whether one makes M.Ed. and MA (Edu) essential or not. Without such an institutional ambiance teacher-education will necessarily fail even if each individual teacher educator is a great scholar of education.
Therefore, we should think of faculty qualification keeping the whole institution and its working culture in mind. Now suppose that there are 15 teacher in a TEI. Further suppose that each one has some experience of education either as B.Ed./B.El.Ed. or M.Ed./MA (Edu) or research/Ph.D. level. Further suppose that half of them actually have M.Ed./MA (Edu) and everyone has adequate knowledge of his/her own subject (for example MA in philosophy, etc.). If this institution has the work culture of collaboration, dialogue and each member has a fairly good idea of the whole curriculum, then the student-teacher should be able to develop the adequate and comprehensive understanding of education we have been describing above, even if some of his/her teachers are not M.Ed./MA (Edu) and even if some of them themselves do not have that comprehensive understanding. This will happen because of the atmosphere created by faculty’s awareness of other subjects and mutual dialogue and collaboration when needed. In addition, it seems to me that a faculty who teaches, say psychology, has an MA in psychology, knows about the whole curriculum and interacts and collaborates with his colleagues will develop an overall understanding of education within 2 to 3 years. (Sorry, I have no systematic empirical study to back this claim, but my experience in institutions has convinced me of this.)
If this understanding has some merit, then, though it is desirable that each faculty has an M.Ed./MA (Edu), still it is not necessary, and the institution can function well, and achieve its aims, even with some of the faculty without MA (Edu)/M.Ed. That is, if it is a properly functioning institution.
However, there may be certain courses like curriculum study which should be preferably taught by faculty who have MA (Edu)/M.Ed. of have adequate preparation, as such courses are integrative and can be better handled by someone who has studies education.
Another important issue that emerges here is the responsibility of institutions to prepare their own faculty to have a clear idea of its programmes and what is needed to achieve their goals. When we imagine institutions, we sadly leave out their responsibility to prepare their faculty and to provide opportunities of growth of faculty.
Now, if we look at Poonam Batra Committee recommendations in this light we can immediately see that most of the specified qualifications are fair enough. The curricular requirements are taken care at the institutional level and there is a strong possibility that about 50% faculty will have studied education at the master’s level. As a safeguard, may be the committee can recommend that a certain percentage, just for example say 50%, of faculty must have studied education either at the bachelor’s or at the master’s level.
Having said that, one must note that there are some lapses in the recommendations here and there, and they must be corrected. For example, a bias towards elementary education, and consequently for B.El.Ed. There is no reason to assume that this bias is a result of being partisan to B.El.Ed.; it seems it is a result of an academic stance where elementary education is seen as the most important. Another example is absence of history and philosophy faculty in B.Ed. No mention of MA in philosophy is made while other humanity and social science post-graduates are allowed to teach foundational courses. There are several such lapses and the tables need to be very carefully checked and revised if need be.
The petition also points out one problem in B.Ed. curriculum; that is of not having philosophy of education in the foundations. Actually, the report is the weakest where it suggests curriculum. The suggested curriculum is seriously flowed and can hardly be defended; but I will not go into details of it here as I have argued that elsewhere; and as actually it requires a separate complete paper.
If this analysis is acceptable then the petitioners’ claim of making M.Ed./MA (Edu) essential cannot be accepted. The concern of the petitioners may be genuine, but it is misguided and without proper analysis of overall institutional functioning and requirements.
The kind of overall qualifications that are recommended by the committee are likely to bring in some fresh thought and critique in teacher education; and that is very much needed at present. Therefore, if the petitioners are genuinely interested in betterment of teacher education they should not insist upon making MA (Edu)/M.Ed. necessary. They should rather be arguing for more openness in teacher education.
Sir, kya yehi tark any discipline ke liye bhi diya ja skta hai? for example, medical, engineering etc?
Yes. It would be more applicable to engineering and medicine. A mathematics teacher in engineering need not be an engineer; a chemistry teacher in medicine need not be a doctor. It is somewhat less applicable in education than both engineering and medicine as in education one has to situate ‘philosophy of education’, ‘sociology of education’ more clearly in the overall curriculum and they deal with central concerns of education. There is no such necessity for math in engineering and chemistry in medicine; for example. We should also note that the term ‘discipline’ is not used in the same manner in, say, engineering and physics. Engineering is more of a multidisciplinary field of study rather than a single discipline. Education is even more complex than engineering. The other part of the argument that a faculty after some preparation can teach across the entire the field of study may be more application in education than in engineering. But even in education this argument has its limits.
Sir phir to sabhi disciplines k liye aisa ker dena chahiya. Ager jarurat nahi to education and other subjects me master degree ki kya jarurat h bechelor degree k basd hi assist.profess.appoint ker dena chahiya.i strongly against this recom. And I request all b.ed m.a m.ed m.phil students k wo apne hak k liye ek ho aur is recomm.k agsinst struggle kere aur iss recom.ko pass hone se roke nahi to jaise school edu. Ko degrade ker diya gaya h waise hi h.edu. ko bhi ker diya jayega aur ek sazl k ander iss qualification k canditate ko job k liye ineligible bana diya jayaga. ye sirf apne student ko lane ka tereka h aur kuch nahi.kisi bhi disciplne k liye usme expert hona jaruri h aur master degree isiliye li jati h
Well, anonymous friend, I suggest you read what I have already written. I never said that no masters degree is needed. Nor does my argument imply that. And requires of degrees is an academic matter. “Share b.ed. M.ed. Ek hijayen” etc. is not reasoned debate, it’s self-interested politics. What ever you have written in your comment is totally baseless and illogical. But you are entitled to have your opinion. Wishing you well.
