ONE

Review of Pre-Independence Period

The development of teacher education in India can be examined in two distinct periods, viz. before and after Independence.  Its origin dates back to the early nineteenth century.  The story of its development is impressive.  Teacher education found its roots soon after its inception and quickly diversified itself.  This could be due to several factors.   The introduction of 'English education' in formal schools made it necessary for teachers to teach something which was quite new to them.  The content being non-religious and not based upon Indian culture, the known methodologies fell short of expectations; officers reporting from several places felt that learning by students was essentially by rote and that there were no appropriate books for them.1 The administration was keen that the money it spent on education led to proper results.   There was eagerness on the part of private and missionary initiative to ensure success in their efforts.  Lastly, the nature and relevance of teacher education programmes could not be ignored.

The development of teacher education has been continuous.  It not only got established quickly but has also diversified into different programmes, each with a well-differentiated form and structure.   A quick look at the way teacher education has evolved indicates that there have been three significant developments.  First, there was a physical growth in terms of number of institutions; this process has been fairly continuous from the pre-Independence period although tremendous expansion has taken place during the post-Independence period too.  Second, diversification of teacher education programmes took place across different stages of education such as pre-school, primary, secondary and higher secondary.   This occurred during the pre-Independence period for the primary and secondary stages, while its spread to higher secondary and pre-primary are essentially recent developments.  The curricular and organisational structures for each of these have been generated in quite differentiated forms.  Third, teacher education emerged in specific areas of specialisation like science education, mathematics education, special education, art education, physical education, language teaching and learning, and so on.   As a result of these developments, teacher education today has become a significant component of our educational system with a large-scale network of various institutions and an area of academic specialisation.

It is pertinent to have an overview of how these developments have occurred during the past century and more.  A brief resume of major events in the development of teacher education in India is presented below.  The initial attempts formally made towards teacher education seem to have been by some private agencies in the three Presidencies under the East India Company, during the early decades of the century.  These were the Calcutta School Society formed in 1819, the Native Education Society of Bombay and the Madras School Society.  These societies received grants specifically for training of teachers in their schools.  The annual reports of the three Presidencies mention the attempts made by these societies to educate their teachers.  In Madras, the Madras School Society's efforts were noted with appreciation and an amount was sanctioned in support of its activities even before 1824.2 This suggests that the earliest efforts in teacher education for working teachers were in the nature of private initiatives.

State initiative ensued towards the end of the eighteenth century and as an aftermath of the government assuming responsibility for education in India.  Non-availability of an adequate number of schools, both vernacular and Anglo-vernacular, ineffective instruction provided in them and similar issues were continuously addressed by several officers.  Lord Moira's Minute of 1815 on the judicial administration of the Presidency of Fort William is one of the earliest recorded views in support of the training needs of school teachers.  It recorded,

The village school-masters could not teach that in which they had themselves never been instructed; and universal debasement of mind, the constant concomitant of subjugation to despotic rule, left no chance that an innate sense of equity should in those confined circles suggest the recommendation of principles not thought worthy of cultivation by the government.  The remedy for this is to furnish the village school-masters with little manuals of religious sentiments and ethical maxims, conveyed in such a shape as may be attractive to the scholars; taking care that while awe and adoration of the Supreme Being are earnestly instilled no jealousy be excited by pointing out any particular creed.  The absence of such an objection, and small pecuniary rewards for zeal occasionally administered by the magistrates,  would induce the school-masters to use those compilations readily.3

It is significant to note that the recognition of training needs existed simultaneously with the development of a formal school system.  Between 1815 and 1854, opinions in favour of teacher education accumulated and spread across different administrative levels.  The Court of Directors wrote to the Governor General of Bengal  (1825),.

