I had been planning to set up a teacher-education institute since long. This plan could be materialized in 1999 when my dream project appeared on the scene as Gitarattan Institute of Advanced Studies and Training (GIAST). I did not want to leave any stone unturned in my search for a foolproof teacher-education institute. For this, I invited experts from different fields, viz. educationists, teacher educators, educational administrators, etc. On the basis of prolonged discussions with such experts, the following steps were taken to make GIAST to provide teacher-education in the right perspective:
Infrastructure – The infrastructure of any institute should be commensurate with its nature and the purpose it wants to accomplish. With this view in mind, an attempt was made to create the required infrastructure for all the stakeholders involved. The spacious classrooms, the labs, the tutorial rooms, the common rooms, etc. were constructed so that a congenial curriculum transaction can be carried on conveniently. The library of the institute is well stocked and equipped with need-based books, journals, periodicals technological gadgets and other e-learning facilities. In doing so, it was kept in mind that the laid down requirements ofNational Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) and those of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIP) are fully met. The needed qualitative furniture and other equipment have also been provided so that student-teachers and the teacher-educators feel at home while undergoing the various activities.
Teaching and Administrative-cum Support Staff– No institute can function smoothly without the professionally qualified staff. All the teaching and non-teaching personnel are employed after they qualify successfully the where stages of selection. The need-based professors and administrators are invited to select the suitable teacher-educators and other personnel for the institute. An attempt is also made to ensure that the recruits keep on growing professionally by participating in the in-service programmes organised by GIAST and those organised by other institutes.
Class-room Transaction – All the teacher-educators and the pedagogues transact their communication appropriately. They are always conscious of the fact that every input shared by them helps in shaping effective teachers. The various lab activities are also shared and demonstrated in the right perspective. Student-teachers are encouraged to utilize their spare time in the library and common-room activities. Whenever required, external experts are invited to interact with the academic staff and the student-teachers.
School and Community Experiences – Student-teachers, after getting the necessary foundational familiarization, are deputed in the best nearby public and Govt. schools where they observe the real teaching-learning processes, followed by taking classes by them under the supervision of the institute supervisors. I keep a track of how the student-teachers get the school experiences, how the institute principal and the concerned supervisors maintain healthy relations with the respective school authorities.I extend my intervention in seeing that proper arrangements are made for the student-teachers for visiting the different community centers for completing their projects.
Contact with the Student-teachers – Though the principal and the teacher-educators always extend their full support to the student teachers in all their healthy endeavors needed for a smooth curriculum transaction, yet there is an effective mechanism for resolving any grievance, if any. It has never happened that any un-resolved grievance came to my notice. However, my doors are always open for any issue for the welfare of our student-teachers.
Facilitating Employability – GIAST taps the schools where there are vacancies in different subjects. Our Principal and the members of the academic staff keep on observing the strong points of our student teachers. We try to facilitate their task of finding suitable teaching jobs in different schools. We forward their applications with our recommendations. Mock interviews are organised in our campus to instill confidence in the student-teachers so that they can face the job-interviews confidently.