Rohit Dhankar From mobile device
Plz b.el.ed ko bacchaao nahin to yah vilupt ho jayega!
Please read the petition above.
Rohit Dhankar From mobile device
sir this is the different petition to save b.el.ed.
मैं आपको पिछले कई वर्षों से शिक्षा-विमर्श में पढ़ रहा हूं तथा आपकी ब्लाॅग को भी फाॅलो कर रहा हूं। हाल ही में आपकी ब्लाॅग पर एक ‘खुला पत्र’ पढ़ा और फिर दूसरा लेख जिसमें आपने ‘शिक्षा’ में स्नात्तकोत्तर डिग्री पर सवाल खड़े किये। मैंने शिक्षा में स्नातक तथा स्नातकोत्तर किया है फिर भी अपने आप को आपके समक्ष बौना पाता हूं और ‘खुला पत्र’ लिखने की धृष्टता नहीं कर सकता। अतः एक ’बंद पत्र’ ही लिख रहा हूं। इसी प्रकार मेरा अंग्रेजी में हाथ तंग है और अपनी बात कहने के लिए हिन्दी को प्रयोग में लाता हूं और इसमें भी आपकी तरह सिद्धहस्त नहीं हूं न ही आपकी तरह रूपको का इस्तेमाल कर पाता हूं अतः भाषा के स्तर पर भी आपसे माफी चाहता हूं।
पहले तो मैं इस बहस के बारे में नहीं जानता था पर जब आपका यह ‘खुला पत्र’ पढ़ा तो मुझे भी इस बहस को जानने की इच्छा हुई। और जल्दी-जल्दी मैंने दोनों रिपोर्ट- बत्रा रिपोर्ट और जांगरिया रिपोर्ट- पढ़ डाली। जहां तक दोनों रिपोर्ट का सवाल है मुझे दोनों में ही विसंगतियां नजर आई। उदाहरण के लिए जहां बत्रा रिपोर्ट सिर्फ प्रारम्भिक शिक्षा पर ही अपना ध्यान केन्द्रित किए हुए है और अपने पसंदीदा कार्यक्रम बी.एल.एड. को ही केन्द्र में रखे हुए है वहीं दूसरी तरफ जांगरिया रिपोर्ट ने कोई शोध किए बिना ही कई निष्कर्ष निकाल लिए। ऐसे बिना शोध के निष्कर्ष निकालने में बत्रा समिति भी पीछे नहीं है! मैं पिछले 6-7 सालों में बी.एल.एड. के विद्यार्थियों से मिला हूं तथा व्यक्तिगत रूप से कईयों को जानता हूं जिनके साथ हुई बातचीत व अनुभव के आधार पर कहा जा सकता है कि जांगरिया रिपोर्ट को पूर्णतया दरकिनार कर देना नासमझी होगी। उदाहरण के तौर पर मेरी एक मित्र, जिसने दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय के मिराण्डा काॅलेज से बी.एल.एड. किया, ने कई विश्वविद्यालयों में बी.एड. के लिए आवेदन किया और उसे कहीं पर भी प्रवेश नहीं दिया गया। पिछले वर्ष बी.एड. परीक्षा के लिए आवेदन करने वालों में कई विद्यार्थी बी.एल.एड. से भी थे जिन्होंने परीक्षा दी, उसे पास की पर प्रवेश नहीं पा सके। और बहुत सारे ऐसे विद्यार्थी भी थे जिनका फाॅर्म रिजेक्ट हो गया था क्योंकि आॅनलाइन फाॅर्म में बी.एल.एड. के लिए इसमें कोई स्थान नहीं था और ऐसे भी बहुत सारे विद्यार्थी थे जिनको यह पता चलने के कारण कि वे इसके लिए ‘योग्य’ नहीं हैं आवेदन नहीं किया। सवाल यह है कि उसे बी.एल.एड. के बाद बी.एड. करने की आवश्यकता क्यों पड़ी? कारण था उनके पास दो स्कूली विषय नहीं थे और प्रत्येक न्युनतम 200 अंक के साथ जिन्हें उन्होंने अपनी स्नातक के दौरान पढ़ा हो। एक दूसरी मित्र जो कई वर्षों से दिल्ली नगर निगम के प्राथमिक स्कूल में पढ़ा रही है उसे इसलिए प्रोमोशन नहीं दिया गया क्योंकि उसके पास ‘उपयुक्त योग्यता’ नहीं थी जबकि उसके बाद में नियुक्त हुए लोगों को प्रोमोशन का लाभ दे दिया गया। यह सवाल मैं इसलिए उठा रहा हूं कि आप इस कोर्स की पैरवी अपने लेखों और वक्तव्यों में करते रहें हैं और आप इसे ‘देश का सर्वश्रेष्ठ शिक्षक-प्रशिक्षण कार्यक्रम है‘ कहते हैं। जांगरिया रिपोर्ट को आप इस कोर्स पर एक ‘आक्रमण’ कहते हैं और ‘सेव दि बी.