Quality School Education: The CTE Way: Prem Khatry
Professionalism is a must in any vocation man chooses to stay in. It is more so in the field of education as it is the major catalyst for change and development in human society. This write-up focuses on a fast growing and change-oriented organisation being launched in India some years back. Looking back at the run of time one feels that there are challenges in the field of education everywhere in the world – whether developed or developing.
'Recognising both the need and opportunity to professionalise teacher education in the country, a group of committed educators, headed by Dr. Gulab Chaurasia, launched in 1985 a national professional body – the Council for Teacher Education (CTE)' (quoted from CTE at a Glance). With these initial objectives and directions as guide posts, CTE is now making all out and genuine effort to become a household name in the field of quality education across India and beyond. With a strong, well distributed and committed leadership at the centre, region and the states from Manipur to Gujrat, from Nepal to Kerala and Bengal to Maharastra, CTE is now establishing itself as an effective partner for government undertakings in the field of school and university education – whether public or private.
At the moment, CTE India is crossing the regional, state and national boundaries and touching foreign lands such as the UK, USA and Canada, among others. Soon the initial relation will bear fruit, and there will be several CTE chapters in these countries. At the same time, CTE will move with the agenda of consolidating the chapters and their efforts to work for the welfare of the teacher in line with the motto – Teacher's Welfare is Nation's Welfare.'
Given the not-so-well social status of the school teacher in such a large country like India, it is a challenge to take up this noble task and reach the destination. But with growing numbers of state chapters already organised and functioning and more in the offing, it seems like nothing is impossible for a well organised and committed CTE. All state chapters and those in foreign lands are working in full coordination with the CTE centre, and this determines the success of the organisation in the future.
For quite some time now, CTE has been organising annual conventions to mark the anniversary. State chapters show their interest in hosting this event as a gesture of the strong centre-state bond and mutual support as well as commitment to walk together. First Prof Gulab Chaurasia, the founder president (1922-2009), and later Prof Dev Raj Vij (current president) continued this mega event of CTE. The main feature of this event is to take up a theme and have scholars prepare their papers for presentation.
The last such event – the 28th annual convention was held at Kurukshetra, Haryana. Here the theme was 'Emerging Perspectives in Indian Teacher Education: Search for Identity and Building Humane Society.' The Haryana Chapter, led by Prof KK Sharma, former Pro-VC of Nagaland, in collaboration with 'Progressive and Leading Colleges of Education of Haryana and Punjab, hosted the event. It was attended and participated by many state chapters and Nepal.
The fantastic and neatly managed Gurukul Kurukshetra provided the local hospitality in a way the participants won't forget. Madam Sushila Chaurasia, the first female Post Master General of India and South Asia, 91, was the star attraction on the occasion. Similarly MPs, local leaders attended several sessions and distributed certificates to paper writers/presenters, chairs and other special dignitaries.
The Haryana Chapter was supported by Gurukul Kurukshetra to host the 28th annual conference in terms of venue, food and lodge. This was a memorable occasion for hundreds of participants coming from Manipur in the east to Kerala in the south. The Gurukul was a unique example of discipline, management, quality education, health and sanitation, the diverse facilities for the resident learners, among others.
The star speakers Dr Priyaranjan Trivedi, an environment education specialist and VC of Peace Education University, Mr. Choudhary, a local MP, Mr. Saini, Chairman of Gurukul, and Dr Sushila Chaurasia, the widow of CTE Founder President Dr. Gulab Chaurasia, enlightened the participants through their remarkable speeches.
CTE while celebrating its 28th anniversary conference made it known to the participants that there have been positive developments in establishing a separate Teachers Service Commission in India. Reportedly, the Government of India has given some indication that this could be done in the near future. If this is materialised, this would mark an altogether important event in the history of CTE for the future of the community of teachers in India. The conference also decided to hold the 29th anniversary convention in Uttarakhand in October next year.
Formed in 2011, CTE Nepal is one of the youngest chapters within the CTE family. This organisation plans to open avenues for the teachers of Nepal to walk hand in hand with Indian colleagues in their effort to promote teacher education, enhance the quality of education and work for peace and prosperity of society at large. Keeping the organisation away from partisan politics and following an inclusive policy will be an urgent task for the organisation here in Nepal, but all efforts will be made to do so.
CTE Nepal is hosting the Second Indo-Nepal Conference in Kathmandu on November 20-22, 2014 when at least 10 state CTE chiefs and representatives will take part. The theme for the conference is – Aspects of School-Community Relations for Quality Education. There will be at least 55 participants, including 30 speakers/paper presenters from India alone. The 'top brass' consisting of central, regional and state CTE officials will arrive Kathmandu on November 19 and use the modest hospitality provided by the Kathmandu Vidya Kunja Secondary School located at Tokha Road, Gongabu. Some other highlights of the event are visits to different schools and colleges, including Kathmandu University.
Finally, CTE is and will be the flag bearer for quality education rallying the entire community of teachers and learners of the subcontinent. Time will come when the region of South Asia will be proud of this organisation as teachers are, and will be, at the central point as change agents for the progress and prosperity of society and the nation now and in the days to come.