About two days ago, the latest Annual Status Report (ASER) Wave 1 was released revealing an increase in enrollment of students in Government schools compared to the year 2018. The survey which aimed to find enrollment of students in state government schools by collecting data of nearly 60,000 students through phone surveys found that the enrollment of boys had increased from 53.2 % in 2018 to 63.8% in 2020 and the enrollment rate of girl students has increased from 57.3% in 2018 to 65% in 2020. The survey also shows that in these pandemic stricken times, families in rural areas have bought smartphones and even assisted children in learning their material to ensure the spontaneity of their education.[1]

However, education is more than just an increase in the enrollment percentage of students. It is also dependent on the teachers and the overall accommodating atmosphere in a classroom. The pandemic is proof of the valiant efforts, dedication and ingenuity of our teachers to educate whether it being a teacher using her refrigerator tray to hold her phone while she teaches her students online or volunteer teachers in zila parishads teaching students in the four walls of their households for making classes as lively and accommodating as possible.[2]


While anyone can become a teacher and provide meaningful mentorship to guide both children and adults alike, for pursuing teaching as a profession there are set norms laid down by the government. As per Section 23 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act,2009[3] (hereinafter referred to as “the RTE Act”) for teachers to be appointed in a school such a person must possess the minimum standards set by the academic entity which is authorized by the Central government.

As per the Central Government notification on 23rd August 2010 and 29th July, 2011 the NCTE has prescribed that these guidelines for appointing teachers must keep on changing for classes 1 to 7. NCTE (Determination of Minimum Qualifications for Recruitment of Teachers in Schools) regulation 2014  read with rule 53 of Affiliation Bye Laws prescribes minimum qualification for teachers upto class XII. NCTE under the Right to Education Act, 2009 also mandates for the passing of a Teacher Eligibility Test as an essential qualification to be employed as a teacher for grade 1 to 7. While these norms are being followed it is also important to follow the state procedures laid down as per the respective state acts.


As per Section 24 of the Right to Education Act[4]  a teacher has to perform a variety of duties while being part of the school faculty. 

Firstly, they must maintain regularity and punctuality in attending both the school and the classes.

 Secondly, it is their primary duty to conduct classes to finish the current curriculum set by the board that the school is affiliated with as per the pre-mandated time. Such learning should be done for the purpose of developing the capability of abstract thinking, work and reflection of errors through the multiple mediums such as experiments, reading, articulating opinions through speech etc. for engaging with the concepts taught by teachers to be deeply ingrained and not be forgotten by the end of the exam.

Thirdly, it is the responsibility of teachers to look at the ability of the child to absorb the matter taught to him/her. This the teacher should do with varying scholastic, co-scholastic, formative and summative assessment measures. In scholastic and co-scholastic assessments, the teachers must on a weekly or fortnightly basis take reviews of the students to gauge what they have learnt over a period of time. However, formative assessment is an informal tool to be used by the teacher for providing descriptive feedback to the child for the student to appraise his performance and improve his performance with the help of the feedback acquired. Lastly, summative assessments are to sum up the knowledge gained/learned over a period of time with a graded test that is marked with a graded scale.

Fourthly, through parent teacher meetings ensure that parents are privy to the conduct of their children in class, his regularity, willingness and other important information about the child. 

Fifthly, teachers are not required to do any non-teaching jobs other than participating in population census, disaster relief and duties relating to elections to the local authority as per section 27 of the RTE act.[5] This is further emphasized by CBSE in their notice dated 28/10/2016[6] wherein they mention that separate staff may be employed for tasks such as canteen, transport of children and other activities of the kind that do not involve direct teaching, examination, examination and upgradation.

Lastly, as per The Handbook for Teachers created by Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE in 2019 teachers should be self-motivated, deeply engaged, optimistic and forward thinking in their outlook and therefore schools must provide a self- evaluation framework for ensuring that teachers can constantly self-develop and better themselves.[7]


Recognizing the need of 240 million students who are currently enrolled in schools and cannot access the physical infrastructure and pedagogy of their teachers because of school closures due to Covid-19 the Department of School Education and Literacy Ministry of Human Resource Development launched their guidelines for digital education ‘Pragyata’.[8]

While the guidelines themselves highlight the matter that digital education cannot be a substitute of physical classroom learning they mention that digital education with the assistance of technology has allowed limitless supply of digital resources and has identified two types of digital learning.

Synchronous: This refers to the teaching and learning that takes place in real time with a group of students and a teacher in a video conference, audio conference or other telecommunication facilities.

Asynchronous: It is learning that the student can refer to any time anywhere through emails, SMS, watching TV channels or hearing radio podcasts.

The role of teachers in a digital environment is laid down as follows-

1. Plan- This is the first stage of the process. It refers to the lesson plan prepared by the teachers.

2. Review- This stage involves the teacher taking a preliminary survey to find out the digital resources available by the student for example- laptop, phone, television etc.

3, Arrange- After surveying the students and evaluating the resources available with them the teacher must create a timetable of sorts to accommodate students. For instance, prioritizing the class of a child where there is only one smartphone in the household and the father has to leave for work.

4. Guide and talk- This stage refers to explaining to the students the curriculum that is going to be covered by the teachers. The teachers must try to through online chats, discussions etc. that the doubts of the children are clarified and students take active interest in their studies.

5. Assign- After teaching about a particular subject or theme the teacher must give the students an assignment or individual assignments after assessing the situations of the students in terms of the digital equipment available i.e. phones or laptops.

6. Track – In this stage the teachers are supposed to keep tabs on the assignment given to the child. Teachers can do so by using means of social media like WhatsApp or by making phone calls to the parents for acquiring the status of the work given and the details of submission i.e. physical submission if the schools reopen.

7. Appreciate- After the completion of every assignment/task by the student the teacher must encourage them by praising them with gestures of appreciation to fuel and sustain the motivation and interest of the child in his studies.

Since a child’s conscience is formed by the influences that surround them; their notions of good and evil are a result of the moral atmosphere they breathe in, teachers should be responsible enough to guide their students in the right direction along with ensuring that their moral duties are fulfilled. It is very pertinent to note here that liberal education is at the heart of a civil and responsible society and at the heart of liberal education is  good teacher.

[1] ASER 2020 Wave 1 – ASER Centre, (last visited Nov 3, 2020)

[2] On Teacher’s Day, Let’s Ask Ourselves What India’s Teachers Need The Wire, (last visited Nov 3, 2020)




[6] Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE/Aff.04/Circular/2016

[7] Central Board of Secondary Education, HANDBOOK FOR TEACHERS, 2019

[8] Department of School Education & Literacy Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India, PRAGYATA: GUIDELINES FOR DIGITAL EDUCATION


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