एल.एड.’ नामक एक आॅनलाइन पेटिशन का समर्थन करते हैं जैसे कि वाकई में बी.एल.एड. नामक यह कोर्स विलुप्त होने के कगार पर है! जबकि आप भी यह भली भांति जानते हैं कि ऐसे किसी भी कोर्स को बंद करना इतना आसान नहीं होता और यह सब उस समय कहा जा रहा है जब बी.एल.एड. के लिए गठित अंतरिम समिति ने अपनी रिपोर्ट में यह कमियां गिनाई है। तो फिर दोष जांगरिया समिति को ही क्यों? या तो अंतरिम रिपोर्ट पर सवाल खडे़ं किए जाने चाहिए थे या फिर इस तथ्य को स्वीकार करना चाहिए कि बी.एल.एड. कार्यक्रम में कई आधारभूत कमियां है। और कमियां होना कोई गलत बात तो नहीं है? गलत बात यह है कि हम उन कमियों को स्वीकार करते हैं या फिर ‘हम सर्वश्रेष्ठ हैं’ को लेकर बैठे रहते हैं। क्यों आज इस कार्यक्रम के शुरू होने के 20 वर्ष बाद भी आपने व इसके पैरोकारों ने यह मांग नहीं की कि पी.आर.टी. एवं टी.जी.टी. के मध्य एक और नया कैडर शुरू किया जाये या फिर इन्हें टी.जी.टी. के समकक्ष रखा जाये। क्यों किसी ‘बाहरी तटस्थ समिति’ के द्वारा इस कोर्स की समीक्षा नहीं करवाई गई? क्यों 20 वर्ष बाद भी आज तक इसकी पाठ्यचर्या की समीक्षा नहीं हुई? आप ठीक फरमाते हैं कि यह कोर्स एन.सी.एफ. 2005 के सबसे नजदीक बैठता है तो क्या एन.सी.एफ. को ‘गीता’ या ’बाइबिल’ मान कर उस पर उंगली न उठाई जाये? क्या आलोचनात्मक शिक्षण यही है जिसकी हिमाकत एन.सी.एफ. 2005 बार-बार करता है? अगर आप इसे इतना ही बेहतरीन कोर्स मानते हो तो क्या आपने या आपके किसी साथी पैरोकार ने- जो हमेशा शोध की बातें करते हैं- कोई ऐसा शोध किया या जानने की कोशिश की कि इस कोर्स से पिछले 20 सालों में निकले विद्यार्थी कहां गये हैं? कितने उनमें से सरकारी/सार्वजनिक विद्यालयों में पढ़ा रहें है? और कितने निजी विद्यालयों में? कितने विद्यार्थी ऐसे हैं जो प्राइवेट प्रकाशनों के लिए ‘करी मैकर’ का काम कर रहें हैं जो बने बनाये ‘पाठ-योजना’ परोस रहें हैं? और कितने विद्यार्थी ऐसे हैं जिनके लिए एम.एड. या एम.ए. ;एजूकेशनद्ध जैसी डिग्रियों को हटाकर उनके लिए जगह बनाई जा रही है? यह मैं भी मानता हूं कि एम.एड. पाठ्यक्रम में बदलाव की जरूरत है और यह आपके बी.एल.एड. जैसा ‘पूर्ण’ कोर्स नहीं है फिर भी क्या सिर्फ उन चंद लोगों को नौकरी में घुसाने के लिए यह कदम सार्थक है? आप कहते हैं कि आप जैसे बहुत सारे लोग बिना इन डिग्रियों के आये हैं और शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में काफी काम किया है। इस तथ्य से कोई इंकार नहीं कर सकता कि आप, अनिल सद्गोपाल, पूनम बत्रा, अनिता रामपाल, और कई अन्य ऐसे लोग हैं ;आपने तो प्रोफेसर कृष्ण कुमार को भी इस श्रेणी में रखा था पर उनके पास शिक्षा में एम.ए. की डिग्री है, शायद आपने ऐसा इसलिए किया कि एम.एड. को अलग कर दिया जाये लेकिन जिस पेटिशन को इंगित कर आपने लेख लिखा है उसमें कही पर भी नहीं लिखा कि यह सिर्फ एम.एड. की बात कर रही है वरन् वह शिक्षा में ‘मास्टर’ की बात करती है जिसमें एम.एड., एम.एम. ;शिक्षाद्ध, एम. ए. ;इलेमेन्ट्री एजूकेशनद्ध आदि आते हैं द्ध जो बिना ऐसी किसी डिग्री के शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में आए और डिग्री धारकों से अच्छा काम किया। यह तो अच्छी बात है कि हमारे विश्वविद्यालयों में इसका स्काॅप है तभी आप जैसे अच्छे लोग आ पाये। फिर आप किस ‘आॅपननेस’ की बात कर रहें है?
