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Employability Skills of Teachers

Authors: Prof. Marmar Mukhopadhyay, Prof. Madhu Parhar, Dr. Paushalee Dutta and Ms. Tasha Agarwal

A Brief Study Report

Introduction

Quality is the major issue and crying concern in school education.  There have been serious efforts in terms of policies, plans, programmes and investments in education for quality improvement. The outcome is not commensurate with the efforts and investments. There is a need for out-of the box thinking and intervention to make quality happen. Deriving from research on employability skills and its impact on productivity, it is possible to argue that teacher employability can be an instrument of quality improvement in education.

There are three different interrelated and interdependent sets of skills and competencies for a teacher to be effective. These are: academic and professional qualifications, certain technical job skills like teaching, evaluation, etc., and soft/life  skills. Research literature has equated soft/life skills with employability skills. This study was undertaken to explore    employability skills of teachers.

 The Study

 The present study attempts at assessing  the employability skills of the teachers.  On the basis of teachers’ role analysis and research on employability skills,  11 employability skills of teachers were selected, namely,   Learning, Communication, Problem Solving, Critical and Creative Thinking, Team Work, Self- management, Interpersonal skills (Human Relations), ICT Skills, Initiative & Enterprise, Planning and Organizing Including Leadership Skills, Emotional Resonance or Empathy.

Objectives

 Objective of the study was to develop a standardized instrument of assessing employability skills of school teachers; assess employability skills of school teachers; and examine whether there are differences between male and female teachers,  rural and urban teachers, among teachers  serving in schools under different management, among  teachers of different subjects teaching in different levels,  and teachers of different age groups.

Methodology

The study was conducted on 4293 teachers   from 272 schools spread over 25 districts of 12 states belonging to North-eastern, eastern, southern, western and northern regions. A 110 item Teacher Employability Assessment  Scale (TEAS)  was developed following prescribed rigorous steps of test construction. The TEAS is a standardized test with established validity, reliability, objectivity and norms. The TEAS development involved 12 co-investigators (professors) from universities in different states. Norms were developed at five levels, namely, Fully  Employable, Highly Employable, Employable, Not so Unemployable, and Non-employable

 Results

 A few important findings have been flagged below:

  1. 80% teachers were either not so employable or non-employable (Grades D & E); 22.90% teachers were fully or highly employable (Grade A), and 43.30% teachers scored average (grades B & C) on the employability skills.
  2. More female teachers are employable than male teachers;
  3. Among all the selected states, Assam followed by Gujarat and West Bengal had the highest mean scores on TEAS. The employability skills of teachers in Bihar had the lowest mean score which is way below the mean value of all-India average.
  4. The mean score of teachers in rural areas is higher   than the urban teachers.
  5. Teachers below35 years score better on TEAS than teachers between 35 to 56; teachers above 56 years fare worst in employability skills than the teachers in the other two age groups.
  6. Mean score of the teachers of private schools was   Teachers of  government aided schools fared better  than that of state government schools. Teachers of KVS scored higher than those serving in state government school.
  7. Performance of  graduate and trained graduate teachers, and PG and trained PG teachers are comparable on TEAS. However, there are differences between trained and untrained teachers on  two skills, namely Team Work and ICT skills.
  8. Mean score of PRT is higher than both PGTs and TGTs. However, there is no significant difference in the skills of PRT and TGT; and PGT and TGTs.
  9. Teachers of languages, mathematics and science scored higher in employability skills compared to teachers in social sciences.

Implications  

 The study has serious implications for policy and planning on teacher recruitment, capacity building, teacher incentive and teacher management; and overall quality of education.

33.80% non-employable teachers among those who are already on the job points to the  deficiencies of the recruitment process as well as capacity building programmes.  Further, that significant number of trained teachers are unemployable, indicates that  pre-service and inservice education of teachers  should  take into account  employable skills necessary for teaching profession.

 Conclusion

This is the first study on teacher employability in India though there are studies on teacher behaviour and teacher effectiveness. This study intended to define teacher employability in terms of component skills, create a mechanism or instrument for assessing teacher employability, and assess teacher employability from a nationwide sample. The study has successfully defined employability skills in terms of 11 skills including ICT skills. A standardized test has been developed for assessing teacher employability. The study has been conducted on a large sample of 4293 teachers drawn from 12 Indian states.