Govt approves teachers' education project

RTE mandates all teachers to be trained by 2015. Government sources say deadline can be extended by one to four years

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | April 23, 2012



The central government has approved a teachers' education project which was pending since 2007. The project, estimated to be worth Rs 6,308 crore, will focus on continuous professional development of teachers and improving the quality of teachers' education. The amount will be shared by the centre and state on a 75:25 ratio.

A major amount of the budget will be spent on increasing the number of district institute of educational training (DIETs). By spending 4,318 crore the government plans to increase the number of DIETs from 571 to 626 across the country. Rs 304 crore will be spent on State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) to meet the mandate of RTE.

Existing 32 Institutes of Advanced Education (IASEs) will be strengthened and departments of education will be upgraded by spending Rs 261 crore.

Apart from this, focus will be on professional development of teachers in 50 leading government institutes and on introducing technology in teacher education.

In the last two decades the government had emphasised on access to education. It ran various programmes to increase the enrollment rate by ensuring that evey child goes to school. It has been successful in doing so to some extent. And now when there are children in schools, it wants to focus on learning outcomes. “Good teachers are important for improving the quality of learning,” a senior official at the HRD ministry said.

RTE has certain guidelines regarding required teachers' qualification – one of which says that all teachers must be trained by 2015. The officer added that there is a possibility that the deadline is extended by one to four years.

Teachers need a D.Ed degree for teaching children of class one to five. A B.Ed degree is required for teaching at secondary level.

Under the RTE, an essential qualification for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in any school is that he/she must pass the Teacher’s Eligibility Test (TET) conducted by the government in accordance with the guidelines by National Council for Teacher Education.

The quality of teaching can be measured from the fact that this year out of the 1 million children who appeared for the exam from Delhi, only 80,000 could qualify. This shows that quality of learning of teachers is poor. While the need for quality teacher is across the country, focus is being given to eastern states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and the north eastern states, where there is a maximum gap.

The government has even devised a national mission solely dedicated to teachers and teaching. To address the problem of teachers' education the government even wants an overarching body to monitor the issue of teacher education.

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