इस पूरी बहस को सिर्फ बी.एल.एड. बनाम एम.एड. का रंग दे दिया गया है जो कि पूरी तरह गलत है। बहुत से ऐसे लोग है जिन्होंने बी.एल.एड. के बाद एम.एड. या एम.ए. एजूकेशन किया और वो काॅलेजों में पढ़ा भी रहें हैं। इस बहस में एक बात और भी निकल के आई। यह प्रचारित किया गया कि इन रिपोर्टस, विशेषतः बत्रा रिपोर्ट, को ‘बायस’ होकर पढ़ा जा रहा है और लोगों से इसे ‘तटस्थ’ होकर पढ़ने की अपील की गई। रोचक बात यह रही कि यह ‘तटस्थता’ सिर्फ एक गु्रप के पास ही थी। हो सकता है आपके ‘भोला’ स्वर्ग भ्रमण के दौरान इसे वहां से ले आये हों और उस ग्रुप मंे वितरित कर दी हो नहीं तो भला इतना ‘तटस्थ’ कोई कैसे हो सकता है!
अगर एक क्षण के लिए मान भी लिया जाये कि हमें शिक्षा में पढ़ाने के लिए शिक्षा में स्नातकोत्तर की डिग्री की आवश्यकता नहीं तो फिर श्रीमान यह बात सिर्फ ‘शिक्षा’ जैसे विषय पर ही क्यों? क्यों नहीं मेरे गांव के उस बंगाली डाॅक्टर को सरकारी अस्पताल में नियुक्त कर दिया जाये जो कई सालों से मेरे गांव में दवाई दे रहा है और उसे लोग एक ‘अच्छा’ डाॅक्टर कहते हैं? क्यों नहीं उस मिस्त्री को इंजिनियरिंग विभाग में नियुक्त कर दिया जाये जिसने गांव में खूबसूरत मंदिर का निर्माण किया है? बल्कि उसे तो कानून विभाग में लगाया जाना चाहिए! मैं मानता हूं कि अनुभव को महत्व दिया जाना चाहिए और कोई भी इस बात से मना नहीं कर सकता। क्या देशभर में कोई ऐसा विश्वविद्यालय होगा जो लता मंगेशकर या ए. आर. रहमान को अपने संगीतशास्त्र विभाग में नहीं रखेगा? या कोई ऐसा खेल विभाग होगा जो सचिन तेन्दूलकर या बाइचुंग भूटिया को अपने यहां पढ़ाने के लिए नहीं रखेगा। तो फिर आप कैसे कह सकते हैं कि शिक्षा विभाग के द्वारा बंद है? दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय का शिक्षा विभाग तो इसका जीता जागता उदाहरण हैं।
अंतिम बात इस दलील के पीछे का प्रमुख कारण बत्रा समिति के द्वारा यह बताया गया कि देशभर में शिक्षा में स्नातकोत्तर किए हुए लोगों की कमी है। मुझे नहीं पता इसके लिए बत्रा समिति ने किस प्रकार का शोध किया था। पर विश्वविद्यालय अनुदान आयोग हर वर्ष दो बार नेट की परीक्षा करवाता है और जून 2010 से लेकर दिसम्बर 2013 तक नेट परीक्षा पास किए गए अभ्यर्थियों की संख्या 18,092 है इसके अलावा 2243 जे.आर.एफ. हैं जो कुल मिलाकर 20 हजार से ज्यादा हैं और मुझे नहीं लगता कि देशभर में शिक्षा विभाग में इतने पद खाली हैं। न ही कभी कोई ऐसी सूचना सुनने को मिली कि फलां विश्वविद्यालय के शिक्षा-विभाग में 10 पद आवेदित किये थे और उसके जवाब में एक भी आवेदनपत्र प्राप्त नहीं हुआ या फिर 1ः3 के अनुपात ;शायद यह न्युनतम अनिवार्यता है नियुक्ति करने के लिएद्ध से कम आवेदन प्राप्त हुए। अब श्रीमान आप ही बताईये कि यह कौनसी ‘तटस्थता’ है जिस पर सवाल उठाने पर लोगों को परेशानी शुरू हो जाती है? इससे बेहतर तो यह होगा कि जो लोग शिक्षा की दुहाई देते हुए अपने कुछ खास ‘चेलों’ को व्यवस्था में खपाना चाहते हैं उन्हें भी इस प्रक्रिया से गुजरने को कहें और वाकई में अगर वो इस लायक हैं तो इसके द्वार तो सबके लिए खुले हैं। आपने अपने ‘खुले पत्र’ में जिन दो लोगों ;प्रोफेसर एस. के. यादव व प्रोफेसर हरीश राठौड़द्ध का जिक्र किया मैं उनकी बात से इत्तेफाक नहीं रखता और मुझे लगता है कि हमें ऐसे प्रहारों से बचना चाहिए। बल्कि ऐसे प्रहार हमें मूल बहस से दूर कर देते हैं। एक और बात जो मुझे चिंताजनक लगती है वह यह है कि यह पूरी बहस सिर्फ दिल्ली व कुछ शहर केन्द्रित होकर रह गई है। इन दोनों समितियों में शामिल अधिकतर लोग सिर्फ दिल्ली के ही हैं क्या देश के सैंकडा़ें शहरों में ऐसे लोगों की कमी थी जिनकों इसमें शामिल किया जाता।
हो सकता है आप मेरी बहुत सी बातों से सहमत न हों फिर भी संवाद बनाये रखने की उम्मीद करता हूं।
एक ‘प्रशिक्षित’ बेरोजगार
Dear anonymous friend,
I am sorry for replying in English to your open letter (yes, it is an open letter) written in Hindi. Reason is very simple, I cannot type in Hindi and typing on the net takes too much time, which unfortunately I don’t have. So please pardon me.
