Photo: Sunil Ghosh/HT
Photo: Sunil Ghosh/HT

Govt puts spotlight on safety in schools with teachers’ training plan

  • The programme will motivate teachers to use technology, including AI, to provide better education
  • Teachers will get to develop their skills on aspects related to learning outcomes and competency-based learning

New Delhi: Around 4.2 million Indian teachers will be back to school with the Centre deciding to impart teacher training courses on safety, ways to reduce sexual offences, improve basic health, and enhance leadership skills.

The programme, the human resource development ministry said, will also motivate teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking among students, and use technology, including artificial intelligence, to provide better education.

Safety in schools has been a cause for concern. In 2017, the murder of a five-year old child in a Gurgaon school by one of his seniors brought the spotlight back on safety. Reports of 20 school students committing suicide over poor results across Telangana in April alone took the nation by surprise.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, at least 2,543 students, including 1,360 minors, and 1,183 in the 18-30 age group pursuing higher education, committed suicide in 2015. The accidental deaths and suicides in India 2015 report shows that 8,934 students had committed suicide for various reasons, including exam stress, while 8,068 reported deaths were reported in 2014.

The training will sensitize teachers on key provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019. The Act, which was passed by the parliament earlier this month, provides death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children and greater punishments for other crimes against minors. According to official data, some 10,852 cases of rape against minors was reported in 2015, while kidnapping and abduction was at 41,893.

Besides, the teachers will be trained to develop their skills on aspects related to learning outcomes, competency-based learning, and assessment. During the process, 33,000 master trainers from both government and select private entities will teach elementary school teachers on ways to implement learner-centric pedagogy, school safety and security, personal-social qualities, inclusive education.

The integrated programme devised by National Council for Teacher Education and National Council for Education, Research and Training, will involve teachers and principals of government schools, faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training, District Institutes of Education and Training as well as Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators of all states and union territories.

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