The last object we deem worthy of great encouragement, since it is upon the character of the indigenous schools that the education of the great mass of the population must ultimately depend.  By training, therefore, a class of teachers, you provide for the eventual extension of improved education to a portion of the natives of India, far exceeding that which any elementary instruction, that could be immediately bestowed, would have any chance of reaching.4

The increasing perception of the need for more schools was widespread.  Alongside, there seems to have persisted  a scepticism in respect of schools not regulated or supervised by the Europeans.  This is reflected in a letter of the Secretary of Bombay Presidency to the Governor General of Bengal (1825),

It seems one of the greatest objections of establishing numerous new schools at once is, that the persons who would be employed might be expected (from the experience we have already acquired) to oppose or to neglect the introduction of any improvements whether in the matter or the manner of instruction, without a much more vigilant European superintendence than could possibly be afforded.5

While the European supervision was never doubted, training of teachers of schools gained attention as a possible mechanism for expanding the school system at a cheaper cost by using 'native' teachers and maintaining a certain quality.   It is such a consideration which Thomas Munro, Governor of Madras, expressed in his proposal of 1826:

What is first wanted, therefore, is a school for educating teachers, as proposed by the Committee of Madras School Book Society, in the letter of the 25th October, 1824, which accompanied their second report.  I think that they should be authorised to draw 700/- rupees monthly from the Treasury for the purpose which they have stated; namely, for the payment of the interest of money employed in building and the salaries of teachers, 500; and for the expenses of the press, 200.6

Along with providing financial support to private initiative, Munro also gave a detailed proposal for establishment of training schools in each collectorate as principal schools, with a continuous supply of trained teachers.  Thereafter, one school could be provided for in each of the 300 tahsils under his Presidency.   The Secretary of Bombay Presidency made a plea for a similar cause around the same time:

A great delay in the establishing of schools at the Presidency has arisen from the necessity of educating the school-master in the first instance, and a number of youths are with that view under instruction.  If, therefore, it be resolved, that Government should assist in establishing schools where they are not, the first step for rendering them really useful would be to collect youths for the purpose of instructing them according to a proper system, and in proper books and branches of knowledge, and after they have attained sufficient maturity to qualify them for the duty at a school which can be ably superintended, to appoint them to the schools for which they have been selected.7

As a result of several such developments, the three private societies were granted some sums of money.  The reported impact of training of teachers was quite positive, though not fully effective.  A recognition of the inevitable slowness in accruing more positive results in any new practice was also there.   An example of such as perception is, in Munro's words,

We must not be too sanguine in expecting any sudden benefit from the labors of the School Book Society.  Their disposition to promote the instruction of the people of educating teachers, will not extend it to more individuals than now attend the schools; it can be extended only by means of an increased demand for it, and this must arise chiefly from its being found to facilitate the acquisition of wealth or rank, and from the improvement in the condition of the people rendering a large portion of them more able to pay for it.  But though they cannot educate those who do not seek, or cannot pay for education, they can, by an improved system, give a better education to those who do receive it; and by creating and encouraging a taste for knowledge, they will indirectly contribute to extend it.  If we resolve to educate the people, if we persevere in our design, and if we do not limit the schools to Tahsildaries, but increase their number so as to allow them for smaller districts, I am confident that success will ultimately attend our endeavours.  But, at the same time, I entirely concur in the opinion expressed in the 5th report of the Calcutta School Book Society,  when speaking of the progress of the system, that its operation must therefore of necessity be slow; years must elapse before the rising generation will exhibit any visible improvement.8

Government initiative in teacher education came only as a consequence of Wood's Despatch of 1854.  The general opinion thus generated among administrators received support after Wood's Despatch (1854) recognised 'the great deficiency in the facilities for teachers' training and 'desired to see the establishment, with as little delay as possible, of training.'9

As a sequel to this, normal schools for training primary school teachers were established in each Presidency, making formal the official acceptance of teacher training as an integral part of the Indian education system.

The Presidency towns were the first to have normal training schools, with Madras in the lead (1856).  These schools were found to be quite effective in the sense that their products were found to be superior to untrained teachers in schools.  The actual number of teachers they trained was very small even in comparison to the low figures of enrolment in them.   In 1859, Stanley's Despatch (1859) observed that 'the institution of training schools does not seem to have been carried out to the extent contemplated by the Court of Directors'.10

With continued and increased emphasis on normal school training for primary school teachers, there was an increased expansion of teacher education.  After a decade, in 1881-82, the number of normal schools went up to 106.  However, the total enrolment at these schools was low, viz. 3,886 teacher trainees, and the annual expenditure increased to Rs. 4 lakh.

