DU students, teachers oppose Centre's Integrated Teacher Education Programme

The replacement of the old course of the Bachelor of Elementary Education had its own offshoots it claimed
Picture Courtesy: Unsplash
Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

Few students and teachers of Delhi University (DU) are in opposition to the process of the replacement of the Bachelor of Elementary Education course  (BElEd) with the Centre's Integrated Teacher Education Programme. (ITEP)

The opposers claimed the step taken would lead to a deep dilution of the standards required to prepare school teachers to properly inculcate the training imparted to them in the meticuloulsy planned course. 

Three colleges of Delhi University will adopt the Centre's four-year Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP) for the upcoming academic year.

Opposition faced

A section of teachers and students alike has opposed the scrapping of the course. According to PTI,  the Students Federation of India (SFI) said scrapping a well-reputed programme such as the BElEd is "not only illegal but also academically and professionally irrational".

"The university should come clear on why it is coercing colleges into replacing the BElEd with ITEP?" the SFI said in a statement.

In a press conference on Wednesday, May 24, a few teachers claimed it was unclear whether the decision to replace the existing Bachelor of Elementary Education (BElEd) programme in eight colleges with the new course over the next two years, as is listed in the agenda of the Academic Council meeting, was approved by the college governing bodies, the Committee of Courses and the Faculty of Education in accordance with the procedure.

The press conference was addressed by Prof Poonam Batra ( former faculty member, CIE, DU), Prof Anita Rampal (former Dean Faculty of Education, CIE, DU) along with senior faculty members from CIE and various affected colleges such as JMC, Gargi, Mata Sundri and Miranda House.

"If ITEP is to be commenced in pilot mode, it can be offered in any college of the University of Delhi. Why is it being imposed in colleges that are conducting the BElEd? The real reason for coercing BElEd colleges into starting the ITEP is the UGC (University Grants Commission) and DU's unwillingness to appoint new faculty required to teach ITEP," the Democratic Teachers' Front (DTF) said.

The teachers' body also claimed that there are almost 50 vacancies in the education faculty teaching the BElEd course and the imposition of this new course will seriously impact the ad-hoc and temporary faculty teaching in these posts for several years. 

What does the student body say?

The students from the SFI said that "The ITEP offers only one year of professional training after three years of general education. The ITEP's imposition violates the laws protecting universities' freedom to create their own curricula."

"We oppose the plan to eliminate BElEd and replace it with a different course that will not adequately prepare teachers. The justifications stated by DU for discontinuing these courses, such as a shortage of faculty, are abhorrent," it claimed.

"We urge the teachers and students' body of DU to come together against this move and save the BElEd course and education of India," the SFI added.

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