Knowledge and skills are the backbone for progress of any nation: Justice MSA Siddiqui

By Abdul Bari Masoud

???????????????????????????????New Delhi: At the conclusion programme of the 3-day Teachers Training Workshop, noted experts and education activists stressed the need of providing quality education and arresting the drop-out rate at school level. The workshop billed as “In Service Skills Up-gradation Clinic for Teachers”, was organized by All India Confederation for Women Empowerment Through Education (AICWETE) has ended on positive note with a pledge of training 5,000 teachers in span of one year.
DSC01604Describing the teachers as the real architect of the nation, former Chairman of NCTE Prof. Mohammad Akhtar Siddiqui, advised the participants to improve their teaching skills and knowledge. Asking them to give utmost attention towards quality education and maintaining equity in the classroom, Prof Siddiqui, who is also the chairman of Faculty of Education in Jamia Millia Islamia, said during his stint as chairman of NCTE, he found children from backward sections of the society are being discriminated with by the upper caste teachers and this is one of the main reasons high drop-out rate at school level. He cited an example of a village school in Bhagalpur district in Bihar where more than half of the total students decided to discontinue education. “The parents of the students alleged that the teachers from Upper Caste discriminated against their children, and they did not give the needed attention towards them. Hence the students lost interest in schools and decided to leave the school in the middle and demanding separate schools for their wards”.
Addressing inaugural session of the workshop, Prof Siddiqui said like engineers and doctors, teachers are also professionals and a professional always keeps updating his knowledge so teacher should imitate this practice as they are real builders of the society and country.
Chairman National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Justice MSA Siddiqui exhorted participants to enhance their knowledge and skills as they are the backbone of the progress and development of any nation. Paying rich tribute to first education minister of India Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Justice Siddiqui said he was real architect of modern education in the country as he established the entire necessary infrastructure for quality education. Addressing the valedictory session, which was meant to commemorate the 137th Birth Anniversary of Maulana Azad, Justice Siddiqui said he was a multifaceted personality and everyone should emulate his devotion and dedication for the nation-building. During his speech, he gave a host of suggestions to teachers for improving quality education and class-room environment.

Many experts were of the opinion that apart from poverty and backwardness, the rampant caste-discrimination in schools particularly in the countryside is main reason for alarming dropout rate as equity issue has become a major headache for the policy-makers.
AICWETE president Dr Shabistan Gaffar, who also heads the Committee on Girls Education of the NCMEI, highlighted the objectives of the workshop. She announced that AICWETE will hold such workshops in 20 states across the country and will train 5,000 teachers next year. She said her organization has been constantly involved in education, women empowerment and training programmes since last seven years. “These programmes have been received well by the target population and several of our projects have also won us name and recognition in the field of community betterment,” she claimed.
“It is our honest endeavour to uplift the minorities and other marginalized sections of the society. As has been noted worldwide, education plays a pivotal role in empowerment of various sections of the society. In tandem with this thought, we would like to introduce “In Service Skills Up-gradation Clinic for Teachers” across the country,” Dr Gaffar said.
It is to be mentioned here that the course and activities for the workshop have been carefully designed and customized by subject experts to address and fill the gaps between policy making and implementation at primary school level. The trainees went undergo a rigorous and comprehensive schedule that includes sensitizing and orienting them towards the learning needs, participatory pedagogical techniques and effective evaluation of school going children belonging to the target age-group of 6-11 years.
Dr Gaffar said through this clinic exercise she aims at supplementing the existing intellectual infrastructure with the required support and information to enrich the classroom interactions and bring about a critical change towards quality education. As it will go a long way in making a significant positive difference to the younger population of the country.
IMG_20141111_170223Besides her, Prof (Dr) Anita Nuna of Department of Gender Studies, NCERT, Prof. Akhtarul Wasey (National Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities), Prof. (Dr.) Qamar Rehman (Dean, Research Science & Technology, Amity University), Adv. Abraham M. Pattiyani ( Member, Delhi Minorities Commission), Dr. Yousuf-Ul Omar (Chairman, Iqbal Memorial Trust, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir), Sandip Jain ( Deputy secretary NCMEI) and others also spoke on the occasion and provided valuable suggestions and solutions to participants for overcoming teaching problems. The workshop attended by more than 100 teachers from three states namely Haryana UP and Delhi and most of them from minority-run schools. It is noteworthy here that the focus goes beyond training teachers to handle the curriculum and include physical, cognitive and psycho-social development integrally in classroom environment.

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