CHENNAI: The government school teachers are as competent as their counterparts in the costly private schools when it comes to subject expertise, as shown by the Teaching Professionals’ Olympiads conducted in the last three years.
The results of Olympiad, conducted by the Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, however, showed that teachers of private schools that charge an annual fee above Rs 10,000 were better communicators.
The Olympiad tests teachers across the country for their competence in three broad parameters, subject expertise, classroom practice & professional competency and logical ability & communication.
The schools were categorised into government schools, low-cost private schools (annual fee less than Rs 1,500) and costly private schools (annual fee above 10,000). The results of the Olympiad showed that the teachers in all three categories of schools had no significant difference in any of the parameters, except when it comes to communication.
"Communication is measured in terms of language, structure, sensitivity and comprehension. This includes parameters such as sensitivity towards children with special needs, gender agnostic expression, ability to communicate with clarity when speaking to parents among others," said Anjali Jain, founder-director of CENTA.
Teachers from schools that charge fees of over Rs 10,000 scored about 63 per cent in communication, while teachers from government schools scored 48 per cent. Teachers from low-fee (below `1,500) private schools scored only 45 per cent. "Government school teachers in Tamil Nadu are not deficient in any way in comparison with private school teachers. Private school teachers are better trained in coaching students for various exams when government school teachers are hard-bent on teaching the subject," defended G Arivoli, Joint Director of State Council of Educational Research.
Government school teachers in Tamil Nadu are largely on a par with national averages, said Anjali. For example, national averages in 2017 for classroom practice and professional competencies and logical ability and communication were 35 per cent, 38 per cent and 47 per cent respectively, while the same for Tamil Nadu government teachers were 32 per cent, 35 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.
"Around 15-20 per cent of participants in the Olympiad comes from various segments of Tamil Nadu. There are many winners among Tamil Nadu government school teachers across the years, in fact," she said.