Varsities neglect education dept

Almost one third of all Central Universities in the country do not currently have a functional department or school of education, despite the fact that India faces a shortage of an estimated 1.4 million trained teachers.

The situation continues even as the University Grants Commission has sent repeated reminders asking all Central universities to open a department of education and 12 of the 40 Central universities still do not have an operational school of education.
This newspaper had in July this year highlighted the fact that the UGC had written repeatedly to various universities, urging them to take the issue seriously. Union HRD minister Dr M.M. Pallam Raju too has expressed concern over the shortage of teachers in the country and has called for special efforts to improve the situation.
Sources stated that the high number of untrained teachers is also affecting the successful implementation of the Right To Education Act, which promises education to all children. It was felt that unless the number of trained teachers in increased in the country, UPA government’s landmark RTE Act would become a non starter.
It is understood that almost 20 per cent of all teachers appointed in the country do not fulfil the norms of the National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE).
According to human resources development ministry statistics, Uttar Pradesh needs three lakh teachers in schools, the maximum in the country. Other states facing a severe shortage of teachers include Bihar (2.60 lakh) and West Bengal (one lakh).
The Central Advisory Board on Education meeting (the highest advisory body on education) last year had discussed a concept note on the proposed National Mission on Teachers and Training.

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