Not even two years have passed when the apex body regulated the teacher training courses across the country. Now again, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) is expected to reduce the course duration of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) course to one year.
Duration was made two years, but no modification in the curriculum
In December 2014, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) increased the duration of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programme from one year to two years, without modifying the curriculum. Even though the notification was issued to modify the curriculum, no efforts were made in this regard. Students are taught a year’s curriculum in two years. Had the curriculum been stretched and books been added to complete the course in two years, the extension would have benefitted students.
The students take two exams each semester and the course constitutes four semesters and more over the course was more practical-oriented previously. If the course is started on time, all this can be completed in a year.
This meant that one has to study for five years to become a teacher, as the minimum eligibility to pursue B.Ed. is a three-year undergraduate programme. Experts feel the change will lend the programme the gravitas enjoyed by other professional courses like B.E. (four years) and MBBS (five-and-a-half years).
Voices raised after the extension
The management, teachers and students associated with B.Ed course have raised demands that the NCTE should revert back to the old system of a one-year B.Ed course, rather than continuing with the new two-year formula. Since B.Ed was turned into a two-year course, academicians said that the demand for the course has reduced.
A committee was formed in the year 2015 to look into the ‘infirmities and anomalies’ in the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014. The committee has sought feedback from the public and stakeholders regarding the duration of B.Ed course, following a country-wide demand to restrict the course to a year. As per the circular issued for the same earlier this month, the citizens, teachers and students can send in their suggestions till October 30.
Apart from the demand to scrap the common entrance test for admissions, principals of teacher training institutes have said that the NCTE’s decision to increase the course duration has deterred many from taking up the course.
If the duration of B.Ed. is again reduced
If the NCTE reduces the course duration, it would benefit the college administration most, apart from encouraging students to take up the course. It will benefit the college from an administrative perspective as colleges can appoint teachers, regularize staff and manage infrastructure better.