Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Centre's permission to relax teacher norms not a long-term solution

Centre's permission to relax teacher norms not a long-term solution

Madhavi Rajadhyaksha, TNN Mar 29, 2013, 10.37PM IST
MUMBAI: Even as the deadline to implement the Right To Education Act lapses today, with many states unable to meet the demands of the act, the education system received another blow with the Centre granting permission to 13 states to relax minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
The relaxation was sought, due to the non-availability of teachers possessing minimum qualifications as laid down by the National Council for Teacher Education, under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

The permission is perhaps imperative to prevent the closure of schools for non-availability of teachers, but it also equally important that the states be given a time-frame within which the targets of providing trained teachers can be met.
The states in question include Bihar, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh.
The Centre on its part announced that it has sanctioned grants of over Rs 6,300 crore to strengthen teacher education during the 12thPlan. But it is essential that these funds trickle down for their intended purpose. It has also given permission to respective State Governments for training of the over 5 lakh in service untrained teachers through distance mode.
The country perhaps needs to also incentivise its teaching profession to be able to plug the shortage of teachers in a sustainable manner.
Of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)'s 19.82 lakh sanctioned teachers, only12.86 lakh teachers have been recruited till December, 2012.

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