Poor patronage for B.Ed. programme through distance learning

A large-scale revenue generating programme only a decade back for State universities, numerous seats of B.Ed. programmes through distance learning now remain unfilled due to what academics view as rigidity in eligibility norms.

Less than half of the sanctioned strength of 500 had been filled in the B.Ed. programme over the last few years, according to senior professors.

Until a decade back, B.Ed. programme through correspondence was open to any applicant with a graduation degree. Subsequently, it was restricted to those with a graduation and working experience in schools.

The seats started going vacant after the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) specified that only in-service teachers holding a qualification in Diploma in Teacher Education are eligible to pursue B.Ed. through correspondence offered through some of the State universities including Bharathidasan University.

According to vice-chancellors of State universities, the number of takers for the B.Ed. programme is going down year after year since most of those with D.T.Ed. qualification have already completed their B.Ed. through correspondence.

“A mechanism for vertical mobility for pre-primary teachers to pursue B.Ed. programmes through correspondence will restore patronage for the course. Montessori-trained teachers, for instance, could be facilitated to pursue B.Ed. programmes through correspondence such that the foundation of school education becomes strong,” Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Open University K. Parthasarthy said.

Academics cite the State Government’s pilot project in progress to offer Montessori type education to pre-school children through Anganwadis to drive home the point that the State universities must be facilitated to offer courses in Montessori education.

I. Muthuchamy, Professor and Head, Department of Educational Technology, Bharathidasan University, said there are instances of teacher training institutes in Northern States offering pre-primary education with the endorsement of their respective directorates of school education.

It would be ideal if the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) comes forward to recognise Montessori training programmes and lend its support for securing the consent of the NCTE, Prof. Muthuchamy said.

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