Since 1973, the National Council for Teacher Education was an advisory body for the Central and State Governments on all matters pertaining to teacher education, with its Secretariat in the Department of Teacher Education of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Despite its commendable work in the academic fields, it could not perform essential regulatory functions, to ensure maintenance of standards in teacher education and preventing rise of substandard teacher education institutions. The National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 and the Programme of Action thereunder, envisaged a National Council for Teacher Education with statutory status and necessary resources as a first step for overhauling the system of teacher education. The National Council for Teacher Education as a statutory body came into existence in pursuance of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 (No. 73 of 1993) on the 17th August,1995.
The main objective of the NCTE is:
NCTE has its headquarder at New Delhi and four Regional Committees at Banglore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar and Jaipur to look after its statutory responsibilities. In order to enable the NCTE to perform the assigned functions including planned and co-ordinated development and initiating innovations in teacher education, the NCTE in Delhi as well as its four Reginal Committees have administrative and academic wings to deal respectively with finance, establishment and legal matters and with research, policy planning, monitoring, curriculum, innovations, co-ordination, library and documentation, inservice programmes. The NCTE Headquarters is headed by the Chairperson, while each Regional Committee is headed by a Regional Director.
Functions of the NCTE
The NCTE performs functions that are regulatory and also concerned with academic development of teacher education. Its functions are wide ranging and include among others planning, programming, advising, and formulations of norms for different teacher education courses. In addition the NCTE is expected to undertake periodic surveys, studies, and researches for promotion of innovations in teacher education and for institutional development. The following list gives its functions in detail.
1. To undertake surveys and studies relating to various aspects of teacher education and publish the results thereof,
2. To make recommendations to the Central and State Governments, Universities, and recognised institutions in the matter of preparation of suitable plans and programs in the field of teacher education,
3. To co-ordinate and monitor teacher education and its development in the country,
4. To lay down guidelines in respect of minimum qualifications for a person to be employed as a teacher in schools or in recognised institutions,
5. To lay down norms for any specified category of courses of training in teacher education, including the minimum eligibility criteria for admission thereof, and the method of selection of candidates, duration of the courses, course contents and mode of curriculum,
6. To lay down guidelines for compliance by recognised institutions, for starting new courses or training and for providing physical and instructional facilities, staffing pattern and staff qualifications,
7. To lay down standards in respect of examinations leading to teacher education qualifications, criteria for admission to such examinations and schemes of courses of training,
8. To lay down guidelines regarding tuition fees and other fees chargeable by recognised institutions,
9. To promote and conduct innovation and research in various areas of teacher education and disseminate the results thereof,
10. To examine and review periodically the implementation of the norms, guidelines and standards laid down by the Council, and to suitably advise the recognised institutions,
11. To evolve suitable performance appraisal systems, norms and mechanisms for enforcing accountability on recognised institutions,
12. To formulate schemes for various levels of teacher education and identify recognised institutions and set up new institutions for teacher development programs,
13. 13. To take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of teacher education, and perform such other functions as may be entrusted to it by the Central Government.
By laying down norms for different teacher education courses the NCTE has tried to regulate standards of teacher education.