NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to hire the services of retired teaching professionals, who are willing to volunteer, with the support of 18 states to tide over the acute shortage of teachers. The programme will be launched on a pilot basis from April 1 in the 18 states and the experience gained from the initiative will be developed into a national template for a countrywide rollout. The decision was taken at the state education ministers’ meeting chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Monday.
The initiative is being seen as an attempt to address the issue of large-scale vacancies in government schools across the country — official estimates put the number of such vacancies between 10-12 lakh. Some states such as Odisha and Delhi have already launched similar programmes.
“A mobile app is also being developed in collaboration with MyGov, by the HRD to enlist citizens who are willing to volunteer as teachers. Eighteen states expressed their willingness to participate in the first phase,” said a government statement.
“There was unanimity at the meeting to engage retired teachers and we have left it to the states to develop the framework and guidelines specific to their requirements,” Irani said after the meeting which looked into aspect of teacher training education and improving learning outcomes in classes.
Asked about funding for the initiative, sources said the states would develop a suitable mechanism. While the move is largely seen as an ad-hoc measure, School Education Secretary S Khuntia requested the states to expedite recruitment process simultaneously and ensure timely filling up of vacancies.
All state education ministers were requested to prepare a state-specific roadmap to address challenges in teacher education and find solutions to deal with them. Seeking to improve teacher training programme, it was decided to institutionalise internship programme for trainee teachers for 20 weeks.
Edu Ministers’ Plan to improve schools
18 states to first hire retd teachers
- Experience gained will be used to develop national template
- 10-12 lakh teacher vacancies across the country
- Mobile app to be developed to enlist citizens willing to volunteer
- States to frame guidelines for hiring retd teachers
- Internship programme for trainee teachers to be institutionalised
- Grading framework for teacher ed institutions soon
- UGC to review SCERTs and DIETs
- UGC to also train college principals