You have raise very important points, very clearly and with a certain coherence in your argument. This is a genuine debate, unlike many emails earlier; and I appreciate that. Many of your claims I find worth accepting, many other worth considering and some worth refuting. My attention will be on the last one, and some explanations.
You must note that in my open letter I am responding only to three issues raised by two emails and one news report in The Pioneer. The Pioneer report names 7 people who, according to Prof. Sahoo are not eligible to be NCTE council members. According to two emails they are not even eligible to be professors. The reasons alluded to are that they do not have M.Ed. [MA (Edu) is included in this debate first time in the petition, before that it is only M.Ed.]. In that letter I am siting NCTE and UGC norms to say that M.Ed. is not mandatory to become professor and as per NCTE rules these people are fully eligible. I did not need to consider individual qualifications of each of the mentioned people (the list comes from The Pioneer, is not mine).
I wonder if you have noticed that I am focussing on faculty qualifications alone and repeating again and again that Poonam Batra Committee Report may have other things which need to be debated and may be revised. I have given two such examples myself, without elaborating upon them: 1. The issue of suggested curriculum; and 2. The issue of tight control and cumbersome process of getting recognition. This disagreement with the report comes from my convictions (I might be wrong, but at this moment, I do hold that conviction) that control cannot improve quality; and that QUALITY, RESPONSIBILIT AND AUTONOMY go together. It is a package deal, take it or leave it. Tight control does not allow autonomy and the responsibility dies immediately; quality is not even born in such a situation.
Even in qualifications I suggested in my last post that the tables should be re-examined for some inconsistencies and oversights.
Then what do I find worth defending in Batra Committee report? Well, plenty. The overall attempt to make curriculum relevant and emphasis on genuine practice rather than the drama of lesson teaching. And this I appreciate in spite of organisation of the theoretical knowledge being indefensible. But more than that I appreciate and find fighting for the way faculty qualifications are worked out. Please remember that the debate is sparked by this issue alone. I am the only one who is mentioning the other issues.
What is so appreciable about this working out of faculty qualifications? Well, my interpretations is as below (I do not know whether Prof. Batra and the committee will agree with me in this interpretation or not):
1. The faculty positions are worked out with the whole TEI in mind, not assuming that each guru has to be ‘sarva-guna-smapoorna’ in himself or herself. I see it as a beginning in better institutional imagination and it has far reaching implications.
2. The idea of selected faculty ATER ADEQUATE PREPERATION teaching across the curriculum, that is, someone who is selected to teach psychology of education, and gets interested in sociology of education, interacts with colleagues, looks at the curriculum, read, prepares; then can teach sociology of education without an MA in sociology. The more people we have in an institution who have understanding of more than one course and can situate them in the overall curriculum the better. This has potential of better dialogue in the institutions.
3. The really contested idea that a person having masters in sociology and research experience in some aspect of sociology of education; can be selected to teach in a suitable course in foundational areas. This is very positive to my mind. Education by nature is a field of enquiry which requires significant understanding and insights from several disciplines. Without this possibility we will produce educators with limited understanding. (Arguments for this can be seen in my earlier posting.) And this is one aspect of what I mean by openness.
That is what I am arguing about is the recommended qualifications.
Now let us deal with counter arguments. You have raised a very good questions: “अगर एक क्षण के लिए मान भी लिया जाये कि हमें शिक्षा में पढ़ाने के लिए शिक्षा में स्नातकोत्तर की डिग्री की आवश्यकता नहीं तो फिर श्रीमान यह बात सिर्फ ‘शिक्षा’ जैसे विषय पर ही क्यों? … … क्यों नहीं उस मिस्त्री को इंजिनियरिंग विभाग में नियुक्त कर दिया जाये जिसने गांव में खूबसूरत मंदिर का निर्माण किया है?”
This question has to be taken seriously. This is one of the questions I deal on a regular basis as part of my job in two organisations; a university and a voluntary agency I am associated with. To undersand the argument properly first let’s make a distinction between (i) appointment as an architect to develop building plans, and (ii) appointment to teach students architecture. Let’s call this job architect-teacher.
Appointment as architect will depend on whether he can only build a temple or has general capability to design a range of building whether they are temples, houses, mosques or schools. If this person has sufficient breadth and depth in his capability to design buildings, I do not know why he should not be appointed as an architect. If you have any reasons I would like to know of them.
The second, appointment as an architect-teacher, is a little more complex. For a teacher in addition to be able to design a variety of buildings at the least one more capability is required: understanding of the theory behind designing buildings and the design being informed by that theory. If this person has both, again, I do not know why he should not be appointed as an architect-teacher.