Records indicate that normal schools initially provided pedagogic training of some sort for teachers of primary schools.  The duration and nature of training seem to have varied across the Presidencies, though in all three stipends were given to teachers under training.   Soon they were expanded to include prospective teachers who were 'bright, young men' willing to receive training with stipend.  The Inspectorate selected persons for admission and not the headmasters of the schools.  Significantly, separate training was given for prospective teachers for each class/grade.  Separate schools for female teachers were also established at different places, though several headmistresses reported difficulty in attracting larger numbers for such training.  Gradually, school education expanded to include 'middle' classes and a little later, secondary classes.   The establishment of universities after 1857 let to an increase in the number of   colleges.  This development had an impact on normal schools.  While the main focus was on providing knowledge and pedagogy suited to particular grades, students were permitted, along with a special course on 'Method', to study subjects for matriculation which would facilitate their entering universities later.

Normal schools gradually began to attract more students for being selected for stipends and certification, which came to be seen as a surety for getting jobs.  In fact, some annual reports from the Presidencies expressed concern about the 'wrong' youth getting selected which affected the quality of training.  Several inspectors were irked by the increasing tendency on the part of students to perceive their selection to these schools as placing an obligation on the government to assure them subsequent placement on completion of their training.

In view of the expansion and diversification that had taken place in the educational system, the Indian Education Commission (1882) provided some definite directions for furthering teacher education in India.  The commission not only approved of teacher training programmes for both elementary and secondary school teachers but also recommended a separate programme for secondary school, distinctly higher in level, form and method.  Such a programme should include, in the view of the commission, 'an examination in the principles and practice of teaching... success in which should hereafter be a condition of permanent employment as a teacher in any secondary school, government or aided.'11

The commission also recommended separate training programmes for graduates and undergraduates.  As a sequel to the report of the Indian Education Commission (1882), training colleges were established for the first time and soon six training colleges came into existence, one each in Allahabad, Jabalpur (1890) Kurseong, Lahore, Madras, (1886) and Rajamundry (1894).   Of these, the colleges at Madras and Rajamundry had their origins in normal schools which were upgraded to colleges when Licentiate in Teaching, equivalent to a degree, was introduced in them.  Due to the lack of a building, the training college at Rajamundry was shifted to the local Arts College and functioned as part of that college.   As a result, though it continued  to provide a Licentiate in Teaching Programme during this period, the Madras college came to be recognised  as the only exclusive training college for secondary school teachers for the entire Presidency till 1917.  Besides these six training colleges, there were 50 training schools for secondary school teachers.

Thus, by the end of the nineteenth century, teacher education became established as a substantial structural set-up.  Though it was predominantly a state-supported programme, there was an increase in private initiative too, mostly with state financial support.  The institutional structure of teacher education diversified into normal schools, secondary training schools and training colleges, run by the state and private enterprise, and with well-differentiated training inputs as well as procedural and certification details.

The increasing needs of the field and the accruing experience of teacher education programmes as well as the growing knowledge base, brought to sharper focus the issues of appropriate streamlining of form, structure, content and methodology of teacher education.  Such issues were the concern of the early twentieth century educational scene.

