Pre-University (PU) teachers with a distance education MSc from Kuvempu University are ill-equipped for the job, according to experts from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
In fact, the IISc team found their knowledge so poor that it has recommended using them only for administrative tasks.
The Talent Development Centre at the IISc second campus in Chitradurga has been conducting training programmes for PU science (PCMB) teachers since 2011.
In a “post-training” report submitted to the Pre-University Education (PUE) Department, Prof M S Hegde, in charge of the centre, says, “We have had a lot of difficulty training those with a distance education MSc from Kuvempu University. Most of them have not done even routine experiments a regular MSc student does.’’
According to professors at the centre, science teachers must have practical knowledge.
“We are not blaming Kuvempu University. That was our observation. Those who did their MSc from Kuvempu University through distance education were found to have poor practical knowledge. The average marks were between 13 and 20 out of 100,” says Prof Hegde.
“Those scoring 20 pc and below will not be able to do justice to their profession and the students will suffer. It is for the PU department to either persuade them to do well or utilise their services for some administrative/alternative work.”
Prof Hegde adds, “For training, teachers were divided into three categories: regular MSc degree holders, regular M.Sc holders who joined government high schools and were promoted to PU colleges and in the third category were distance education MSc holders mainly from Kuvempu University.
“Those in the first category are generally good and they can become excellent teachers. Their test marks reflect this. The second category picks up subjects fast. They will become good teachers soon. The third category is the one that needs discussion and we have had a lot of difficulty training them.”
Prof Hegde said, “I have mentioned in the report that this must be communicated to the Kuvempu University Vice-chancellor.”
“It is not the fault of the teachers. It is certainly the fault of the university that gave them the MSc degree. Kuvempu University needs to do a far better job to propagate their science distance education programme if their students are to compete with the rest,” says the report, a copy of which is with Express. The PUE Department is yet to communicate this to Kuvempu University. “We will forward the copy of the report to the vice-chancellor,” said a senior official of PUE department.
When contacted, Kuvempu University VC S A Bari, said, “We will look into it once we receive it.” He said the university treats regular and distance education courses equally. “We have been taking 180 hours of practical classes for those who join the MSc programme under the distance mode. We have made many examination reforms,” he said.