Professional Skill Enrichment in Higher Education Institutions: A Challenge for Educational Leadership

Professional Skill Enrichment in Higher Education Institutions: A Challenge for Educational Leadership

Siran Mukerji (Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India), Purnendu Tripathi (Haute École Pédagogique Vaud, Switzerland) and Anjana Anjana (Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTESSS.2019070102

Abstract

The present study concentrates on assessing the ongoing method of capacity building of teachers in higher education institutions of India. It has been conceptualized with the objective of making a comprehensive study of the prevailing techniques of capacity building and skill enrichment for the teachers in higher education institutions of the country; determining the adequacy and effectiveness of these techniques in capacity building and enhancing the skill and competency of the human resources; and finally, suggesting ways of making the techniques more objective and purposeful besides what other measures can be implemented for improving the present system. The study reveals that there is a need for making an assessment of specific teachers' needs while designing subject specific training programmes that should be offered using modular approach and by incorporating latest developments in the concerned disciplines. Capacity building programmes must include IT-based competency enhancement modules offered through massive open online courses (MOOCs) and specialized certification courses.
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Introduction

The system of higher education has witnessed tremendous expansion and transformation. Various studies undertaken in our country and abroad have shown that any substantial increase in number of students, at university level makes impressive impact on economic growth in the decade that follows. As of now, there are 851 Universities (including 47 Central, 123 Deemed, 383 State Public Universities, and three institutions under state legislation) and 41012 Colleges with total student enrolment of over 36 million. Besides the GER getting doubled during the last 10 years to reach the level of 25.8%, the Govt. of India has projected GER of 30% by 2020. In order to provide quality education to the students of the country, there is a need for qualified and trained teachers for which National Mission on Teachers and Teaching had been launched by the Government of India so as to address important issues pertaining to availability of qualified teachers with systems to support their consistent knowledge up-gradation to match the global competition and other requirements of fast growing new knowledge in various disciplines and across disciplines. The mission also proposes to address the problem of attracting talent into teaching profession. It is also envisaged that the mission would pursue long term goal of building a strong professional cadre of teachers by setting performance standards and creating top class institutional facilities for innovative teaching and professional development of teachers. The mission focuses in a holistic manner dealing with the whole sector of education without fragmentation.

The need for quality educations system having competent teachers has been prioritized by the Government of India by putting forth the following objectives under Teacher Education and Training in the document of NITI Aayog entitled “Strategy for New India @75”:

  • “Enforcing minimum teacher standards through rigorous teacher eligibility tests and criteria for the induction of teachers;

  • Improving in-service teacher training system;

  • Increasing teacher accountability for learning outcomes of students;

  • Addressing the problem of teacher vacancies and teacher absenteeism.”

Different international organizations such as United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) have defined the term “capacity building” or “capacity development” in varying perspective. Some common elements and learning emerge from their meaning of capacity building or development as given below:

  • Capacity development is a process of change, and hence is about managing transformations. People's capacities and institutional capacity and a society's capacity change over time. A focus on what development policies and investments work best to strengthen the abilities, networks, skills and knowledge base cannot be a one-off intervention;

  • There can be short-term results. And often in crises and post conflict situations there is a need for such. But even short-term capacity gains, such as increase in monetary incentives or introducing a new information system, must be supported by a sustained resource and political commitment to yield longer term results that truly impact on existing capacities;

  • Capacity development is about who and how and where the decisions are made, management takes place, services are delivered and results are monitored and evaluated. It is primarily an endogenous process, and whilst supported and facilitated by the international development community, it cannot be owned or driven from the outside. At the end of the day, it is about capable and transformational states, which enable capable and resilient societies to achieve their own development objectives over time.

In view of the above, the present paper attempts to make a comprehensive study of the academic infrastructure of India and an assessment of human resource development or capacity building techniques for teachers in higher education institutions in the country in terms of their adequacy and effectiveness. On the basis of the study, researchers have suggested ways and measures for making these techniques more objective and purposeful for implementation in the present system.

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