The onset of the twentieth century ushered in a period of real transition in the field of education as it did in political and social spheres in India.  The seeds of transition were sown by the Viceroy, Lord Curzon (1902-05).  He took several significant steps to improve the quality of education.  His emphasis was on improvement of quality and not quantity at the university level, control and improvement at the secondary level and expansion and quality at primary level.  He highlighted these concerns in his 'Resolution on Education Policy' (1904), which is more commonly known as the 'Government of India Resolution of 1904'.  The Resolution prescribed conditions to be satisfied by schools to be eligible for receiving grant-in-aid and recognition by the government.  One of these conditions was that '... the teachers are suitable as regards character, number and qualifications...'.  The Resolution emphasised the necessity of providing a large number of training institutions for primary teachers; the duration of training being a minimum of two years.  Nurullah and Naik (1964) remark, '... by far his (Curzon's) greatest contribution to the subject was to emphasise the training of rural primary teachers in elementary agriculture which he desired to be taught in all rural primary schools which were mostly attended by the children of agriculturists.'12

The other recommendations relevant to teacher education in the Government of India Resolution of 190413 were:

(i) the equipment of a training college should be as important as that of an arts college;
(ii) the training courses for graduates should be one-year university courses leading to a university degree, while training courses for undergraduates should be of two years;
(iii) the theory and practice of teaching should be included in training courses;
(iv) a practising school should be attached to each training college;
(v) every possible care should be taken to maintain a connection between a training college and schools.

Before the Resolution could be implemented, Curzon was recalled in 1905.  The Resolution, however, provided direction to further action by subsequent Viceroys who decided to continue with these decisions.  As a sequel to the Minto-Morley Reforms of 1909, the government passed another Resolution on Educational Policy in 1913 which, among other things, declared that '... eventually under the modern system of education no teacher should be allowed to teach without a certificate that he is qualified to do so.'14

Within less than a decade after this, the Calcutta University Commission (1917-19) was set up under the chairmanship of Dr. Sadler.   Though its terms of reference were limited to Calcutta University, it made some recommendations which had implications for other educational institutions as well.   The commission laid stress on substantially increasing the output of trained teachers.  It recommended that a Department of Education should be created in the Universities of Dacca (Dhaka, now the capital of Bangladesh) and Calcutta, and that education should be included as a subject of study in intermediate, B.A. and M.A. degree examinations.  The commission was in session during World War I and the submission of its report coincided with the ending of the war, the Khilafat Movement and the Jallianwalabagh massacre.  It was around this time that the Government of India Act 1917 was passed, providing for diarchy.  Under this scheme elected provincial legislatures were given greater powers and made responsible for the transferred departments, which included education among them.  This, no doubt, provided scope for more 'Indian' participation, but put an end to the interest shown earlier by the central government.  This the Hartog Committee later termed as 'unfortunate'.  The Non-Cooperation Movement launched in 1920-21 and the Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-32), along with political developments in between did not allow diarchy to function for long.  Not many new developments occured between 1920 and 1929, when the Hartog Committee was constituted.  The various achievements in education of this period included a marginal increase in the number of educational institutions despite the large-scale boycott of English schools and colleges.  The idea of a national education system received fresh impetus and institutions with explicit nationalist leanings mushroomed all over the country.  More details of these are given in a later sub-section.  One of the most significant new development in the year 1927 was the passing of the Compulsory Primary Education Act by most of the provincial governments.

The growing dissatisfaction with the educational system, its growing size and the revival of a parallel network of national education institutions alarmed the government about the falling quality of education making it 'largely ineffective and waseful'.  In order to took into the matter more carefully and make relevant suggestions, the Auxiliary Committee of Indian Statutory Commission, more commonly known as the Hartog Committee, named after its Chairman, Sir Philip Hartog, was set up in 1929.

In the context of large-scale premature withdrawal of students from primary schools, the Hartog Committee (1929)15 made important recommendations about the training of primary school teachers:

(i) raising the standard of general education of primary school teachers;
(ii) lengthening the duration of training courses;
(iii) provision of adequate staff for training institutions;
(iv) improvement of service conditions of primary school teachers to attract and retain better quality of teachers.

These recommendations led to the setting up of inservice education programmes for primary school teachers.  Training institutions were equipped with laboratories, libraries and practising schools.  It was for the first time that explicit concern about the service conditions of school teachers was indicated as a recommendation by any committee.  In accordance with the above recommendations efforts were made to streamline training and the working conditions of teachers.  One such effort was that made by the Committee on Recruitment, Training and Conditions of Service of teachers, which specified the following duration for different teacher training programmes:16

Pre-primary teachers 2 years
Junior basic (primary) teachers 2 years
Senior basic (middle) teachers 3 years
Non-graduates in high schools 2 years
Graduates in high schools 1 years

The Central Advisory Board of Education adopted these in 1943.

