Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Friday inaugurated the Delhi Teachers University at Outram Lane, Mukherjee Nagar. Speaking at the occasion, Sisodia said the university had been created to produce “nation builders”, and to put teaching at the same level as other more sought after professions.
“Today is a big occasion. This is one of the major dreams of Arvind Kejriwal to establish the world’s best teachers’ university in Delhi…. Today marks the beginning in realising that dream,” said Sisodia, adding that the university had been started in record time.
“Preparing teachers is challenging work. It is easier to build engineers, doctors, managers because they deal with specialisations… But a teacher’s work is 360 degrees… That’s why it was possible to set up an IIT in India, IIMs and AIIMS, but when it came to teachers’ university, the truth is we could not create a teachers’ training institute which is up to the level of these institutions… The good thing is the National Education Policy gives a lot of scope in this regard; it has stressed on preparing good teachers,” he said.
Sisodia said the university would begin its two-year BEd programmes this year, and a four year integrated BEd programme in some time.
Stressing the need to blend school and higher education, Sisodia said, “This university is not just to prepare school teachers… Tomorrow, if higher education institutions need to train their teachers to understand the psychology of students, on how to teach them, they can learn it here.”
“Let’s make nation-builders… We will produce nation builders from this university who will work 360 degrees work on children. They will make them good engineers, doctors etc but also make them good human beings. We will stress on this. It is mine and the CM’s expectation,” he said.
Sisodia also stressed that the trainee teachers needed practical experience.
“One of the most important components that I’ve visualised is that those who come here for teacher training will not spend more than 70% of their time in classrooms and this campus. They will have to spend 30% of their time in schools and colleges, interacting with students,” he said.
Sisodia said trainee teachers should be present in classrooms where regular teaching-learning is going on.
“We need to put teaching at the same level and pedestal on which a lot of other professions are standing… We need to create an entire ecosystem for this; need scientific intervention. For this the university should make a cell/wing which goes to every school every year, and orients students of class 9-11 on what it means to become a teacher,” he said.
Sisodia the motive was not to create more people with BEd degrees but quality teachers.
Dhananjay Joshi, a pass out of a Delhi government school in Yamuna Vihar, will be the first Vice-Chancellor of the university. Speaking on the occasion, he said, “You (Sisodia) always say correctly that teachers tell their students about careers in IIT, MBBS, chartered accountancy but don’t talk about their own profession, or inspire them to become teachers.”
“Is it not an irony that in the 21st century we are making everything, but not good, skilled teachers? We have made this profession a last choice, a last resort. This convention and myth will have to be broken; a teacher will have to be made a nation-builder again. They have to be made to feel self-respect for their profession again,” he said.
Joshi said in teacher training, there had been more focus on quantity and not quality. “BEd degrees have become commercialised, and mushrooming of institutions make these degrees easily available,” he said.