The Andaman & Nicobar Islands floating in the Bay of Bengal in isolation is a paradise on earth. The rate of literacy in these islands is higher than many states in the Union of India. The Tagore Govt. College of Education plays a vital role in shaping the education of these islands by producing competent and skilled teachers.
The historical perspective of these islands shows that there has been a steady growth in the field of education from the pre- independence era. History says that the British had established a penal settlement in these islands after the first war of Indian independence in 1857 and brought the freedom fighters to these islands and kept them in captivity. The Census Reports and official documents of the British era states that Primary Schools were set up by the British in these islands in the early 19th century to provide education to the free people as well as to the convict children. Compulsory primary education was the rule of the Penal Settlement. Regular teachers, convict teachers and student teachers were appointed by the School Education Committee to cater the educational needs of the Penal Settlement. The non availability of trained teachers was a constant problem of the settlement.
After Indian independence the Andaman administration faced the same problem of non availability of trained teachers to teach in the schools. To meet the impressing demand, a Teacher’s Training Institute was set in the year 1958 to meet the requirement of the Primary School Teachers. The problem of Trained Graduate Teachers remained the same. Untrained Graduates and Post Graduates were being appointed by the Education Department to meet the demands of the Middle and High Schools. Then these untrained teachers were provided Summer Training in Teacher Education by the Department. To meet the requirement of Trained Graduate Teachers in these Islands, the Govt. B. Ed College was set up in the same building with the Teacher’s Training Institute in August 1981. It was affiliated to the Panjab University and had got its permanent recognition from the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The TGCE has been growing ever since its inception in 1981. The college started providing a platform for the graduates and postgraduates passing out of JNRM, Port Blair and Mahatma Gandhi College, Mayabunder to seek a professional course and also to seek a job. There were 50 trainees in the first batch of the College and it’s a matter of pride for this college that many of the officers and teachers working in the Education Department and other departments of A&N Administration and Central Govt. Departments are its products. In 1987-88, the affiliation of this College was shifted to Pondicherry Central University. With the establishment of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in 1993 with statutory authority, the Govt. B.Ed. College got its recognition from the NCTE in 1997. As per the revised norms of NCTE 2014, two years B.Ed. degree programme has began from the academic year 2015-16.
On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of India’s Independence in August 1998, the Govt. B.Ed. College was re-christened as Tagore Govt. College of Education (TGCE). In the same year, a 34 bedded Rani Lakshmi Hostel for Women Teacher Trainees for the women trainees hailing from inter islands has started functioning. The College got a new building in April 2004 with all facilities required for teacher training.
The 4 year Integrated U G Ed courses were introduced in TGCE in 2003 which was a feather in its cap with Computer Science and English. Later Mathematics was added to this programme. The Bachelor of Science Education (B.Sc.B.Ed. for Maths and Computer Science), the Bachelor of Arts Education (B.A.B.Ed.) are meant and designed as integrated programmes of Teacher Education, aimed at preparing competent teachers for the secondary school level and incorporate appropriate components of General Education, Subject Specialization and Professional Education.
The TGCE that had been a tiny sapling in 1981 has grown up into a huge tree with its branches stretching out in various directions.