Diploma fails over 12 lakh school teachers

Invalid course

The DElEd programme is only for untrained in-service teachers in government/govt aided/private unaided schools.

The future of over 12 lakh school teachers is at stake with the teacher education regulator refusing to recognise an 18-month diploma course they recently completed through the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to acquire minimum qualification for teaching in elementary schools.

Rolling out the course — especially for untrained in-service teachers — in October 2017, the then Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar had assured that those enrolled would get a valid diploma in elementary education (DElEd) on successful completion of the programme.

The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) had also subsequently granted recognition to the NIOS DElEd course on the instructions of the Union HRD ministry and had issued a gazette notification in this connection on September 22, 2017.

Now, about five months after the teachers completed the programme and passed the final examinations, the NCTE has come up with a clarification that the diploma course is not valid for “fresh appointments” of elementary school teachers.

The NCTE shocker came after the Bihar government recently initiated recruitment of elementary school teachers and sought a clarification from the council on receiving applications from those who had earned NIOS DElEd in the open and distance learning mode (ODL).

“The DElEd (ODL) programme of NIOS is only for untrained in-service teachers in government/govt aided/private unaided schools appointed on or before August 10, 2017. The duration of this programme is 18 months,” the Council told the Bihar government.

It also asked Bihar to “strictly” adhere to the Council’s regulations that only those with a two-year DElEd are eligible for appointment as elementary teachers.

Interestingly, while granting recognition to the 18-month diploma course in 2017, the NCTE had clearly stated in its gazette notification that the duration of the said programme “shall be of 18 months, instead of two years, including the six-month internship”.

“We have not been consulted by the NCTE on this issue. When we were asked to extend the programme in 2017, we were not told that this will not be equivalent to any other diploma (DElEd). I am at a loss,” NIOS chairman C B Sharma told DH.

While the NCTE continues to be firm on its stand, ignoring its impact on the future of lakhs of teachers, the HRD ministry, too, has remained non-committal on this issue, even as
Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was “duly briefed about it” by the officials last month.

The Bihar government has kept about 2.5 lakh such teachers out of the recruitment process following NCTE’s clarification. Many of them have moved the court against the NCTE.

“We feel cheated by the Modi government. They should have made it clear to us in the beginning that we will not get a valid diploma. It seems the NCTE has taken such a stand under pressure from private institutes,” one of the aggrieved teachers told DH, requesting anonymity.

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