Please remember that no one has argued that a good teacher without education till master’s level should be appointed as a faculty in a TEI. So actually your question is irrelevant. The real issue is whether only the master’s degree in education should be allowed or master’s in other RELEVANT and CONTRIBUTING disciplines should also be allowed. In that perspective a more directly relevant example would be: whether an M.Sc. in physics should be allowed to teach PHYSICS in an engineering college or not. Well, they are allowed as far as I know. The second issue is whether an M.Sc. in physics who also happens to have studies mathematics till graduation and is interested in it should be allowed to teach MATHEMATICS in an engineering college or not. Again, as fat as I know, they are allowed.
I have also pointed out, if you have noticed, that education demands much more close integration than engineering. A post-graduate in mathematics can teach mathematics in engineering without having over all vision of the B.E. curriculum and without much special preparation; but a post-graduate in, say, philosophy cannot teach philosophy of education without having a vision of overall curriculum and special preparation. Because in B.E. you teach “mathematics FOR engineering” and in B.Ed. you teach “philosophy OF education”. Mathematics in engineering is a TOOL, philosophy of education is a CONSTITUTIVE ELEMENT. And still I will claim that allowing a post-graduate in philosophy to teach philosophy of education is a good idea, with required preparation which is not the same thing as having an MA (Edu) or M.Ed. It will bring in fresh philosophical critique of education and save education from in-breeding, which will harm education no end.
You have raised several issues regarding B.El.Ed. I see them as (i) issues of quality, and (ii) issues of acceptance as qualification in jobs and further study. Of course they are elated.
I have done no study on B.El.Ed. But you should remember that being “better or best” and being “perfect” are not the same things. I never claimed that B.El.Ed. is perfect. All I claimed is: as far as I know it is the best teacher education programme in the country. Why do I say that? On purely impressionistic assessment. I might be wrong. But one or two B.El.Ed. graduates have worked with me as teachers, I have taught in MA (Edu) at the least 30 B.El.Ed. graduates, I have interacted with hundreds of B.El.Ed. as they come to visit some schools I am associated with, and I have looked at the syllabus. It convinces me that there is a lot of room for improvement, but the programme is making a good contribution to teacher education. I repeat I am not saying it is PERFECT.
The issue of accepting as qualification for jobs and further education is not something that I have commented on. The people who are running B.El.Ed. should convince the powers that accept qualifications; and the powers themselves should decide on the quality. If there are problems they should be shorted out. That is all I have to say on this issue.
I am also convinced that the bias that seem to be in favour of B.El.Ed. is not a deliberate bias for this programme but a result of an academic position that elementary education should be kept at the centre of teacher education. I don’t agree with this position entirely, but it is an arguable academic position.
You have asked “तो फिर आप कैसे कह सकते हैं कि शिक्षा विभाग के द्वारा बंद है?” Simple answer is, as far as I know, one necessarily needs an M.Ed. to be appointed as a faculty on TEIs; not even an MA (Edu) is allowed. Please remember that I am not saying that education as a field of study is closed; no, I am saying “teacher education” is closed. If my information is wrong please let me know, I will be very happy to correct my position.
You also lapse into rhetoric and allegations in your letter. Example: “अब श्रीमान आप ही बताईये कि यह कौनसी ‘तटस्थता’ है जिस पर सवाल उठाने पर लोगों को परेशानी शुरू हो जाती है?” I am not interested in analysing this; because I am not defending either people or the entire repot, and am certainly not interested in distributing certificates to people. I am defending an academic position regarding faculty qualifications and am ready to listen to counter arguments and taking them into consideration. But am not ready to accept simple assertions however forcefully they might be made.
I have nothing to say on the debate being centred in Delhi. Well, usually Delhi is the centre of power and that’s how things happen in education in India. But obviously I do want the debate to be from all parts of the country. I have nothing to do with Delhi, by the way.
I gain apologise for writing in English due to my imitations in typing in Hindi, and not because of any limitation in using Hindi for discourse on education. If someone from your friends wants to help me by translating these posts into Hindi I will be very happy to accept such a generous offer.
Hope I have been able to respond to at the least some of your concerns, even if we disagree.
With best wishes
sir you have said in your response to last comment that Please remember that no one has argued that a good teacher without education till master’s level should be appointed as a faculty in a TEI. you have also quoted in you article that
” it is fairly possible to develop required understanding of education at the undergraduate level; that is, a good quality B.Ed. or B.El.Ed. should be able to develop such required understanding of education. I believe that even a good quality D.El.Ed. can succeed in forming an intellectually coherent and comprehensive framework of education in student-teachers’ mind. ”
This means that if a student develops such understanding at D.El.Ed. and suppose she also have good content knowledge of ‘relevant discipline’ than according to your opinion she might be appointed as teacher educator?
But somewhere I also read that you were saying that master level qualifications from relevant discipline are essential.
Can you elaborate why?
You have also written that The petition seems to see each teacher educator as a complete Guru in himself/herself?
Can you elaborate the points from the petition from where you come to that point?
