As we now embark on the very important task of setting up the Indian Institute of Teacher Education, IITE, the presence of our Hon. Chief Minister can be felt like the presence of the priest who initiated the education of Balaram and Sri Krishna, as narrated in the following verse:
गर्गाद् यपुकुलाचार्याद् गायत्रं व्रतमास्थितौ ।
प्रबभौ सर्पद्यानां सर्पञौ जगीश्वरौ ॥
The great Priest of Yadava race, Garg, initiated the commencement of education or vidyaramba of Balarama and Shri Krishna. Thus, they both attained total knowledge and became universal teachers orJagat Gurus.
It is rare that a Chief Minister initiates programmes of education and we feel proud that our Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi initiated a series of innovative education programs in the state beginning with Kanya Kelavani Abhiyaan. People, in some pockets, may interpret that as a part of routine rhetoric. But, when such interventions sustain for a decade with the same or even greater force and vigor, it becomes evident that it is indeed driven by a deep commitment and vision. It comes through very clearly when the Chief Minister candidly admits that he finds the campaign for school enrolment of girl children more gratifying than his swearing in as the Chief Minister!
Following many interventions in education, it is now the setting up of an innovative institution devoted to teacher education, with distinctive and novel features. An Institution to ’create excellent teachers - well endowed physically, creatively, intellectually and most of all - a cheerful, humane person’ -that was the vision and mandate of the Chief Minister.
The setting up of the Indian Institute of Teacher Education (IITE) and providing an integrated program for graduation with teacher education and creating outstanding teachers of all round excellence has been his dream. At first sight, this seemed a near impossible mission. However as this seed of an idea grew, it did start appearing to be a far off, distant possibility but nevertheless a possibility. As we spent many days and evenings, trying to reflect on the attributes, qualities and properties, the DNA or the "genetic code" of a good teacher began to reveal itself. This has only been possible with the example, instruction and inspiration of a great teacher, who was made of exactly such DNA! He has consecrated his life time to the cause of education. Prof. Kireet Joshi, virtually an institution in himself, was inspired by the vision of the Chief Minister and based on his life experience in teaching gave us the working paper for the IITE Curriculum Committee. He carefully handpicked members of the Curriculum Committee, each of whom has spent many years in this domain and is an expert in their own right. The constitution of the Curriculum Committee is given in annexure I of this document.
The Curriculum Committee had its first meeting on 20th April, 2010 and started the task in right earnest. Firstly, transposing the dream of the Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the vision of Prof. Kireet Joshi into a "transactable" matrix and framework of courses and credits was a very daunting task. After a lot of discussions, debates, arguments, questions, concerns, consultations and reflection, the curriculum finally emerged. Populating the frame with courses in respective disciplines without compromising on the basic premise and philosophy of integrality was the next step. This was accomplished by the good participation, support and ownership of local subject experts from Gujarat as well. The list of these experts is at annexure II of this document. This process lasted about four months on an average. The entire curriculum was then compiled together to fit it into the framework which would be ready for use by the I ITE.
What has evolved with all these experts as the curriculum of IITE, is perhaps, its unique strength. As articulated in the working paper in the annexure, the student teachers would have the option of choosing to study life skills such as tattooing, architecture, composing poems, knowledge of the art of war, of arms, of armies, and subjects and skills related to Multilingual Web Technology, horticulture, musical instruments - Flute, Sitar, Santoor, Tabla etc. and martial arts. Such teachers that have been trained by this curriculum would have multiple competencies so that they would be in demand from all over the country and some of them could even be spared for export to foreign countries.
The curriculum is also innovative, in that, it provides and facilitates ’reading and research’, mentoring and the provision of cross registration of courses across the rigid boundaries of disciplines and branches. More than anything else, the curriculum would be evolving based on experience and seek to truly make the experience of each teacher enriching with sufficient freedom to choose and learn as they metamorphose into great teachers driven by the highest aspiration.
I would be failing in my duty if I do not point out that all this work has been constantly guided by our Hon.Minister (Education) Shri Ramanlal Vora, who had actually piloted the IITE bill in the Vidhan Sabha. The Hon.Minister of State (Education), Prof. Vasuben Trivedi has given a lot of guidance and inputs on various aspects, including the courses, skills and competencies of the student teachers. I would also like to place on record the help, guidance and active participation of the Principal Secretary, Education Department, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia in the creation of the IITE.
Smt. Jayanti Ravi IAS
Working Group for Curriculum Development