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Teacher eligibility widens

Calcutta, Oct. 6: The government is likely to amend rules to allow graduates from the vocational stream to take up teaching jobs in aided secondary schools.

According to plans, rules of the West Bengal School Service Commission will be changed to enable students passing BA, BSc and BCom examinations under the vocational stream with some specific combination of subjects to seek jobs in teaching posts in secondary schools.

In the existing system, there is no provision for such students to take the tests conducted by the school service commission for recruiting teachers in more than 7,000 secondary schools across the state.

“Hundreds of young graduates in the vocational stream from Calcutta and other universities will benefit from the proposed amendment. We submitted the proposal to the government last week. The new system is likely to be implemented from the next recruitment tests, slated to be conducted by the commission in January,” said Arun Kiran Chakraborty, the chairman of the commission.

Sources in the education department said the move to provide better job opportunities to vocational stream graduates is aimed at promoting vocational education. It is part of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s education reforms, they said.

The government’s move to popularise vocational education comes at a time when job prospects for graduates in the general stream is on the decline.

The 13-member school education revamp committee headed by Ranjugopal Mukherjee was asked to examine ways to introduce vocational courses at the Madhyamik level. The government is now reviewing the committee’s report.

Vocational courses are now taught from Class XI. Bachelor’s degree courses in vocational stream are offered by several universities, including Calcutta.

“The school service commission recruits more than 10,000 teachers in state-aided secondary schools every year. There is a need to recruit teachers from vocational stream graduates as this will make them more popular among students,” said an education department official.

Chakraborty said only students completing vocational courses at the undergraduate level with some specific combination of subjects will be eligible for the entrance tests.

The syllabi of several subjects offered in the undergraduate vocational stream, Chakraborty said, are almost the same as those taught in the general stream. He cited the example of the zoology and botany taught in the vocational sericulture course and the zoology and botany syllabi in the general stream to buttress his point.

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