The Government has made it mandatory for candidates to undergo a bridge course in elementary education within two years of appointment as a primary teacher.
It is a 6 month certificate course recommended by the National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE). The course is designed and conducted by the professional development programme for elementary teachers.
The following amendments were made to the gazette notification National Council for Teachers Education specifying qualifications for the school teachers, dated August 23, 2010:
- Candidates who have pursued their three year integrated BEd-MEd course from any NCTE recognized institution will be considered for appointment as a teacher in grades 1 to 5, if they have mandatorily completed a six-month bridge course in elementary education within two years of appointment as a primary teacher. The BEd course prepares the teachers to teach classes 6 to 8. So the bridge course will develop the understanding that is required to teach classes 1 to 5.
- For classes 1 to 5, “bachelor of education (B.Ed.) and graduation with at least 50% marks” or “post-graduation with a minimum 55% marks or equivalent grade and three-year integrated B.Ed.-M.Ed,” is required as the minimum qualification.
- For classes 6 to 8, graduation with at least 50% marks and one-year BEd special education, or post-graduation with at least 55% marks and a three year integrated B.Ed.-M.Ed is the minimum qualification.
Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) qualifying certificates
The Government has also extended the validity period of the Teachers Eligibility Test qualifying certificates. The TET certificates were earlier valid for a period of seven year. But now the certificates will be valid for a lifetime with retrospective effect from 2011.
Teachers Eligibility Test is conducted at both the Central and State level. Those who want to pursue a career as a school teacher have to clear the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) or TET conducted by a specific state. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts CTET annually to hire candidates for teaching posts in all elementary schools.
The pattern of CTET and state specific TET are similar. Each exam is divided into two parts- Paper-I and Paper II. Those who want to teach classes 1 to 6 appear for paper I, while the rest appear for paper II.
Closing thoughts: How Bridge Course for primary school teachers and TET validity extension benefit the education sector
The mandatory bridge course will ensure the effectiveness of the candidates in teaching students at both primary and higher classes. It will also ensure that there is no barrier in teaching.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that extending the validity of TET certificates is a positive step in the Education sector. It will increase the employment opportunities for candidates aspiring to pursue a career in the teaching field.