Amidst the turmoil of World War II (1939-45) and the Quit India Movement (1942), a major event of educational significance was the setting up of the Sargent Committee in 1944.  With regard to teacher training, the Sargent Committee recommended the following:

(i)    Provision should be made for training different categories of teachers

-    two years for pre-primary, two years for junior basic (primary) teachers;
-    three years for senior basic teachers;
-    two years for undergraduates in high schools; and
-    one year for graduates.

(ii)    Suitable persons for teaching jobs should be picked up during the last two years of their high school course and they should be given stipends for receiving teacher training.
(iii)    Refresher courses should be organised for giving inservice education to teachers.
(iv)    Research facilities should be provided.
(v)    Teaching practice should be strengthened.

Meanwhile, inservice training in the form of short courses, evening classes, summer school courses, etc. were started in Madras, the United Provinces, the Northern Provinces, Bombay and Jalandhar.

These developments achieved at the instance of the colonial Government of India during 1902-45, indicate the growing concern about teacher education in respect of not only making it a necessary equipment for a school teacher, but also prescribing adequate administrative and organisational specifications as to the content, components, duration and relevance of training made available to school teachers.  It is pertinent to remember that the first decade of this century was rife with political turmoil.  A general attitude of suspicion and distrust towards the colonial government became increasingly widespread among Indians and, as a result, any effort by the government to 'regulate' educational institutions through quality control met with strong criticism from educated Indians.  Their main objection was not so much to the government's emphasis on quality, but to its resolution not to continue educational expansion.  It was felt that in the name of ensuring quality it would be easy to ease out Indians from the system and stop expansion of education, both of which would only perpetuate the social and political inequalities that existed.  Charged with the spirit of nationalism which powerfully affected the Indian life, Indian nationalist leaders saw education as a very significant tool to promote equity across layers of social strata.  If the colonial masters prevented Indians from any kind of benefit, Indians could procure it on their own.  This spirit received great impetus from the Swadeshi Movement which began as an opposition to the Partition of Bengal (1905).  Although mainly 'economic in its origin and application', its spirit affected every aspect of life.   In education it took the form of 'national education' which was true to the spirit of the nationalist movement.

The existing education system came in for serious criticism for the 'unhelpful, antagonistic' official system, over-emphasis of English, distortion of Indian history, culture and life and the inculcation of western values.  National leaders like Gokhale and Annie Besant voiced these growing public sentiments in strong terms.   'National education' was, as stated by Annie Besant, to declare to be totally 'Indian' and 'must meet the national temperament at every point, and develop the national character'. Although there was, at that time, some lack of clarity about the concept of a national education, it made a strong appeal to the public sentiment.  A great deal of controversy as to what knowledge must be included as 'Indian, the place of modern science and technology, and English as a language for world contact were among the many issues that disturbed the nationalist sentiment.  As Nurullah and Naik pertinently remark,

The fixation of the ideas of national education was probably the simplest of its aspects.  Far more difficult were the problems of organisation and execution connected with the new concept. Institution imparting national education from the primary to the university stage had to be organised; the teachers required for them had to be obtained and specially trained; new curricula had to be developed; parents had to be persuaded to send their children to the national schools in preference to the official ones; social recognition for degrees and diplomas granted by the national institutions had to be secured; and the huge funds required for maintaining the national schools on a sufficiently wide scale had to be collected year after year.17

