Teacher training courses in the state appear to have very little demand, revealed enrolment figures of the last two years. While in 2016-17, more than 76 per cent seats have remained vacant in Diploma in Education (DEd) courses across 989 institutes in the state, over 77 per cent seats were vacant in the courses in 2015-16. The gap is also visible in enrolment figures for Bachelor in Education (BEd) courses. Of the 37,000 seats available, only about 12,000 seats were filled this year forcing the state directorate of higher education to reopen the admission process.
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The two courses prepare students in the field of teachership. While BEd requires students
to complete graduation before applying, DEd can be pursued after Class XII. However, the demand for such courses and teachership posts is declining. Principals of colleges, offering these courses, were of the opinion that the students are less interested in becoming teachers, owing to the lack of opportunities in the state.
“In government schools, the teachers have been declared surplus. There is hardly any opening,” said a former in-charge of an institute offering BEd courses. She said while the state board schools did not have vacancies, other boards such as CBSE,
ICSE and IB required the teachers to undergo special training before joining, further discouraging students from taking up teachership.
An official from Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training said there was no vacancy in the state and the government was accommodating the surplus teachers. “The allocation of work surplus teachers should be over in a couple of months but there is no vacancy as of now,” he said.
The principals also blamed the single-window Common Entrance Test (CET) for the decline in enrollment.
“The CET is held only to decide merit when there is stiff competition. However, when so many seats are vacant, the only criteria for admitting students should be the 50 per cent score in graduation or Class XII,” said Ramzan Shaikh, general secretary of Maharashtra Vinaanudan Adhyapak Mahavidyalaya Sansthachalak Association. He said several students had missed the CET bus but wanted to join the course.
The former in-charge, too, agreed. She said the students from the University of Mumbai may not have applied for the CET as their results are declared at least two months after the CET was held.
Shaikh said the state should have allowed unaided colleges conduct admissions directly to interested candidates as the colleges offering the courses will suffer owing to the vacancies. “Some colleges may have to shut down as their teaching and non-teaching staff will be surplus,” said Shaikh.
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