The National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986 in its programme of action makes a
pointed reference to the crucial link between teacher motivation and the quality of
The NPE recognized the need for improving quality of teaching and proposed to
provide opportunities for professional and career development so that teachers may
fulfill their role and responsibility within the system of higher education. It was
proposed to enhance their motivation skills and knowledge through systematic
orientation in specific subjects, techniques and methodologies, and thereby inculcate
in them the right kind of values that would in turn encourage them to take initiatives
for innovative and creative work.
Keeping the above objectives in view, the following steps were proposed:
a) To organize specially designed orientation programmes (OPs) in pedagogy,
educational psychology and philosophy, and socio-economic and political
concerns for all new entrants at the level of Lecturers;
b) To organize such orientation programmes and refresher courses (RCs) for serving
teachers, covering every teacher at least once in three to five years;
c) To organize specially designed orientation programmes/refresher courses in IT for
new entrants as well as for in-service teachers; and
d) To encourage teachers to participate in seminars, symposia, workshops, etc.
In order to achieve the above, a Scheme of setting up Academic Staff Colleges
(ASCs) in suitable universities in the country was initiated by the University Grants
Commission (UGC/ Commission).
II. Core Issues
2.1 Objectives of the Academic Staff College
The objectives of the Academic Staff College (ASC) are to enable newly
appointed Lecturers to:
a. understand the significance of education in general, and higher education in
particular, in the global and Indian contexts;
b. understand the linkages between education and economic and socio-economic and
cultural development, with particular reference to the Indian polity where
democracy, secularism and social equity are the basic tenets of society;
c. acquire and improve art of teaching at the college/university level to achieve goals
of higher education;
d. keep abreast of the latest developments in their specific subjects;
e. understand the organization and management of a college/university and to
perceive the role of teachers in the total system;
f. utilize opportunities for development of personality, initiative and creativity; and
g. promote computer literacy as well use of ICT in teaching and learning process.
The ASC's main philosophy is to keep in mind that the teacher is central to the
system. While it is universally accepted that the teacher is the pivot of the
educational system, our system does not provide adequate opportunities for their
professional development. It is, therefore, necessary to develop inbuilt
mechanisms to provide opportunities for teachers within the framework of
knowledge society. It is also accepted that a teacher must not be confined only to
transmitting information; she/he must also orient students to meet the challenges
of life, to become not merely a trained professional, but also a better citizen.
It was believed in the past that a college/university teacher learnt the 'art' of
teaching on the job by emulating outstanding models such as his/her own teachers
or senior colleagues. The stock-in-trade of the college/university teacher has
always motivated the students. Today, it is no longer adequate to expect a newly
appointed teacher to acquire the 'art' of teaching by emulating his/her peers.
2.3 Expansion of the Education System
From the very beginning our country had moved away from an elitist approach to
higher education. We can truly claim that our system of higher education is mass
based. This is a great achievement, more so, if we call that this has been achieved
in a developing country.
While the expansion of the system of higher education is creditable, it has been
achieved at a cost to itself. As the system moved away from the idea of higher
education of the select few to higher education for all, there has been a decline in
overall standards. Initially this was inevitable, but is nonetheless disturbing,
especially when one considers the rapid advances being made in knowledge and
the explosion of information worldwide. This trend must be reversed. This places
greater responsibilities on teachers, and we owe it to them and to ourselves to
make it possible for them to perform better in these changing times.
2.4 Educational Technology and Orientation in IT
New methods of teaching and educational technology along with developments in
Information Technology have made the job of a teacher both exact and demanding.
Now, it has been decided to give a bigger thrust to e-content development. In order to
create Internet savvy as well as computer literate teachers, to create e-content
assemblers and creators, the University Grants Commission is launching specially
designed orientation programmes/refresher courses in these subjects.
The special orientation programme in IT is to create Internet literate people from
amongst new entrants as well as in-service teachers and to make them familiar with
use of software tools irrespective of the subject/discipline they are teaching.
Acquisition of knowledge is a two-way process between the teachers and the taught
and, therefore, collectively they must advance the frontiers of knowledge.
2.5 Knowledge Explosion
Furthermore, there has been knowledge explosion in every discipline. A
college/university teacher has to continuously update his/her knowledge in his/her
chosen field of expertise, or run the risk of becoming totally outdated in a very short
period of time.
While the really motivated and industrious teachers use their own resources to keep
themselves abreast of new knowledge and to train themselves in the latest processes,
methodologies and techniques of teaching, it is necessary to provide systematic and
organized orientation programmes for the large number of teachers at the college and
2.6 Orientation of Newly Appointed Lecturers
The concept of an orientation programme emphasizes teachers as agents of socioeconomic
change and national development and underlines the need to make them
skill –oriented teachers.
The philosophy and objectives of the orientation courses are significantly different
from the traditional B.Ed. and M.Ed. Programmes.
2.7 Flexible Orientation Programme
The orientation programme envisaged under this Scheme must not be rigid. Under the
programme, it is intended to inculcate in young Lecturers the quality of self-reliance
through their awareness of the social, intellectual and moral environment. The
programme should enable the teachers to discover themselves and their potential
through a positive appreciation of their role in the total social, intellectual and moral
universe within which they function and of which they are important members. Only
in a country where teachers are able to fulfill their responsibility with awareness and
confidence, the educational system becomes relevant and dynamic.
2.8 Orientation Relevant To Indian Conditions
The orientation programme must engender in the teacher awareness of the problems
that Indian society faces, and that education is the solution to these problems.
It must also focus on the achievement of the goals set out in the Indian Constitution.
Matters relating to subject knowledge and pedagogy, although important in them,
would only be meaningful when understood in the total context of national
2.9 Active Involvement Of Decision-makers and Leaders In Higher Education
It is equally important to recognize that no scheme for orientation of teachers can
succeed if the decision-makers and administrators of higher education do not
understand the importance of such scheme.
Therefore, along with the courses for newly appointed teachers, orientation
programmes for heads of departments, principals, deans, officers, etc. must be
organized with a view to acquainting the top-level administrators with what teachers
are learning in the orientation programmes. This exposure will enable the decisionmakers
to actively participate in the scheme; at the same time, these administrators
would be able to modify their own roles as supervisors of higher education by
demanding newer role behavior from the teachers.