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While all the inputs listed in the preceding paragraph are crucial, the last two are especially so. About teachers, the Education Commission (1964-66) had observed, “of all the factors that influence the quality of education… the quality, competence and character of teachers are undoubtedly the most significant”. But these in turn depend substantially on the quality of training and other support provided to them. The importance of the last input mentioned in the preceding para viz. academic and resource support-can therefore hardly be over-emphasized.
Until the adoption of the NPE, this support in the area of elementary education was being provided largely at the national and State levels only by institutions like NCERT, NIEPA and SCERTs. Likewise in the area of adult education, this support was being provided by the Central Directorate of Adult Education at the national level, and by State Resource Centres (SRCs) at the State level. Below the State level, there were elementary teacher education institutions but their activities were confined mostly to pre-service teacher education. The physical, human and academic resources of most of the institutions were inadequate even for this limited role. They also tended to adopt teaching practices, which were not in consonance with the ones they prescribed to prospective teachers. There were certain larger problems as well e.g. courses of study being out-dated