11/05/2016 9:33 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Students Can Evaluate Their Teachers: HRD Ministry

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NEW DELHI, INDIA - JANUARY 16: A teacher teaching in class at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya school at Lal Kuan, Chandni Chowk, on January 16, 2013 in New Delhi, India. All the 1,246 students of this Urdu-medium government school are Muslim and many come from conservative families the Walled City. It made history of sort by transforming from being one of the worst performing government school to achieving 100% pass results for the last five years and became No. 1 among the city's government-run schools in terms of the quality index, the average marks obtained by each student. (Photo by Priyanka Parashar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

For the first time, college and varsity students will have a say in evaluation of teachers as the Smriti Irani led HRD ministry has decided to bring fundamental changes in the way the performance of those in the teaching profession is assessed.

The process of changing the present criteria of Academic Performance Indicators (API) scores, which relied heavily on co-curricular activities and research in the evaluation of teachers has been initiated and a notification will be issued soon, officials said.

"As per the new norms, students who have an attendance of 75 per cent, will be able to give feedback of their teachers.

The predominant weightage in evaluating teachers has been given to their teaching, learning and evaluating capacity," a senior HRD ministry official said.

Explaining the reason for bringing this change, the official said that under the previous criteria of API scores, a 30 per cent weightage was given to co-curricular activities and another 30 per cent to research.

Many teachers' bodies have agitated against the API system which was introduced in 2010 as it was often perceived to be not fair.

"The result of making research an essential component on the basis of which a teacher would be assessed and promoted, was that a lot of substandard (research publication) in not very significant journals took place. Moreover teachers who focused more on teaching than say on extracurricular activities like refereeing a basketball match sometimes found themselves at a disadvantage," another HRD official said.

In several colleges, including many in rural areas, the adequate support for research is not there, officials said.

We have reduced the rigidity of the previous system and decided that co-curricular activities and research would be measured separately as well as together and there will be no capping in research.

Activities like presentation of paper on various subjects will also be given weightage.

"The main focus of the changes that we are bringing in this criteria is that a teacher's performance should be linked with - how well does he teach," a senior HRD official said.

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