New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on Tuesday launched a diploma course in Elementary Education to train teachers across the country for teaching students up to Class 8.
The Ministry intends to train all such teachers with minimum qualifications by 2019, as per the amended Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2017.
The online or distance learning course, having a duration of one year and six months, has been designed with the help of National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS) and so far about 15,00,000 teachers from both private and government schools have registered for it, said NIOS Chairman Chandra Bhushan Sharma at the launch here.
The lectures for the course have been uploaded on the "Swayam" platform -- a repository of Massive Open Online Courses -- of the Ministry and will also be telecast on Doordarshan's education channels.
A mobile app was also launched on the occasion through which teachers can get access to the lectures.
This would be the last time that the teachers were being given this chance to become certified teachers and no extension would be given beyond March 31, 2019, when the course gets over, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said at the event.
In the aftermath of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, a great number of teachers -- many of them with only school level education -- were hired to fulfil the shortage and expand the education base in the country.
According to the RTE Act, 2010, all 11 lakh such teachers present then were to be trained by 2015.
"But we saw that in six years' time from the passing of the Act we were able to train only four lakh teachers... Then we brought the amendment which was passed with unanimity in both the Houses. We had argued in the Parliament then that it is children's right to be taught by trained teachers," Javadekar said.
About 2,82,000 teachers have registered for the course from Bihar -- the highest -- while West Bengal has recorded registration by about 1.3 lakh teachers.
Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh combined accounted for one lakh registrations. "This is the largest such training registration drive ever in the world," the Minister added.
The fees for the course if Rs 6,000 and around 12,80,000 teachers have paid it so far.
There will be a total of 1,080 lectures during the course with three conducted everyday. The Minister said the lectures will be given in two languages, while the text and the subtitles will be in 10 languages.
The eligibility for admission, the Chairman of NIOS said, was 50 per cent in Class 12.
"But those who fell short of 50 per cent can give an exam with us and if they score 50 per cent or above they will be eligible for the admission in course," he said.