THE NEW deadline to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications laid down in the Right to Education (RTE) Act appears to have sparked a rush among school teachers as close to 15 lakh have signed up for the government’s Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed) programme.
Interestingly, the majority of the teachers — around 10 lakh — registered for the course are currently with private schools, C B Sharma, chairman on National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), told reporters at the launch of the D.El.Ed programme on Tuesday.
NIOS, which is the largest open school board in the world, was tasked by the HRD Ministry to run a one-time D.El.Ed course to train all untrained teachers before the March 2019 deadline. The government had amended the RTE Act in the monsoon session of Parliament this year to extend the time limit for acquiring minimum qualifications, for all elementary school teachers, from March 2015 to March 2019.
“In the six years(from March 2010 to March 2016), only 4 lakh teachers were trained. That is because there was no enabling environment. People were hopeful of the government granting extension after extension, but under the Modi government the message is clear. 2019 means 2019,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said at the launch.
All registered teachers will pursue their D.El.Ed in distance mode over four semesters, Sharma said. The candidates, all in-service teachers, will be expected to spend three hours every day on the coursework which will be offered in shape of online lectures on the SWAYAM platform and self-check exercises.
There will be an exam at the end of each semester.