The Gujarat government has decided to gradually phase out the Diploma in Elementary Education (DElEd) course, formerly called the Primary Teacher Certificate (PTC) Course as its popularity fell further than the last academic session with only 13 per cent seats filled in 104 self financed colleges offering the course.
This showed up in a survey by the education department on Monday, followed by a physical inspection of the enrolment. In the 2013-14 academic year, only 18 per cent of the seats were filled up. Last month, the state government closed down 26 PTC colleges in the state, including four government, seven grant-in-aid and 11 run at District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), where teachers outnumbered the students. For instance, in a total eight government PTC colleges across the state, 147 teachers were teaching a student strength of 90 in the second year. Similarly, in grant-in-aid PTC colleges 134 teachers were on roll against 114 students.
The Gujarat education department has decided now to de-affiliate self-financed colleges with an intake of less than 10 students. Education department officials say, the two-year diploma course has become unpopular because of the low chances of employment in government primary schools after the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act in the state, which preferred teachers with BEd degrees.
“After the implementation of RTE Act in Gujarat in 2011, the government primary schools were segregated into lower (Class I till V) and upper (Class VI till VIII) primary. With this there was a huge shortage of teachers for nearly 18,000 upper primary schools, especially mathematics and science, social science and language teachers. To meet this shortage, the department had to hire candidates with BEd degrees and specialisation in the concerned subjects only,” said Principal Secretary (Education) A M Tiwari.
Suggesting that the course would be gradually phased out Tiwari added, “There is no doubt that takers for this elementary course have declined over recent years which would certainly decline further in the coming years. The few students who have taken admission are from the tribal belt including Dahod, Sabarkantha and the Panchmahals district where there is still a perception that PTC course is best for girls. This will also change once parents realise that it is not the case. This will ultimately lead to closing down of PTC colleges and phasing out of this course. In fact with the reforms required in BEd courses, this would also be phased out.”
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Targeting the self-financed colleges, where the intake is the least despite highest number of colleges offering maximum seats (out of total 6,750 seats in 104 colleges only 903 seats are filled), this year, the education department has conducted a survey, including verification of physical attendance of students and teachers, to tally with the admission intake, both in open and management quota seats in these colleges.
“The decision of which colleges are to be de-affiliated will depend on the report submitted by the team that conducted the inspection and the details of central admission procedure conducted for them. The admission under management quota will be verified thoroughly as colleges charge additional fees for these seats despite the seats lying vacant in general category,” said Director, (Primary Education) R C Rawal.
The inspection team included District Education Officer and District Primary Education Officer along with Block Resource Centre and Cluster Resource Centre co-ordinators. The poor intake in this two-year diploma teaching course is not only in self-financed colleges (having a highest number of 104 colleges out of a total of 155 in the state) but also across government, grant-in-aid, self-financed and DIET colleges. Thus, only 3,086 seats were filled against a total of 12,041 seats in a total of 155 colleges (including self-financed) which is only 25 per cent.
“The self financed colleges came up in huge numbers after approval from National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in 2002. But with the implementation of RTE Act, the number started reducing after 2010. Such is the status that the number of self-financed colleges has reduced to less than half,” added Rawal.
“If the state government gives preference to BEd over PTC candidates, certainly students will stop enrolling in it. Now with the recent appointment of 2,000 PTC candidates and the assurance by the education department of recruiting more in the coming months, we hope that the situation will change,” said principal of a government PTC college requesting anonymity.
PTC college principal association president Dilip Vyas said, “To sustain, we need good future prospects. This could be ensured only when the state government employs PTC candidates as primary teachers,” he said.