THE NATIONAL Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) may decide to reduce the course duration of the Bachelor of Education (B Ed) course to one year, only two years after the apex body regulated the teacher training courses across the country.
In a circular issued earlier this month, the NCTE said that a committee has been formed to look into the ‘infirmities and anomalies’ in the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014. The committee has sought feedback from the public and stakeholders regarding the duration of B Ed course following a country-wide demand to restrict the course to a year. Citizens, teachers and students can send in their suggestions till October 30.
Ever since the NCTE turned the B Ed course into a two-year one in 2014, academicians have said that the demand for the course has reduced. A committee had been formed in 2015 to review the course duration and regulations.
In Maharashtra, too, the demand for teacher training courses has dipped in the past two years with over 70 per cent seats remaining vacant.
Apart from the demand to scrap the common entrance test for admissions, principals of teacher training institutes have said that the NCTE’s decision to increase the course duration has deterred many from taking up the course.
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“B Ed requires a graduation degree before enrolment. By the time students join a B Ed course, they are around 23 years old,” said Ramesh Khanvilkar, president of Siddhivinayak Shikshan Prasarak Mandal that runs several educational institutes in Mumbai. He said that the students are already in a hurry to find jobs and don’t want to wait for two years.
Khanvilkar said that extending the course to two years has not been very helpful as the curriculum has remained the same. “While the course duration was extended, the curriculum has not changed much. Students are taught a year’s curriculum in two years,” he said. The students take two exams each semester and the course constitutes four semesters, he said, adding that the course was more practical-oriented.
“Had the curriculum been stretched and books been added to complete the course in two years, the extension would have benefitted students,” said Khanvilkar.
“If the course is started on time, all this can be completed in a year,” added Khanvilkar.
A former in-charge of an institute offering B Ed courses said if the NCTE reduced the course duration, it would benefit the college administrations apart from encouraging students to take up the course.
“It will benefit the college from an administrative perspective as colleges can appoint teachers, regularise staff and manage infrastructure better,” she said.