The Significance of Teacher Empowerment

One of the most critical dimensions of the system of education today, is empowerment of students. Empowerment of students, as a phenomenon, is a result of many things, one of which is 'Empowerment of Teachers'. Perhaps, the most central and the strongest catalyst to getting there, if not the only one. Empowerment of teachers, professors and other academic practitioners has been recognised over a few years as a space that needs utmost attention in terms of development, process establishments and holistic approaches towards the system as a whole.

In one of the articles published by Gardner-Webb University, a comprehensive definition of empowerment of teachers read, “teacher empowerment is defined as investing teachers with the right to participate in the determination of school goals and policies and to exercise professional judgment about what and how to teach.” The most significant part of this understanding is the part about the right to be invested in teachers to decide on the content and the method of teaching. And while the administration of any educational institution contemplates the possibilities of acting further on it, the most critical element of observation will be the level of abilities and competencies of the teachers, to be able to make the process stronger to reach the objectives and goals of the institution.  So, empowerment in this case becomes a process with two parallel progressions to it. One, the empowerment of the skill sets and the competency levels through methodically designed programs, second, to investing the rights in them to derive from these skills and competencies to convert them into the preset objectives.

Greater productivity, morale boost, lesser bureaucratic impediments to process reforms are some of the direct results of teacher empowerment. From being a catch-phrase that originated in the late 80’s, to being a integral part of the policymaker’s agenda today, the contemplation has shifted from whether or not to incorporate it, to how its effectiveness can be scaled up. With initiatives from Government and private organisations, the scope for empowerment has broadened and scientific research towards increasing the effectiveness of empowerment of teachers is indeed a good sign of development for our education system.

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