NEW DELHI: A U-turn by the National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE), after first agreeing to recognise the 18-month Diploma in Elementary Education, meant to provide in-service training to untrained teachers in schools, has now left lakhs of teachers in the lurch.
The NCTE, under the school education department of the HRD Ministry had said three years ago that it will recognise 18-month long D.El.Ed offered by the National Institute of Open School (NIOS).
The Council had said that the working teachers who complete the course will be at par with BEd teachers as their on-job experience will be counted as a six-month internship.
But when the Bihar government, after receiving tens of thousands of applications for teaching jobs from candidates who had done D.El.Ed, recently sought clarification from the Council, it replied that the programme is not recognised and hence the candidates should not be employed.
This has left nearly 13 lakh teachers — 2.5 lakh in Bihar — in limbo as per data shared by the NIOS.
“We do not know what to do now — whether to pursue BEd afresh or fight for our right,” a primary teacher in Bihar said.
Section 23 of the RTE Act mandates that all government school teachers should possess minimum qualifications laid down by NCTE.
Under guidelines released in November 2010, those not qualified were given time until March 31, 2015, to complete their training.
Yet, in 2015-16, of the 6.6 million teachers employed at the elementary level in the country, 1.1 million were untrained.
At the secondary level, of 2 million teachers, around 14% were not professionally qualified, as per HRD ministry data.