Despite such odds and the growing political disturbance which affected the youth in schools and colleges as the national freedom movement was all set to launch the next stage of offensive, efforts towards instituting a national education system as a supplementary stream continued.  In fact, the developments on the political front, such as the government prohibition of students' participation in political meetings and demonstrations and the expulsion of several students from educational institutions over the country for violation of this rule, compelled many students to boycott schools and colleges.  To provide education to this category of the young, the Society for the Promotion of National Education was started in Bengal.   This gained great support after the Calcutta Congress (1906) gave a call for national education for 'realising national destiny'.  The society established several national schools in Bengal.  Outside Bengal, only in Talegaon, near Poona, was there a fairly successful attempt.  Soon, with the change in the political context due to the reunion of Bengal, national schools deteriorated.  Faced with paucity of funds, they could naturally not survive on the basis of only a spirit of self-sacrifice.   These institutions, however, remained concrete symbols of self-respect and a national dream.  In 1920, Lala Lajpat Rai wrote,

... at the present moment the movement is nothing but a dilapidated and discarded landmark in the educational progress of the country.  The second impetus to the concept of national education came with the Gandhian movement of non-cooperation in 1920-21.  In response to Gandhi's call for boycott of anything English, which included English-run schools and colleges, teems of students came out.18

In Aligarh University, a breakaway group of students formed itself into a new institution, viz. Jamia Millia Islamia.  Other groups followed suit in other parts of the country by opening national universities, national colleges and national schools.  'Almost overnight, these institutions had to start functioning as full-fledged educational institutions of a type which had hardly been clearly envisaged in the past.  Lack of suitable buildings and equipment and inadequate finances and trained personnel started them in the face.'19

Along with education, they willingly carried on the political struggle in spite of opposition from an oppressive government.  However, 'it would be no exaggeration to say that it was in the laboratory of these national institutions that the fundamental principles of the national reconstruction of education were first evolved.'20

It is relevant to note that teacher education was not greatly affected during this period of turmoil.  Obviously, within a disturbed educational system, training of teachers could not be a major priority.

In addition to national educational institutions, the concept of 'Basic Education' as propounded by Gandhi, gained popularity, as the Wardha Scheme.  It emphasised economic self-sufficiency, to be promoted in each individual through education which would be 'work-centered'.  In order to provide such education, teachers had to be trained differently.  Experiential training  for this was provided in some places like Wardha and Gandhigram.  This was perhaps the first time that anyone had streamlined an educational programme in such a comprehensive manner, explicitly relating it to nation-building and social reconstruction.   'Buniyadi Shiksha as Nai Talim' represented the first significant effort to develop an indigenous national system of education in conformity with the needs and aspirations of the people.  The main thrust of the scheme, commonly referred to as 'basic education' was 'all-round development of the child, development of a secular national outlook and readiness to undergo and withstand the pangs of nation-building, use of the immediate environment and work as the source of knowledge, integration of and correlation between knowledge and work, emphasis on the importance of experience in acquisition of knowledge, and use of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction level learning.'21

However, the decade prior to Independence witnessed considerable political turmoil, in the midst of which very little new effort could be made in teacher education.  On the whole, at the eve of Independence the need for teacher education received wide recognition, got differentiated into programmes for primary and secondary school levels and grew into a network of a variety of institutions - normal schools, training institutes, training colleges and departments of education in some universities.  The content of teacher education was streamlined so as to include theoretical and practical components of the different aspects of school education.   The normal school of the past had changed in its organisation, methodology   and content, although not in nomenclature.  There were several institutions spread across the country.  They included several private institutions, some of which had earned good repute.

In fact, with increasing experience, there accrued a better knowledge base which enabled formulation of the substance of teacher education in more meaningful ways.  The role of a teacher came in for clearer articulation and conceptual support were drawn from other cognate disciplines in order to explain the way or ways in which school children learnt, the conditions under which learning occurred, and its improvement with age, specialisation, school climate, teachers, assessment of pupils learning effectively, and so on.  Out of such efforts at conceptualisation of teacher education emerged a substantial knowledge in teacher education leading the Committee of 1944 to recommend the introduction of the study of education from the senior secondary level itself; moreover, there emerged a recognition of the fact that the teacher's role was much more than that of classroom teaching.  It included social awareness of sensitivity to be inculcated among learners and the impact to be made on them.  This was a very significant understanding, which developed as a spin-off from national educational efforts.  The methodological equipment thus had to go far beyond the subject of teaching methodology.  In fact, even subject-based pedagogy had to recognise this other aspect for its own effectiveness.  Another significant feature of the development of teacher education prior to Independence was the recognition that it was essentially a matter of administrative initiative or, towards later years, in defiance of it.  Therefore, many of the field requirements were attended to mainly as matters of administrative regulation.

