There needs to be a sustainable, quality, affordable training strategy for teachers in India’s low-income schools. It’s one of the holy grails of education, and yet it still couldn’t be more true.
Affordable private school (APS) teachers are largely untrained and uneducated past intermediate. They rely on rote learning in their classrooms and teach straight from the textbook. Their classes are typically unengaged and monotone. The response to misbehaving students is corporeal punishment by the teacher–hitting with rulers or whatever else is available, sitting on knees, and calling students names. While teacher training service providers do exist, APS often cannot afford the fees. APS owners also fear that their teachers will leave for better jobs if they receive training or improve their English, especially because teacher retention is already a huge problem.Working with APS in Hyderabad these past seven months, my colleagues and I have seen first-hand the poor quality of teachers in our classrooms.
Several months ago, I had the opportunity to visit two schools in Mumbai that reminded me what great education is all about and why India needs a better teacher training solution.