Legal and Institutional Framework
Within the federal structure of the country, while broad policy and legal framework on teacher education is provided by the Central Government, implementation of various programmes and schemes are undertaken largely by state governments. Within the broad objective of improving the learning achievements of school children, the twin strategy is to (a) prepare teachers for the school system (pre-service training); and (b) improve capacity of existing school teachers (in-service training).
For pre-service training, the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE), a statutory body of the Central Government, is responsible for planned and coordinated development of teacher education in the country. The NCTE lays down norms and standards for various teacher education courses, minimum qualifications for teacher educators, course and content and duration and minimum qualification for entry of student-teachers for the various courses. It also grants recognition to institutions (government, government-aided and self-financing) interested in undertaking such courses and has in-built mechanism to regulate and monitor their standards and quality.
For in-service training, the country has a large network of government-owned teacher training institutions (TTIs), which provide in-service training to the school teachers. The spread of these TTIs is both vertical and horizontal. At the National Level, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), along with its six Regional Institutes of Education (REIs) prepares a host of modules for various teacher training courses and also undertakes specific programmes for training of teachers and teacher educators. Institutional support is also provided by the National University on Education al Planning and Administration (NUEPA). Both NCERT and NUEPA are national level autonomous bodies. At the state level, the State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), prepares modules for teacher training and conducts specialised courses for teacher educators and school teachers. The Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs) and Institutes for Advanced Learning in Education (IASEs) provide in-service training to secondary and secnior secondary school teachers and teacher educators. At the district level, in-service training is provided by the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs). The Block Resource Centres (BRCs) and Cluster Resource Centres (CRCs) form the lowest rung of institutions in the vertical hierarchy for providing in-service training to school teachers. Apart from these, in-service training is also imparted with active role of the civil society, unaided schools and other establishments.
Financing of programmes and activities
For pre-service training, the government and government-aided teacher education institutions are financially supported by the respective State Governments. Further, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education, the Central Government also supports over 650 institutions, including the DIETs, CTEs and the IASEs.
For in-service training, financial support is largely provided by the Central Government under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which is the main vehicle fopr implementation of the RTE Act. Under the SSA, 20 days in-service training is provided to school teachers, 60 days refresher course for untrained teachers and 30 days orientation for freshly trained recruits. Central assistance for in-service training is also provided to District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs) and Institutes of Advanced Studies In Education (IASEs) under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education. State Governments also financially support in-service programmes. Several NGOs, including multi-lateral organizations, support various interventions, including in-service training activities.