Untrained teachers can now access training material

Fifteen lakh untrained school teachers have enrolled for a training course with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, to get themselves trained by 2019 to be able to retain their jobs.

This has happened just after Parliament passed an amendment to the Right to Education Act to offer them the last window to acquire proper training, something seen as essential to the provision of quality education in government and private schools.

The highest number of applications has been received from Bihar — over 2.8 lakh — followed by Uttar Pradesh (1.95 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (1.91 lakh), West Bengal (1.69 lakh) and Assam (1.51 lakh).

The NIOS has designed online courses to enable them to acquire a Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed).

While only those can acquire this diploma who scored at least 50% in Class-12, Prof. Sharma said at the launch that those who could not could appear again with the NIOS to try and get the requisite marks.

A mobile application has also been developed to help teachers seek any clarifications and solutions.

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The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Eleven lakh teachers appointed till March 2015 under the Right to Education (RTE) Act will now get time till 2019 to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for firming up their appointments as Parliament passed a bill in this regard.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed by the Rajya Sabha by voice vote. The Lok Sabha had passed it on July 22. According to the existing Act which came into effect from 1st April  2010, these teachers were to acquire minimum qualifications within five years by March 31, 2015.

Under the Act, if a state does not have adequate teacher training institutions or a sufficient number of qualified teachers, the provision to possess minimum qualifications is relaxed for a period not exceeding five years i.e. till March 31, 2015.

The Bill further adds to this provision by stating that those teachers who do not possess the minimum qualifications as on March 31, 2015, will acquire the minimum qualifications within a period of four years i.e. by March 31, 2019.

The government has brought this bill in order to let these teachers complete Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) and other professional degrees.

Under a scheme ‘Swayam Prabha’, teachers will not only be trained offline but also online and even through direct-to- home (DTH) television channels.

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