Alongside emerged the recognition that differential inputs were required for a fresh entrant teacher and a school teacher.  In the beginning, working teachers were given training.  It was a little later that prospective teachers were selected and provided training along with general education for the class/level they had to deal with.  A third variation was that certification became a criterion of eligibility for becoming a teacher both at the primary and secondary school levels.  Yet another diversification came with the Sargent Committee's (1944) recommendation that for periodic updating of pedagogic skills and competence of teachers, inservice programmes were necessary.

With the emerging knowledge base of what could be called 'educational', a more theoretical study of it at the postgraduate level came to be pursued as an M.Ed. degree.  However, unable to ignore the origins of such a base in the attempts to equip a school teacher, only those with at least three years' school teaching experience were eligible to enroll for the M.Ed. degree.  Moreover research for gaining better understanding was recognised as necessary.  All these brought to the fore several orientations for organising courses for different groups.  These included: different stages (primary, secondary and tertiary education), different subjects and action areas (teaching of science, mathematics, languages, work orientation, practical work, etc.), as well as pre-service and inservice programmes.  Also, the inadequacy of a common mode of transaction for all programmes came to be recognised.

The need for better coordination among the training programmes/institutions, on the one hand, and between a school and training institution, on the other, became a significant issue.

On the whole, by the time of Independence, teacher education had been established as one distinct component of the educational system.  It was recognised as necessary for school teachers, both elementary and secondary.  There were several institutions engaged in providing teacher training.  The concept of the normal school of the initial years, where teachers were employed and trained while working, had undergone considerable change.  In its place, full-time, pre-service teacher training for updating the technical knowledge and skills of working teachers had begun to emerge.  Training programmes got differentiated to suit the requirements of elementary and secondary school teachers.  This differentiation affected the nature, duration and components of training for the two stages.  I view of this, elementary teacher training was construed as a certificate course, whereas for the secondary school teachers it was to be a degree programme.  Pedagogic inputs were at the core of the training programme.  The expansion of teacher education was rather slow and inadequate.  Although it left out a lot in respect of coverage of all teachers, the substance and nature of training teachers had come a long way from its humble beginnings as a normal school.  It had, however, yet to be brought to the center stage so as to make a positive impact on school education.


1 National Archives of India, Educational Records, 1781-1839, Part I, Chap. III, 1965.

2 Ibid.

3 Moira, Minute 1815, in ibid., p.25

4 Despatch, March 9, 1825, in ibid., p. 50

5 Farish, Secretary of Bombay Presidency to Governor General of Bengal, in ibid., p. 49.

6 Sir Thomas Munro's Proposal, Point 5, March 10, 1826, in ibid., p. 74.

7 Evidence of 1832, in ibid., p. 49.

8 Sir Thomas Munro, Minute, March 10, 1826, in ibid., p. 75.

9 Wood's Despatch, 1854, ibid., in p. 49.

10 Stanley's Despatch, 1859, in ibid., p. 49.

11 Indian Education Commission, 1882, quoted in Nurullah and Naik, Students' History of Education,
1964,  p.231.

12 Ibid.

13 Government of India Resolution of 1904, quoted in Kuldip Kaur (ed.), 'Education in India (1781-1985) - Policies, Planning and Implementation, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, 1985, p. 301.

14 National Archives of India:  Educational Policy Resolution - 1913, p. 301-2.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Nurullah and Naik, op. cit, 1964, pp. 265-66.

18 Ibid.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid., p. 269.

21 NCERT, National Curriculum for Elementary and Secondary Education:  A Framework, 1988, p. 1.