regular-article-logo Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Delhi University dumps teacher course, set to roll out new one at govt's behest

Training dilution charge over programme switch

Basant Kumar Mohanty New Delhi Published 26.05.23, 05:08 AM
Delhi University

Delhi University File picture

Delhi University is set to roll out an integrated graduation-cum-teacher training course at the behest of the government, discontinuing its reputable Bachelor of Elementary Education (BElEd) course, in a move decried by academics as a dilution of teacher education.

Current and former teachers of DU held a media conference on Wednesday to slam the decision, which they said had been introduced without any discussion or study.


The newly launched Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP) that is to replace the BElEd at DU is a four-year course where the first three years are dedicated to BA, BSc or BCom and the last year to teacher training. The four-year BElEd, on the other hand, introduces the teacher-training component from the first year itself and also acclimatises would-be teachers to the classroom environment from the beginning.

The DU administration has called a meeting of the academic council, the decision-making body on academic matters, on May 26 to seek approval for a proposal to introduce the ITEP in the pilot mode at Mata Sundri College for Women, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College for Women and Jesus and Mary College (JMC).

The three colleges have been granted approval by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) to offer the ITEP from the 2023-24 academic session, the agenda said. These three and five other DU colleges have been offering the BElEd course for the last three decades and have produced nearly 10,000 schoolteachers. The five other colleges are to launch the ITEP from the next session.

Several former and current faculty members on Wednesday strongly opposed the move and said the ITEP being pushed by the Centre was inadequate in equipping teachers with the necessary knowledge and wherewithal to teach diverse levels of students in schools. At the media conference, they cited violations by the university in not discussing the course-change proposal with the committee of courses and DU’s department of education, which had designed the BElEd in 1994.

The NCTE in October 2021 notified a regulation on the four-year ITEP for Class XII passouts. Students are to be awarded BA-BEd, BSc-BEd or BCom-BEd degrees. The detailed curriculum and syllabus will be shared by the NCTE by the end of this month.

DU vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh is the in-charge chairperson of the NCTE. DU is the first central university to discuss the introduction of the ITEP.

“The ITEP is being imposed on the colleges, which have been offering BElEd course. The BElEd has been designed to prepare teachers for elementary classes (Class I-VIII) with a focus on understanding the relevant subjects, teaching methods and practical experience. But the ITEP syllabus is not yet prepared. The details are not clear. Still the university is going ahead,” Poonam Batra, former professor in the education department of DU, told the media conference.

Susmita Ram, a faculty member of JMC, said the BElEd programme has an integrated teacher training component and discipline subjects from the first year itself. For example, the students are taught school-level concepts in different subjects in the first year, while they are exposed to epistemic understanding of subjects like history, sociology, political science and so on in the second and third years. The students have to visit schools in the first two years as part of project work and teach children independently during internship in the third and fourth years.

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