A plan to introduce four-year integrated teacher education programme after pre-university by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has evoked mixed reactions from teacher educators, who fear that existing Bachelor of Education (BEd) will have no takers.
A comprehensive action plan has been prepared by teacher education regulator NCTE based on recommendations of the Justice Verma Commission (JVC) on Teacher Education appointed by the Supreme Court, which said that teacher education has to be a part of higher education.
Accordingly, universities are to introduce a four-year integrated courses after Class 12 in the 2015-16 academic year. Furthermore, a two-year programme has been planned after graduation. At present, PUC passouts can study two-year Diploma in Education (DEd) and graduates can study one-year BEd.
“The idea behind recommending this pattern is really welcome. But the only problem is, what needs to be done with BEd if DEd becomes four-year course,” asked Bangalore University Education dean M S Talawar. “It has to be rationalised. Otherwise, we may reach a stage where people will study only DEd.”
DEd programmes are presently under the control of the State Departments of Education, while BEd and MEd are covered under the university system. The JVC has observed that teacher education institutes “function as closed spaces with the sole mandate of ‘training’ teachers” and that a bulk of colleges are outside university campuses, depriving aspiring teachers from engaging with issues of education via postgraduate study and research.
Experts also blamed lack of clarity on what NCTE has planned to do to bring teacher education under higher education. “In fact, a similar pattern was experimented a few years ago at the Regional Institute of Education, Mysore. They offered a BSc (Education) after PUC. They also offered MSc (Education). Both failed,” said K S Sameer Simha, who chaired a committee to review the DEd curriculum last year.
Simha said while there were no takers for this, even the government took little interest. He further blamed the absence of a proper recruitment policy. “I agree that there is a requirement to enhance duration of DEd, but there will be no takers. It will not work because the government does not insist on trained teachers in private institutions. It is only in government schools that these qualifications are required.”
Meanwhile, amidst uncertainty over the BEd course, Bangalore University has initiated the process of reviewing its syllabus after 11 years. “It was last reviewed in 2003. The new one will be based on the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, 2009 and will incorporate choice-based credit system,” Prof Talawar said.
Principal of MES Teachers College H S Ganesha Bhatta welcomes the four-year programme. “As of now, there is a very serious constraint of time. We are pushing everything into the one-year BEd,” he said.
It Is not Your Business: NCTE CHIEF
Santosh Panda, chairperson of the National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE) refused to comment on these plans. When Express tried to contact him on the implementation of the plan, he said: “Why should I tell you about this? Do you know I am the NCTE chairperson? How can you contact me directly?” When asked about the 2015-16 timeline for the four-year integrated programme as mentioned on the NCTE website, Panda said that the information was ‘incorrect’. “It is not your business to know about this. I don’t have to tell you,” he said.