District Institute of Educational Training: An Introduction
While all the inputs listed in the preceding paragraph are crucial,
the last two are especially so. About
teachers, the Education Commission (1964-66) had observed, “of all the factors
that influence the quality of education… the quality, competence and character
of teachers are undoubtedly the most significant”. But these in turn depend substantially on the quality of training
and other support provided to them. The
importance of the last input mentioned in the preceding para viz. academic and
resource support-can therefore hardly be over-emphasized. Until the adoption of the NPE, this support
in the area of elementary education was being provided largely at the national
and State levels only by institutions like NCERT, NIEPA and SCERTs. Likewise in the area of adult education,
this support was being provided by the Central Directorate of Adult Education
at the national level, and by State Resource Centres (SRCs) at the State
level. Below the State level, there
were elementary teacher education institutions but their activities were
confined mostly to pre-service teacher education. The physical, human and academic resources of most of the
institutions were inadequate even for this limited role. They also tended to adopt teaching practices,
which were not in consonance with the ones they prescribed to prospective
teachers. There were certain larger
problems as well e.g. courses of study being out-dated.
the time of adoption of the NPE, elementary and adult education systems were
already too vast to be adequately supported by national and State level agencies
alone. The NPE implied their further
expansion as also considerable qualitative improvement. Provision of support to them in a
decentralized manner had therefore become imperative. The NPE and POA accordingly envisaged addition of a
third-district level-tier to the support system in the shape of District
institutes of Education and Training (DIETs).
With this, expectation would be of wider quantitative coverage as well
as qualitatively better support as these Institutes would be closer to the
field, and therefore more alive to its problems and needs.
the provisions of NPE on teacher education, a Centrally sponsored Scheme of
Restructuring and Reorganization of Teacher Education was approved in October
1987. One of the five components of the
Scheme was establishment of DIETs.
Draft guidelines for implementing the DIET component were circulated to
States in October 1987 and have, together with certain subsequent circulars,
formed the basis for its implementation so far. Till October 1989, Central assistance had been sanctioned under
the Scheme for setting up a total of 216 DIETs in the country.
present document purports to consolidate, amplify and revise the existing
guidelines in regard to DIETs. With
this, all earlier guidelines on the subject would stand superseded.
DIETs: Mission and Role
With the background given in
the preceding sections, a DIETs Mission could be briefly stated in the
following terms: -
“To provide academic and resource
support (vide para 1.5) at the grass-roots level for the success of the various
strategies and programmes being undertaken in the areas of elementary and adult
education, with special reference to the following objectives: -
- Universalisation of Primary/Elementary Education.
- NLM targets in regard to functional literacy in the 15-35 age
The above is a general mission
statement. It will have to be
translated into specific goals for the DIET, so as to suit the needs of individual
states and districts, and will be ultimately operationalised through specific
performance norms set for individual DIETs.
DIETs: Pace-setting Role
Pursuit of excellence would have to
inform all activities of the DIETs, in which context, it will have two
Excellence in the Institute’s own work, and
Helping the elementary and adult education systems in the district,
in achieving excellence.
As far as the
first aspect is concerned, efforts will be made to provide to DIETs all
necessary physical and manpower resources.
But it will be for them to harness these and other available resources
in the best possible manner, so as to achieve and promote excellence.
this context, DIETs will also have a very important pace setting role to
play. They will be expected to become
models for other educational institutions in the district in terms of
meticulous, efficient and effective planning and execution of functions,
harmonious and creative organizational climate, maintenance of a clean and
attractive campus etc.
DIETs: Part of a Larger Design
It would be clear from para 1.5 and Annexure .I that DIETs
are a part of a larger strategy to achieve national goals in the areas of
Elementary and Adult Education. Various
components of the strategy are inter-dependent and mutually reinforcing. Annexure I also outlines DIETs role in the
context of the other components. DIETs
cannot therefore afford to view themselves in isolation, and must faithfully
discharge their role of supplementing and complementing other parallel
DIET will have 3 main functions, viz.
