New Delhi: The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) is all set to conduct its first-ever performance appraisals with the aim to weed out and shut poor quality teacher education institutions from the 19,000 institutions that it oversees.

Besides being poor in quality, these institutions also have six times more capacity than needed.

The NCTE hopes to complete the exercise and weed out the worst institutions before a fresh set of trainees arrive in the next academic year. However, more than just repair the system, the Council aims to start a set of new initiatives like setting up 700 model institutions (with at least one in every district), a new leadership training program for principals and headteachers and an experimental international teaching qualification, which would cater to the ever-growing international school market and also potentially prepare teachers who may want to utilise their skills abroad.

The institutions have 100 seats each and produce up to 19 lakh graduates a year. If the recommended teacher-student ratio of 1:27 is considered, this means that the country’s 26 crore students need only around 90 lakh teachers overall. If each teacher serves for about 30 years, the annual turnover is only about three lakh, according to NCTE chairperson Dr. Satbir Bedi. This, according to Dr. Bedi, means that there are too many graduates seeking too few jobs, even if those candidates who obtain B.Ed degrees with no intention of ever becoming a teacher, are left aside.

The exercise comes amid the body undergoing a brutal re-evaluation of its mission and functioning in what is its silver jubilee year. Its original objectives were to formally oversee standards, procedures and processes in the Indian education system. However, Dr. Bedi feels that it has diverted from its goals as it has been ‘elbowed aside’ by various other stakeholders.

Set up in 1995 under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993, the NCTE functions for the central as well as state governments on all matter with regard to the Teacher Education.