From offering induction and mentorship for new recruits, on-job training for current faculty, and re-hiring of retired teachers as ‘national’ tutors – the University Grants Commission (UGC) has an elaborate plan for revamping the current teaching system across education institutes in India.
Under the set of guidelines issued on hiring teachers for the non-technical stream, UGC suggests setting up a National Mission for Mentoring under which a large pool of well-performing senior faculty members including retired teachers across the country will be created. These teachers will provide short and long-term mentoring and professional support to university and college teachers. The pool will also include teachers who have the ability to teach in Indian languages. This would come in handy as the new NEP 2020 suggests teaching in Indian languages.
UGC also suggests setting up of an autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), which further create a platform for “free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration, and so on, both for school and higher education”. Commission also recommends setting up of National Academy for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership as recommended under NEP-2020.
Professionals from various fields and retired faculty who are willing to provide their academic services voluntarily to higher education institutes can be “encouraged to join as a National Tutor”. Under the ‘National Tutors’ programme, UGC aims to build a tool of tutors who would guide both students and faculty on collaborative research, critical thinking, on how to work in a team, how to arrive at independent decisions, how to handle stress, among many other aspects
New faculty who would be joining Indian education systems will undergo institutional familiarization programmes or inductions. “This programme must familiarise them with the culture and ethos of the institution, the programmes and courses, good teaching practices and pedagogical approaches, and other matters that will facilitate them into becoming an effective part of the team of the HEI. Each new faculty member may also be assigned a faculty mentor having a long tenure in the HEI and an exemplary track record,” suggests UGC.
Higher education institutes have been asked to institutionalise processes for professional development and performance management of faculty and staff, including faculty for ODL. They have been asked to put in place a self-assessment tracking system that would encourage faculty to assess their own progress and learning.
Under the guidelines, UGC says, “teachers must be grounded in Indian values, languages, knowledge, ethos, and traditions including tribal traditions, while also being well-versed in the latest advances in education and pedagogy.”
These recommendations are a draft and put in public view to seek suggestions on the same. Stakeholders having suggestions or feedback on this can write to UGC on ‘email@example.com’ on or before March 24. Final guidelines will be released thereafter.