With the aim of helping teachers battle the stress of teaching crowded classrooms, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has recently made yoga compulsory in teacher training institutes across the country.
The NCTE — under which 18,000 teacher training institutes function — has designed yoga modules that will be a part of all the 15 programmes offered by them, including diploma, bachelors and masters in education.
These programmes are aimed at helping aspiring teachers control their temper, remain calm in stressful situations and stay positive and focused in spite of the job strain.
“From academic year 2015-16, every teacher enrolling in a teacher training institute will have to practise yoga; it will be a compulsory subject. It will help them develop a calm mind, which will in turn boost their efficiency levels,” said Santosh Panda, chairperson, NCTE.
“We don’t want them to become yoga instructors, but to pursue yoga for their own good,” added Panda.
Modules of 50 to 100 marks have been introduced in all the programmes covering topics such as introduction to yoga, yogic text, yoga and personality development, stress management and self-development, among others.
“These modules have 64 hours of practicals and 32 hours of theory. Every module has guidelines for practical and compulsory internship,” said Panda.
Yoga institutes have also been identified across the country to conduct orientation programmes for school teachers. For instance, orientation programmes for school teachers of the western region will be held at the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute in Lonavala, said Subodh Tiwari, joint director, NCTE.
“Teachers need to learn traditional or classical yoga, which focuses on physical and mental well-being,” said Tiwari, adding that the institute has recently launched a diploma in yoga education. “In our programme, we will also train teachers on how yoga can be taught to the students.”
Admitting that pressure on teachers is mounting with the recent reforms in education, teachers agreed that including yoga in the syllabus will help them.
“There is a lot of stress at work for a modern-day teacher. Besides keeping the management and parents in good humour, teachers have to keep up with students who are exposed to various sources of information,” said Giselle D’Souza, associate professor, St Teresa’s Institute of Education, Santacruz.
D’Souza said the new reforms such as continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) have added to the teachers’ burden. “The CCE has increased the load on teachers, they have to conduct various assessments throughout the year. In the case of SSC schools, it is worse as there at least 80 students per class,” she said.
On the other hand, Arundhati Chavan, principal, Swayam Siddhi College of Education, Kalyan, said similar modules were introduced in the past as well, but teacher training institutes did not take them seriously. “Earlier, physical education was part of the syllabi, but none of the colleges gave it much importance,” said Chavan, adding, “The success of these modules will depend on how they are implemented.”