“that Please remember that no one has argued that a good teacher without education till master’s level should be appointed as a faculty in a TEI.” This was in response to the question that if someone builds a good temple can that person be employed as a teacher in an institute of architecture. As the academic qualification of this temple builder is not mentioned, I was reminding that no faculty without at the least one master’s level degree is recommended for TEIs. That master’s degree may be in some other discipline than ‘education’. “” it is fairly possible to develop required understanding of education at the undergraduate level; that is, a good quality B.Ed. or B.El.Ed. should be able to develop such required understanding of education. I believe that even a good quality D.El.Ed. can succeed in forming an intellectually coherent and comprehensive framework of education in student-teachers’ mind. ” This comes in the context of having understanding of education as a field of study in addition to masters in a contributing discipline (like sociology, philosophy, etc.). what is claimed is that the overall understanding of what education as a stud happens to be can come even from B.Ed.; masters in education along with the masters in a contributing discipline may not be needed. I am arguing for at the least one master’s level degree, because study at master’s degree brings a certain academic maturity, ability to deal with concepts, theories, ideas etc. once you develop such an understanding it is possible to learn theories, concepts etc. in other disciplines; but without any experience of that academic involvement and rigour it may not develop automatically. “The petition seems to see each teacher educator as a complete Guru in himself/herself?” I made this remark as the overall view of the petition seem to suggest that each faculty has to have all the requisite knowledge of education to be a faculty. I am suggesting that in a proper institutional ambience some one with specialisation in a contributing discipline may be helped by other faculty members in situating his/her expertise in the overall curriculum. I cannot understand “anonymous” responses in an academic debate; I find them neither needed not appropriate.
I have not revealed my name because I have done B.El.Ed. and I may be wrong but i think that if i will be revealing my name it can have adverse impact in future as i am still struggling for a job…
Sir I believe ideas are more important than names…
Of course in discussions idea are more important than names. That’s why I respond even to anonymous comments. But it is a sad commentary on the academic environment of the country if expression of ideas can have adverse impact on people’s future.
Rohit Dhankar From mobile device
M.Ed desirable करने से क्वालिटी ऑफ़ एजुकेशन पर नेगेटिव असर पड़ेगा इससे प्राइवेट colleges को और छूट मिल जाएगी. फिर वो और ज्यादा अपने मन मुताबिक़ लोगो को टीचर रखेंगे. इस पर आपका क्या कहना है रोहित जी? आप निश्चित ही इस बात का oppose करेंगे या बड़े ही अच्छे ढंग से बात को किसी लार्जर इशू की तरफ मोड़ देंगे. ……. हम आपकी मजबूरी समझते हैं sir..
I cannot understand “anonymous” responses in an academic debate; I this anonymity neither needed not appropriate. Am still responding.
I am doubtful is teacher education quality can go down any further. This is already a ruined sector. This is happening when the private and government ball TEI are supposed to appoint only M.Eds. we are barking up the wrong tree both in understanding the reasons behind bad quality of TE and margining ways of improving it.
I respectfully disagree with your comments and very strongly agree that an M. Ed degree should be made compulsory for a teacher educator. It is not because I believe that a post graduate degree in a mother discipline along with an M. Ed degree will make a person “a complete Guru”. You very clearly pointed out the importance of collaborative learning and cooperation among the faculties which will in turn help in the prosperity of the discipline, institute as well as the individual. What I say is, this cooperation should never stop no matter what so ever qualification or in what so ever field a person is in.
“In addition, it seems to me that a faculty who teaches, say psychology, has an MA in psychology, knows about the whole curriculum and interacts and collaborates with his colleagues will develop an overall understanding of education within 2 to 3 years”. This is a point that you raised.
Based on your point I would like to answer that an M. Ed group in itself is always a heterogeneous group and during the course we get ample amount of time and platform to discuss and debate with our classmates, collaborate and cooperate with each other which in turn helps us to understand the importance of each other’s mother discipline. The understanding, the maturity and the experience that we get while doing M. Ed can never be under estimated. While doing post graduation in our mother discipline, we tend to have a different kind of atmosphere where we concentrate on our core discipline. From my experience I can say and I am sure that several friends of mine will agree that we were able to understand better the nature of our mother discipline (its history, philosophy and its sociology) only after doing M. Ed. Therefore, I really know the value of M. Ed. Sir, I would like to ask you ‘what is the harm in understanding education by fully dedicating to it before becoming a faculty? You say that in 2 to 3 years a faculty of psychology can collaborate with his/ her colleagues and get an understanding of education. The question I raise is if one is really ‘interested’ in education then why can’t one dedicate full 2 years to understand the field? Anyhow you do agree that there are things a person should know apart from the mother discipline as a faculty in the education department, then why not learn atleast the periphery of it (which an M. Ed can provide) before entering in as a faculty???
And Sir let us talk reality: the work culture that you are talking about that is the collaboration, dialogue among faculties, for the prosperity of each other: how many institutes really have it??? I am not questioning our work culture but I am just pointing out the reality. So, knowing all these harsh realities why can’t we think of entering the field by at least having a basic knowledge about each other’s discipline and by knowing the importance of cooperation and collaboration among each other for the progress of education as a discipline. And I am sure that those who sincerely have passion for the field will find no harm in spending another 2 years in knowing about Education as a discipline. Let us respect the M. Ed degree and not underestimate it by just sidelining it. And education is not a closed field at all and is flexible as you can see from the examples of the list of faculties at the university of Delhi. But the degree of flexibility need to be kept in check rather than just opening the gate to all.
