Role of voluntary teacher forums (VTFs) in continuous teacher professional development in India: experiences from Rajasthan, Karnataka and Puducherry

Azim Premji University,


The quality of education depends largely upon the teacher. Hence building teacher capacity through continuous professional development of teachers is critical to the quality of education. Systems and programs for continuous professional development for school teachers in the formal educational system in India are inadequate and often ill-conceived. Apart from other lacunae, they often do not recognize the professional identity and agency of the teacher. Voluntary Teacher Forums (VTFs) that are facilitated by Azim Premji Foundation in different locations of India, as part of an integrated and multimodal approach to continuous professional development, try to address this central issue. This study shows that VTFs are evolving as very useful platforms for collaboration and peer learning amongst teachers in various locations. It shows that given an environment that allows for easy access to meaningful opportunities, teachers will commit their time, talents and resources to their own professional development. The study further recognizes however, that the real issue is to understand how such forums can be made to happen in different locations in a context as complex as the Indian public education system. While this study highlights certain crucial dimensions of the VTFs – including what happens within these forums and the efforts that go behind it – these continue to be subjects for our future research works.