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After mentor teachers, Delhi Government now wants Teacher development Coordinators

In a move to bolster educational facilities in the state, the Delhi Government had hired around 200 mentor teachers in the previous academic year. The primary motive behind the mentor teachers were to visit at least 5 schools and impart basic training to the teachers in those schools. After the mentor teachers, the Delhi Government now seeks Teacher Development Coordinators (TDCs) who would act like the second layer of mentor teachers fully available in the schools itself. The Government has planned to introduce the TDCs in all its 1,047 schools in the NCT of Delhi.

In a letter asking teachers to come forward and assume the role of TDC, Education Minister Manish Sishodia said the job involves providing feedback to teachers based on classroom observation, and sharing best teaching practices. It is said that this is the move to bolster the teacher capacity in the schools where the staff crunch is always the biggest problem.

Given the staff crunch at the Government schools, different teacher groups had opposed the concept and said taking away teachers would aggravate the staff crunch in schools. Around 30,000 posts are lying vacant in schools against the sanctioned strength of 63,000. The Government is also planning to release around 25000 vacancies to bring the crunch of staff into control. Till then as a temporary measure, the government has employed 17,000 guest teachers.

As per Atishi Marlena, the staff advisor to Manish Sishodia, who termed it to be a unique practice in the country, “Such a system does not exist anywhere. This an innovative practice. We have started to strengthen our system and enhance the interest of children in particular subjects,”

Those interested in becoming TDCs will have to send their applications to the head of the schools. The principal, in consultation with the mentor teacher assigned for the school, will make the selection and send it to the Directorate of Education (DoE) by July 7. The decision of the head will be final, officials said.

As per a circular issued by the DoE on June 27, the principal/vice-principal of schools have been told that once a TDC is selected, the number of classes he/she takes will have to be reduced.
“This is being done so that the person concerned can get time to observe classrooms of other teachers, interact with them during free periods and plan activities for improved teaching learning practices. A TDC should not be assigned more than 24 periods, unless the head of school is faced with a shortage of subject teachers,” it stated.

According to the circular, TDCs will have to facilitate in-school teacher training activities as well as meetings to share learning and experience of classroom practice. In the daily half hour slot available to teachers for academic discussion, TDCs will have to design “academic enrichment sessions”.

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