As a concluding comment I would also like to add that to dilute the discipline by saying that the numbers of M. Ed scholars are less is a really weird thing that I got to hear. If we don’t give due respect to the M. Ed course then obviously the enrollment rate of students will show a tremendous decrease and none of the new upcoming colleges will be motivated to take up the course. Education is all about motivating and not about demotivating. As a student of Education I really don’t want to see the field getting diluted. Let us not rubbish education by saying that it just has a “small core of theory” which does not require any master degree to understand.
I cannot understand “anonymous” responses in an academic debate; this anonymity is neither needed not appropriated. Am still responding. I am neither devaluing nor have anywhere said that there is any harm in having an M.Ed. degree. All I am saying is that (i) given some exposure in education at the Ph.D. or M.Fil. level, (ii) masters degree in a contributing discipline that is considered important in education, (iii) awareness of the whole curriculum, and (iv) ability to situate ones contributing sub-discipline in education, can make a good teacher educator; and this can also (please not, “also”) happen without M.Ed. You have written: “let us talk reality: the work culture that you are talking about that is the collaboration, dialogue among faculties, for the prosperity of each other: how many institutes really have it?” Very few to my mind; and the result is for all the see, the abysmally low quality of teacher education. This is happening when the M.Ed. is necessary to teach in the TEIs. So what is your explanation: why in spite M.Ed. being necessary this downslide in TE could not be stopped? If the institutional functioning is not changed how retaining necessity of M.Ed. will bring out improvement now? I am neither diluting the importance of M.Ed. not of education. Importance and quality is not improved by necessities. And am not using the numbers argument at all. The phrase ““small core of theory” is not my phase, nor do I believe in it. IT comes from the internet petition which says that education has a “small core of theory” and rest is built on the basis of contributing disciplines.
I beg to differ from you and would like to respond to you by saying that an undergraduate course in Education deals ‘more’ (I never am mentioning ‘only’) with the practical approach of Education and is ‘more’ concerned with the pedagogy, school experience program and its reflections. But an M. Ed course gives us a better (I am not telling ‘complete’) understanding of the theoretical complexities of Education which inturn helps us in choosing the sub-discipline or area of education that we want to work on. This is my understanding and I believe this will be the experience and understanding of the very many students who are doing research in the field of education.
And so, rather than just plunging into the field, why can’t we through M. Ed, first allow the students to understand the field, make opportunities for the students to mingle with friends of other discipline so that they understand the importance of a collaborative work which is needed for the progress of the field and to understand and appreciate its interdisciplinary approach. These experiences that we get while doing M. Ed are very much needed and these definitely play a major part in making us become a good teacher educator. Here we get a platform and time to build us up from scratch. Such a degree according to me can never be underestimated (I am not telling that you underestimate it). I am building up my argument on why i believe M. Ed should be made a compulsory qualification of a teacher educator.
Why do we prefer to do post graduation in our mother discipline after doing graduation? I believe the answer would be that after doing P. G we tend to get a more clearer (not complete) picture of the field and our thoughts, respect and passion for the discipline ‘increases’ which definitely get reflected and will be passed on to our students once we enter as a faculty. Similar is the case with education. I say it is a necessity to understand both the theoretical and practical aspect of a field before entering in as a faculty or before choosing an area of research.
The next point: I agree with you that our education is in an abysmal state. I am glad and was quite obvious that you will agree with me about the reality regarding collaboration and dialogue among the faculty (especially while considering each others progress). We know that such a healthy collaboration and active discussion for the progress of the’ others’ rarely happens. It is a harsh reality which we accept and which is one major cause for the abysmal state of education or be it progress of our country itself.
The “properly functioning institutes” that you talked about in the beginning are very few (you too have agreed on it in the response you gave). But you do agree that for a faculty without an M. Ed such a collaboration and dialogue becomes the most important part for understanding the discipline. Considering the current working culture and conditions in most of the institutes, do you think that such kind of support will be provided to the newly joined faculty? Instead, i believe the person who will enter the field without M. Ed will find herself or himself in a pickle. Why to create such a condition? M. Ed at least gives a person a platform and a base for understanding the discipline (its theoretical and practical approach) and its interdisciplinary approach which will be of great help as we enter the field as a faculty. I am no where mentioning that it will make us a ‘complete guru’. I take this opportunity now to ask you ” If the institutional functioning is not changed how by ‘not’ retaining necessity of M.Ed. will bring out improvement taking into account the current realities?
I request you to consider this point: At this particular time when we know that all these situations exist; how do you think making M. Ed (the course that gives us a ‘better’ understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of education) just a desirable requirement will help out? I believe it will just dilute the discipline more.
We need to inculcate the quintessential qualities of collaboration and cooperation among our learners and we have to join our hands and try to improve our institutional work culture. We here are concerned with ‘education’ as a discipline which needs to be given due respect just as any other mother discipline. We know that the field of education without friendly collaboration is responsible for the abysmal state of education and taking in all existing realities I strongly argue that making M.Ed as just a desirable qualification is not the right solution. Masters degree in Education should be made compulsory for a teacher educator for the ‘betterment of education’ and doing that does not mean that education has a closed gate. Giving less importance to M.Ed will bring in more complexities in the already existing web of complexities (about which you too are aware of and agree with).