Turn for good with tweaked rules at KK region's schools

A turn for good with tweaked rules at Kalyana Karnataka region's schools

Kalyana Karnataka has been facing a huge shortage of science and mathematics teachers to teach at primary and high school level.

The government’s move to amend the cadre and recruitment (C&R) rules to allow engineering graduates to teach science and mathematics from the sixth standard to eight standards has come as a blessing in disguise for six districts in the Kalyana Karnataka region.

The region has been facing a huge shortage of science and mathematics teachers to teach at the primary and high school levels. Quality of education has been hit severely due to this reason. 

According to sources in the Commissionerate of Public Instruction, Kalaburagi, the department had conducted Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) coaching for about 5,000 candidates last year in association with Kalyana Karnataka Region Development Board. Nonetheless, a disappointing number of candidates got qualified in the centralised mock test conducted by the department in the region.

An official told DH that the gap between vacancies and recruitment of teachers was widening with each passing year due to the unavailability of maths, science and English teachers.

The education department had issued a notification to fill up a total of 5,030 vacant graduate primary school teachers’ posts in the region. But only 837 posts were filled up in 2019-20, he explained.

If engineering graduates are appointed, a shortage of teachers to teach mathematics and science can be reduced considerably. Hopefully, in two-three years, the department is able to absorb about 20,000 such teachers in the region, he told.

Welcoming the government’s decision, Sangeetha Kattimani, a PU college lecturer, said though a large number of engineering graduates were passing out every year, only 20% of skilled and qualified graduates were securing jobs. Covid-19 pandemic has created massive unemployment and lay-offs.

The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has relaxed norms and allowed engineering graduates to teach at the primary level. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu are recruiting such candidates, she explained.

Baburao Sherikar, professor at PDA College of Engineering, said unemployed engineering graduates were ready to take up teaching as a profession at the cost of their ‘self-esteem’.

At present, no private company is paying attractive salaries. Engineering graduates will be happy as they will be in government service, he said.

However, they can’t directly be appointed as teachers. Like others, they will have to pass the BEd course, TET , and CET exams to be appointed.