Bhopal: The Union government’s one-time window for untrained schoolteachers to register for diploma in elementary education has exposed the rot in Madhya Pradesh school education. It turns out that roughly 50% of all teachers — nearly 2 lakh of them — are untrained.
As many as 191,510 teachers from Madhya Pradesh had made use of the one-time window to register for diploma in elementary education (D.El.Ed) with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) till September, 30 2017. TOI has accessed this data from the Bhopal regional office of NIOS. Most of the teachers who have applied for the course have been hired and allowed to continue by virtue of either by their Class 10 or Class 12 qualifications with minimum 50% marks.
The HRD ministry has asked NIOS to train these teachers as a one-time opportunity to retain their jobs and extended the deadline till March 2019. Highly placed sources said that most of the MP teachers who have applied for the course are in the age group of 40-50 years.
“Although the number of untrained teachers is very high, since the course in only for in-service teachers, many who have been working for a long time as government teachers have applied for the course. It could be difficult for them to pass the examination,” official sources said.
Sources said that since the course is online, and many teachers who live in remote areas have been deprived of the opportunity. “Going digital is a good thing, but what about teachers who live in rural and remote areas. They often don’t even access to electricity, forget Internet,” Sources said.
Ironically, the state claims almost 100% availability of trained teachers in government schools. School education minister Vijay Shah had earlier said that only 2% schoolteachers are untrained. Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, a teacher needs to have 50% marks in Class XII and D.El.Ed to teach in Classes I to V.
This official figure excludes those teachers who have not secured even 50% marks in Class 12 but are still working. NIOS has also started a bridge course for these teachers. “They can apply for D.El.Ed only after completing the mandatory bridge course, that too before the deadline,” said S R Khan, assistant director, regional centre NIOS Bhopal.
Asked about teachers in rural areas, he agreed that many are finding it difficult to register online. “It is true I get hundreds of calls every day. Teachers are getting their registration done from Internet cafes. They will certainly face problems with the online course,” he said, adding that the office has started receiving applications from teachers who haven’t passed with 50% marks.
“The application process has begun for those teachers and will be compiling the figures as soon as the application process ends,” he added.