The upcoming academic year will see a slew of reforms in teacher education such as the introduction of four-year integrated BA/BEd and BSc/BEd programmes across the country and the discontinuation of MEd course in open and distance learning centres.
At a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday, the Centre asked state education ministers to prepare for key changes that also include extension in duration of BEd and MEd courses to two years from the current one year, a mandatory 20-week teaching internship to be eligible as a teacher and introduction of part-time BEd course during vacations for teachers who don’t have the degree.
The changes, including the introduction of integrated courses and discontinuation of the MEd one in open and distance learning institutes, will be implemented in the academic year of 2015-16.
The integrated courses would offer the option of a vocational course alongside BA or BSc to enhance employability and bridge the skewed gap between demand and supply of teachers.
The move to do away with the MEd course in open and distance learning institutes was aimed at emphasising the specialised training and seriousness required for the programme, secretary (school education and literacy) Vrinda Sarup said at the meeting. Professor of education at IGNOU CB Sharma, however, told HT that the decision wasn’t a well-thought one.
HRD minister Smriti Irani, who chaired the meeting, called upon the states to implement the proposed reforms, including a choice-based credit system. She also called for another meeting in February to discuss the proposed New Education Policy. “We want village education councils, blocks, districts, MPs and MLAs to discuss what our educational needs are... We should think of the New Education Policy,” Irani said.
“We don’t want orders from Delhi to decide it. We’ll come to hear the people in villages of different regions,” she added.
The reforms were passed recently by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) — the regulatory authority in the teaching field — on the lines of the justice JS Verma commission’s recommendations.