Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to rope in BEd students as interns for teaching in government schools. The state has 2.59 lakh teachers and falls short of 60,000 teachers to meet the proper student-teacher ratio. 60 lakh students are enrolled in its 7,229 schools in academic session 2015-16.
This move will help the state save Rs 180 crore until they recruit teachers. State higher education department has cleared the proposal of the education department seeking permission for allowing BEd students compulsory internship/professional practice in government schools for six months.
Over 30,000-40,000 BEd students will be available for teaching from October to February. It has become possible since the duration of BEd course has been increased from a year course to two-year degree course. Till now, the one-year BEd curriculum also had a provision for five months of teaching, which the outgoing students were allowed to do at any private school.
In most cases, the interns managed to get experience certificates. Enumerating the advantages of channelizing these human resources into government schools, education minister Vasudev Devnani, said, "It will not only improve the learning outcomes of our students but will also provide an opportunity to these interns to understand the complexities involved in teaching."
The interns will be placed according to vacancies by the district education officers, including the remotest areas. The rule also has a provision for assessment of interns' performance.Since the Right to Education Act came into force, the state is required to have a pupil-teacher ratio of 20:1.
However, the state has been facing shortage of teachers since years. The fund crunch along with litigations and dwindling enrolments have been major problems in the delay of hiring teachers. The enrolments in government schools have seen a sharp fall from 72 lakh in 2011-12 to 60 lakh in 2014-15, which helped the state maintain a decent pupil-teacher ratio.
However, in the academic session 2015-16, the enrolments have seen a significant rise which has added to the de mand for teachers.