Indian education system is in serious need of mentor teachers to combat the educational needs of the young India
Education in India today does not require merely teachers, who are well-versed in their subject or those who are well turned out to address the parents in various Parent Teacher meetings. Today’s children are looking for mentors- a notch above of being a teacher. Teaching today has gone passed the stage of only disseminating information.Education in India today does not require merely teachers, who are well-versed in their subject or those who are well turned out to address the parents in various Parent Teacher meetings. Today’s children are looking for mentors- a notch above of being a teacher. Teaching today has gone passed the stage of only disseminating information.
Speaking to the media, Vandana Kapoor, Principal, SLS DAV Public School, Mausam Vihar expresses how crucial the role of mentoring has become as compared to being just a teacher, “A teacher’s role in the modern learning scheme is very crucial as a mentor and facilitator. Nowadays, children are not dependent on textbooks alone. They need to go beyond. Teachers today, need to help children identify their strong points so that such students can choose their respective specializations.” The role of a teacher has evolved keeping in mind the fact that children today have everything available to them on the click of a button. So, if a child is coming to school, chances are, he has already learned everything possible through his or her mother’s laptop, father’s Ipad and other knowledge facilitating gadgets. The role of a teacher is now asking for addition of the new dimensions of a mentor, who can encourage, motivate, engage and guide to unearth the hidden potential is such learners.
A Delhi government lead project has encouraged a team of 200 mentors to enhance the education dissemination method in government schools is receiving great response. Speaking in an open manner on this initiative Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia aptly admits that “Many teachers know how to teach, but they do not know how to make children learn. The mentor teachers will help plug this gap between teaching and learning. These are teachers who, if their class has 40 students, are capable of teaching a subject in 40 different ways.” After two rounds of tests, the mentor-teachers are taken through several training workshops that are being done in association with various NGOs. These mentor- teachers will then seed practices of innovative and child-centric teaching.
CARE India is another NGO that has worked significantly with teachers in India’s educationally lagging states like UP and Odisha trying to enable a mentoring mechanism that can support and given them friendly advice as a critical requirement to improvement of quality education. In fact, the biggest issue facing our country is that teachers themselves don’t see themselves as protagonist of change in building the future of the country. They need robust regular training, support system, motivational classes and mentoring by senior principals or exposure to the likes, if we want teachers to come to the level of mentors at all.
Yet another initiative spearheaded by the Government of India is NITIAyog (National Institution for Transforming India) that has recently launched their first Mentor India programme, ‘Inviting applications for the initiative that aims to engage leaders on voluntary basis to guide students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs.’ These labs, reports say are apparently dedicated works spaces helping children from Class 6 to Class 12 to learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India. The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics and electronics development tools, Internet of Things and sensors, among others.
Indeed, mentoring is the need of the hour and the Indian education system needs to be looking at this as a serious requirement to the capacity building exercise for the teaching army, to start with.