Training (both of induction level as well as continuing varieties)
Resource support (extension/guidance, development of materials,
aids, evaluation tools, etc.) and
This section discusses the
basic approach and philosophy to be followed in undertaking these functions,
Transactional Approach for the DIETs: Placing the Learner at the Centre
NPE and POA plead for adoption of a Child Centred approach in elementary
education. The relevant portion of NPE
Child Centred Approach
A warm welcoming and encouraging approach, in which all
concerned share a solicitude for the needs of the child, is the best motivation
for the child to attend school and learn.
A child-centred and activity-based process of learning should be adopted
at the primary stage…”
14 of Chapter II of the POA states that “by making Elementary Education
child-centred, we would be introducing a long-awaited reform in the
system. The most important aspect of
this reform will be to make education a joyful, innovative and satisfying
learning activity, rather than a system of role and cheerless, authoritarian
In the case of Adult Education Programmes also, it is
clear that functional literacy should be imparted to adults in a participative,
above statements contained in the NPE and POA have profound implications for
programmes of teacher education and training of instructors of adult and
non-formal education. The child or
learner centred approach necessitates a fundamental change in the manner of
curriculum transaction. The challenge
is an especially daunting one in view of the special characteristics of our
system-high pupil-teacher ratio, multi-grade teaching, in-adequate physical
facilities, and so on. The role of the
teacher/instructor would now be no longer one of transmitting readymade
knowledge to the learner, but, instead, that of a designer and facilitator of
learning experiences, a manager of instruction and learning resources, and an
active contributor to the all-round development of the learner.
programmes of pre-service and in-service teacher education and of training
AE/NFE personnel in the DIET would be so designed as to train the
teacher/instructor in transacting curriculum, keeping the learner at the centre
of the teaching-learning process. If
the DIET is to achieve this, it follows that it will have to transact its own
programmes in the same learner-centred mode, which it would expect of its
trainees. This basic approach would
imbue the transaction of all programmes in a DIET. Some of the implications of this would be as follows:
- Programmes will be need based.
Even within group of trainees/participants, individual differences
and needs will be identified and catered to.
- Trainees will be enabled to experiment, discover, learn, practice
and innovate for themselves, rather than being lectured to. Learning activities will be suitably
organised, in individual and group modes.
- Maximum possible use will be made of the local environment in the
learning process. Curricula and
learning activities will be suitably related to it.
- Good work done by trainees will be duly recognised, encouraged,
displayed and publicized.
- The DIET will itself adopt the attitude of a “life-long learner”
rather than that of an oracle or know-all. It would receive as much from the ‘field’ as it would
endeavor to give to it. The
district will serve as the ‘school’ for its learning experiences, while it
may carve out one or two special areas as its ‘lab areas’.
DIETs: Special Target Groups
“The concept a National System of Education implies that,
up to a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or
sex, have access to education of a comparable quality: says the NPE. It goes on to say “to promote equality, it
will be necessary to provide for equal opportunity to all not only in access,
but also in the condition for success”.
This is quite the essence of the universalisation task, and means that
needs of educationally disadvantaged groups would have to be given maximum
attention. The largest such groups are:
castes and Scheduled tribes
educationally disadvantaged groups e.g. working children, slum-dwellers, inhabitants
of hilly, desert and other inaccessible areas, etc.
It follows that DIETs also,
in all aspect of their work, would have to give primary attention to promotion
of education of the above groups.
DIETs: Autonomy and Accountability
10.1 of the NPE says “an overhaul of the system of planning and management of
education will receive priority”. It
also says that in this process, two of the “guiding considerations” will be: -
“Decentralization and the creation of a spirit of autonomy for
educational institutions: and
“Establishing the principle of accountability in relation to
given objectives and norms”.
In view of the above, DIETs
would need to be given adequate functional autonomy-academic, administrative and
financial-and would at the same time be accountable laid down objectives and
norms. They would be institutions of
the State Government or UT Administration, and will therefore be ultimately
answerable to them. The State
government/UT Administration, and will therefore be ultimately answerable to
them. The State Government/UT
Administration may exercise its supervisory functions through the SCERT and
immediate accountability of the DIET will be to the District Board of Education
(DBE), which, according to the NPE, is to be created to manage education up to
the higher secondary level. The DBE
will set specific goals (in the long, medium and short term) and performance
norms for the DIET. It will do so in
consultation; with the Institute, and keeping in view general norms and
guidelines lay down at the national and State levels. It will also review the Institute’s performance vis-à-vis such
goals and norms on an ongoing basis.
