Alternative Modalities of Primary Teacher Education to Reduce the Backlog of Untrained Teachers in Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Author: Das, Happy Kumar, Jahan, Rubaiyat

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Since primary education was made compulsory in Bangladesh in 1990, the teacher education programmes here faced various challenges. One key challenge is to provide foundation training to the newly recruited large number of untrained teachers. Being the only training provider at this point of time, it became a critical issue for the existing 66 Primary Teachers’ Training Institute (PTI) as it could accommodate no more than 10,000 teachers annually.  As a result of this, a backlog of untrained primary teachers started growing every year. Under this circumstances, this paper sets out to suggest practical solutions with a view to reducing the large backlog of untrained teachers in Bangladesh. A mixed-method approach, combining both quantitative and qualitative tools, namely Institutional Survey, in-depth interviews, Focus Group Discussion, and Consultation Workshop were used. Data of this research was gathered from a range of stakeholders covering policy makers, practitioners, development partners, government, non-government and private sector organizations and universities who were involved with teacher education.  Based on the analysed data, first an analysis was administered to highlight the prevalent stature of the existing infrastructure and modalities of the training programme to examine if it has the capacity to cater the currently employed untrained teachers’ backlog in the system along with newly recruited teachers within a realistic timeframe.  Secondly, an enquiry on non-traditional methods of delivering teacher training were made.  On the basis of these assessments and examination, the study recommends three alternative models, to deliver the training programme in order to address the gradually developed backlog of untrained teachers. While Model 1 refers to strengthening capacity, both in terms of infrastructure and human resources, of the training institutes; Model 2 calls for a partnership between PTIs and other teacher training colleges (both government & private).  Model 3 proposes a mixed model at which targeted teachers are categorized into two groups – Group 1 (newly recruited untrained teachers) and Group 2 (to be recruited teachers), and Group 1 will receive traditional training while Group 2 will receive training through a blended approach of online/offline & face-to-face training. Key challenges were identified such as the formulation of the selection criteria for the new training institutes as potential partners, as the means of ensuring quality recruitment as well as standard accreditation process for these suggested models.