Role of Science-Teachers in Changing Times

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Dr. Seemin Rubab

The role of teachers has undergone a paradigm shift in new millennium. Apart from imparting education which is the primary duty, a teacher has to be instrumental in talent search and nurture activities. Great visionary like Homi Bhabha and PC Mahalnobis had a knack of picking and nurturing talent. Due to growth in education, these days organized talent search and nurture activities are undertaken. These activities are designed to enable students and institutions to measure themselves against a national standard. One of the most prestigious talent search exam, the Olympiads train the students to tackle any entrance exam of high calibre. Stakeholders in education from valley are aware of many of these talent search and nurture programs but they are probably not aware of all the benefits of such exams. All secondary and senior secondary school teachers should take pro active role in conduct of such exams. The teachers who get these exams conducted should be felicitated.
With changing times the paradigm of education is also changing. These days students have more options / distractions than they had earlier. So, to keep them motivated one has to be innovative. There has been a sea-change in pedagogy. The chalk-and-talk method is now pass?. Learning through activities is the “buzz” word. Teachers may help their students in opening science clubs and affiliating their clubs to VIPNET of Vigyan Prasar. Petroleum Conservation Research Association also encourages formation of clubs at school level and conducting small projects on energy conservation.
National Children Science Congress is held annually during last week of December.  Teachers should take pro active role in preparing group of students for participation in the Congress. They may also take initiative in organizing district and state level Congress.  
Another important role of a teacher is science communication and extension activities. The teachers may organize National Science day, Renewable Energy Day and Energy Conservation days etc. at school level. These days a plethora of lucrative opportunities have emerged after higher secondary which makes students confused about their career options. It is teacher’s duty to help students in making right career choices.  
Teachers may become members of professional organizations for lifelong skill enhancement. More specifically teachers may join  Indian Association for Physics Teachers, Association of Mathematics Teachers of India or Indian Association of Teachers in Biological Sciences for keeping abreast with latest happenings in their field.  All these associations regularly send their bulletins and journals to life members.

THE INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICS TEACHERS (IAPT)
It was established in the year 1984 by the great visionary, (Late) Dr. D. P. Khandelwal, with active support from some Physics teachers, with the aim of upgrading the quality of Physics teaching and Physics teachers at all levels. It has now grown into a major organisation with about 5000 life members spread  throughout the country. The members include school, college, university teachers, research workers, science administrators and science savvy enthusiasts. For its grass root working, the country is divided into 20 regions, each with a regional council. The apex executive council, co-ordinates and directs the effort at the national level. The flagship activity of IAPT is conduct of National Standard Examination in Sciences and National Graduate Exam in Physics.

ASSOCIATION OF MATHEMATICS TEACHERS OF INDIA (AMTI)
This association was started in 1965 for promotion of efforts to improve Mathematics education at all levels. Its major aims are to assist school teachers to improve their expert and professional skills, spot and foster mathematical talents, organize orientation courses, summer courses and workshops for teachers and talented students. A national conference is held annually in different parts of the country for teachers to meet and deliberate on important issues of mathematics education. It also holds “Inter State Mathematical Talent Search Competition”  annually. “The Mathematics Teacher” is the official journal of the AMTI.

THE INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF CHEMISTRY TEACHERS (IACT)
This association was founded in 2000, serves as an academic forum for the interaction between Chemistry educators from all over the country. The prime objectives of IACT include Advancement of Chemistry Education by means of Curriculum development and innovations in teaching methodology and evaluation methods. IACT spearheads organization of Chemistry workshop and symposia in different parts of the country including an annual National Convention of Chemistry Teachers. It also helps in exploring and nurturing talent in chemistry with special reference to the National and International Olympiad. Liaison with industry and National level research institutions for mutual benefit is felicitated by IACT.

INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (IATBS)
This association was founded in line of IAPT for conduct of National Standard Examination in Biology and promotion of Biology education at all levels.
Open and distance learning and online learning system has also provided in service teachers ample opportunities for continuing education and growing professionally. Teachers can continue their education from anywhere and anytime. There are Distance Education Council (DEC) recognized universities which offer, certificate, diploma, degree and research level courses in science disciplines. Science teachers can utilize this opportunity for up-gradation of their knowledge and intellectual growth.

SOME ONLINE COURSE FOR TEACHERS
‘International Diploma in Guidance and Counselling’ offered at five Regional Institutes of Education as well as NCERT Delhi. The intake capacity of each centre is 50.
‘Appreciation Programme on Sustainability Science’ offered by Chair of Sustainable Development, IGNOU.  The admission is open throughout the year.

TEACHER’S CONFERENCE
 National Teachers s’ Science Congress is being organized biennially by NCSTC Network of Department of Science and Technology. It provides a forum to teachers of the country to enhance their level of scientific career.  
 
Author is senior lecturer Physics, NIT Srinagar

About Author

A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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