Till DBEs are set up, State Governments may; designate SCERT/SRC or some
other suitable educational authority to perform the DBE’s functions vis-à-vis
Not merely will every DIET establish a close and
continuing dialogue with ‘the field’ (i.e. with elementary schools, school
complexes, teachers, head masters, school supervisors,
Instructors/Supervisors/Project Officers of AE and NFE, and with District level
officers in these three sectors), but will also establish officers In these
three sectors), but will also establish close linkages with organizations and
Institutions at the national, State, Divisional and district levels whose
objectives and interests converge with its own. Some of these institutions would be as follows :-
At the Divisional Level
NGOs, institutions of higher education,
secondary teacher education institutions, DRDA, local Radio Station (wherever
At the Divisional Level
University Dept. of Education,
Institution of Advanced Study in education (IASE)*, NGOs and other concerned
organisations and institutions.
At State Level
SCERT, SIET, SRC for Adult Education, NGOs
At the National Level
NCERT(including its Regional College
within whose jurisdiction the state falls), NIEPA, Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), Directorate of
Adult Education, Central Institute of Indian languages, Mysore, Kendriya Hindi
Sansthan , Agra, other premier organisations/institutions and NGOs working in
the area of elementary and adult education, etc.In specific terms, the linkages
would be established through a meaningful and continuous dialogue in which
institutions share problems, experiences, achievements, information and
resources. The diet may also work as an
agency for implementing some of the programmes and activities of national and
state level organisations.
in-service programmes for teachers and training programmes for AE/NFE personnel
would be one of DIETs main functions.
This activity would go on throughout the year, but would peak during
school vacations because that is when the Institute’s resources would be free
from the work-load of pre-service training, and also because that would cause
minimum dislocation in schools.
Therefore, DIETs will be non-vacation institutions-their personnel would
have to be classified as non-vacation staff, and given consequential benefits
as per State Governments Rules.
DIETs would also be expected
to provide residential facilities to as many of their trainees as may be
possible within the resources available for construction hostels. In utilizing
available hostel accommodation, first priority shall be given to trainees other
than pre-service trainees. The latter
shall be accommodated to the extent possible after accommodation needs of all
other training programmes (e.g. in-service programmes for teachers, training
programmes for AE/NFE personnel. etc.) have been met.
of a DIET
The context, mission and role of the
DIETs have been discussed in the preceding Chapter. Their functions, as spelt out in the POA, have been quoted in
Annex 2. These could be re-stated as
and orientation of the following target groups:-
Elementary school teachers (both pre-service and in-service
Head Master, Heads of School Complexes and officers of Education
Department up to Block level.
Instructors and supervisors of Non-formal and Adult Education
(induction level and continuing education)
Members of DBE and Village Education Committee (VECs) Community
leaders, youth and other volunteers who wish to work as educational activities.
Resource persons who will conduct suitable programmes for the
target groups mentioned at (I) and (iii) above, at centers other than the DIET
and resource support to the elementary and adult education systems in the
district in other ways e.g. by 9I) extension activities and interaction with
the field, 9ii) provision of services of a resource and learning center for
teachers and instructors, (iii) development of locally relevant materials
teaching aids, evaluation tools etc., and (iv) serving as an evaluation center
for elementary school and programmes of NFE/AE.
Action research and experimentation to deal with specific problems of
the district in achieving the objectives in the areas of elementary and adult
Structure of a DIET: Certain
Looking to the above
functions, a DIET would need to have staff strength in the following areas:
of Education and Pedagogy:
subjects taught at the Elementary stages;
taught at the elementary level in the district (these may be two, three or even
four, depending on the number of language which are introduced in a State at
the elementary stage, and factors like bilingual character of a district)
Studies –Social Science