The key to a lively implementation of the brick-and-mortar National Educational Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) for schools has rested on the collective efficacy of teachers forming its anchoring wall. It has been thought-wise and essential to include what teachers have in them that they value most, what KRAs should be integral to the profession, and how a teacher’s professional backbone surmounts any other priority.
In order to set the professional spark, the National Council for Teacher’s Education (NCTE) has embarked on developing the National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST). Its promissory note that brought us inter alia a ray of hope towards reforming the education system quoting from the lines in the NEP 2020 goes like this: ‘A common guiding set of NPST will be developed.
The standards would cover expectations of the role of the teacher at different levels of expertise or rank and the competencies required for that rank. It will also comprise standards for performance appraisal for each rank that would be carried out on a periodic basis.’ Centuries ago an Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli created a flutter when he said –‘Promise given was a necessity of the past, word broken is a necessity of the present.’ But the NCTE has proven this maxim wrong.
This means we have come a long way in our resolve to attract talent so as to make the teaching profession more competitive! Salary hikes and promotions will no longer be based on the length of tenure and seniority. Every assessment will tilt the curve on core values and ethics and is expected to payload constitutional and professional values, commitment to students and profession, professional understanding of the subject area, and so on.
Thus providing a ringside view of the affectations to student learning, pedagogical learning base, curriculum structures which form the hunch back of Notre Dame, technology use and integration, competence, and professional practice including learning plans, lesson delivery, and professional development in the name of growth.
The NPST document envisages teachers at all levels of school education should be passionate, motivated, qualified, professionally gifted, well-equipped, and well-supported to avoid any niggle while they slog across their career pathway. It explains the loci of a teacher’s career in about five steps: aspirant (pre-service) teacher, graduate or newly qualified teacher (stage 1), proficient teacher (stage 2), specialist or advanced teacher (stage 3), and lead teacher (stage 4). Specific instructions notwithstanding, every step needs to be achieved to progress to the next.