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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014
Moulding teachers into strong leaders
Harini Sriram , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 23, 2014
First Published: 11:34 IST(23/4/2014)
Last Updated: 11:36 IST(23/4/2014)

A career in teaching can be both fulfilling and rewarding. If you are an aspiring teacher, apart from being well-read and competent, you will also need to imbibe strong leadership skills. This is one of the key requirements today as most schools in the country are grappling with issues pertaining to quality of learning and lack of leadership. Education experts believe that grooming strong leaders among teachers and school principals can have a positive impact on the performance of students. It is with this vision that the National Centre for School Leadership (NCSL) was set up last year under the aegis of National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA), an organisation that deals in capacity building and research in planning and ­management of education.

To take forward its initiative of inculcating effective leadership programmes at the school level, NCSL recently launched the National Programme of School Leadership Development.

While the idea does seem appealing, implementation of such a programme is no cakewalk, admits Professor R Govinda, vice chancellor, NUEPA. “Reaching out to 1.5 million schools across the country is not an easy task,” he says, “There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that can be applied across all schools; so, we are working on large-scale collaborations with organisations that have relevant experience in this aspect. One such partner is National College of Teaching and Leadership, Nottingham through the UK-India Education and Research Initiative.”

NCSL has already started work on its leadership initiative in about ten states including Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, to name a few. Govinda adds, “To implement the programme, we have state resource groups across the country. The framework has been put together based on data collected by over 400 members of our state resource groups.” He adds that leadership development is a continuous process and it requires long-term engagement with schools. “We would like to focus on experiential learning and peer interactions too,” he adds.

The scenario at a glance
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2013 states that the overall enrollment rate among children in the age group of six to 14 is 96%, while in private schools alone, it is 29%
As per the report, the proportion of schools that comply with pupil-teacher ratio norms laid down by RTE (Right To Education) has increased from 38.9% in 2010 to 45.3% in 2013
While teacher attendance in both primary and upper primary schools is 85%, student attendance shows a slight decline, especially in upper primary schools from 73.1% in 2012 to 71.8% in 2013


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