India has a vast teacher education system with over 18,000 Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs), nearly 90% of which are privately operated with little oversight. Previously all data on TEIs was collected on paper, which was inefficient and hindered effective analysis. In 2012, an MHRD report recognized the need to improve this system and called for the creation of a strong reporting and monitoring mechanism. In response, Central Square Foundation (CSF) worked in collaboration with MHRD to develop a platform to assess the quality of TEIs and highlight areas for improvement.
Central Square Foundation’s Role
In collaboration with MHRD, CSF developed the Prashikshak from designing the initial strategy through creating the platform. After performing research on global best practices, CSF collaborated with stakeholders like heads of TEIs, government officials, academics, and other experts in teacher education to determine the requirements and indicators for the portal’s reporting mechanism. CSF then created the reporting mechanism with 800 data points, thoroughly tested it through two pilots with government institutes, and incorporated user feedback. CSF then developed the external platform, which shares data from TEIs and tracks their performance. CSF is now planning to expand the platform to include private institutes.
The portal will lead to greater transparency and facilitates practical and insightful analysis to improve the quality and efficiency of the teacher education scheme. The portal will also allow the State Education Departments to assess the current status of teacher education in the state and identify specific areas where resources need to be targeted to strengthen their teacher education systems. In addition, the portal will equip aspiring teachers with the information they need to make informed decisions regarding their education. Meanwhile, increased transparency will lead to competition among institutes, with students’ demand for a quality education generating long-term improvements among TEIs.