Teachers’ Training Institute

Teachers' Training Institute an institute for professional preparation of teachers through formal coursework and practice teaching. Teachers' training originated in France (1685) by St John Baptist de la Salle. It spread in Europe thanks to the initiatives of a German Protestant minister August Hermann Francke (1663-1770) and a Swiss reformer Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827), and through the influence of Monitorial System (a method of elementary education introduced in the early 19th century by British educators Joseph Lancaster and Andrew Bell).

The history of teachers' training in the subcontinent can be traced back to 1716 when Danish settlers at Tribangkur (in south India) had established an elementary teachers' training institute. In the following decades, there had been a tussle between the east india company and the religious authority as to who would control the education system in the subcontinent. During the period of 1835-38, William Adam of East India Company submitted three reports on education system of Bangla and Bihar. In his third report he suggested that free textbooks should be distributed among teachers to encourage them in good teaching. He recommended the establishment of Normal School or primary teacher training schools. According to his suggestions, teachers should study one to three months a year for a total period of four years in these normal schools. Time and again every education commission report put importance on teachers' training and a number of institutes were established.

wood’s education despatch published in 1858 also put emphasis on teachers' training and consequently, Normal schools were opened at Dhaka (1857), Comilla (1869) and Rangpur (1882). In 1885, the Comilla Normal School was transferred to Chittagong. In 1882, the hunter commission proposed a one-year training for secondary school teachers. The sadler commission Report published in 1917 suggested that the universities should take the responsibility of professional education and research.

HR James, principal of presidency college, Calcutta wrote in his report (1909) that there had been Normal schools in Bengal for the training of the primary teachers and an experiment at Kurseong was a pioneering step in training the secondary teachers. The experiment was short lived and practically, there was no training for the teachers of the high English schools in Bengal. The subcontinent's first teachers' training institute for secondary teachers was established at Bombay in January 1906. The Dhaka Teachers' Training College was set up in 1909.

Two types of primary training institutes were set up in 1951: primary training school and primary training centres. Four primary training institutes were established in that year but eventually, they were abolished. After independence of Bangladesh, the government formed a committee in 1972 to recommend a national education policy and it submitted its report in 1974. The report noted that the existing training programme for secondary teachers was not sufficient. All the reports of different education commissions formed later recommended an increase in the period of study of teachers in the teachers' training institutes from ten months to two years, which is yet to be realised.

At present, there are 53 primary training institutes, 10 teachers' training colleges for secondary teachers, one training college for teachers in physical education, one technical teachers' training college and 15 private teachers' training colleges in Bangladesh. Some private universities now run BEd programme for non-trained teachers. Among the colleges, Dhaka Teachers' Training College runs a three-year Honours course. Institute of Education and Research (IER) of the university of dhaka has a four -year B Ed (Honours) programme, which had been conducted as a three-year one until 2001.

Bangladesh Institute of Distance Education (BIDE) under the administrative guidance of the Ministry of Education started the bachelor of education programme (BEd) in 1985 by open and distance method. It was run academically by the university of rajshahi. Since 1992, bangladesh open university is running' CEd, BEd and M Ed programmes by open and distance method.

Teachers' training institutes of Bangladesh can be categorised into primary and secondary as far as the level of education is concerned. The training, however, is imparted in different types of institutes. Primary teachers' training institutes are run under National Academy for Primary Education, while the secondary teachers training programme is run by the teacher training colleges under the academic control of the national university. Training of secondary school teachers is conducted by IER of the University of Dhaka as well as by some private universities. Bangladesh Open University also conducts a set of similar programmes. Training in these institutions can be divided into face-to-face and open-and-distance mode. In the face-to-face mode the institutes run their programme by their own appointed trainers, while in the open-and-distance mode, the core faculty members do their jobs in the form of different groups, eg, curriculum setters group, course writers group, examination committees and media lesson preparation committee. Due to lack of up-to-date instructional facilities the core faculty members seldom meet their learners. The learners have to go to designated tutorial centres to attend bimonthly tutorial sessions.

At present, all national teachers' training institutes have usually one or a fixed number of schools attached with them, so that students can practise teaching in these schools. Institutes like IER have a number of demonstration schools where trainee teachers are sent to conduct lessons and supervisors go there regularly to evaluate the trainees' performance. [Monira Hossain]