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DTF Holds Press Conference to Discuss DU’s Proposal of Implementing ITEP

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The Democratic Teachers’ Front comes forward with criticism and highlights hasty decision-making with regard to the implementation of Integrated Teacher Education Programme by the DU Academic Council.

A press conference was organised on 24th May 2023 at the Press Club by the Democratic Teachers’ Front to highlight concerns and discuss the impact of Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP) by the varsity. This conference comes ahead of the Delhi University Academic Council’s meeting to be held on Friday, 26th May 2023 regarding the implementation of ITEP.

ITEP is a flagship four-year “dual-major holistic undergraduate degree” of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) under NEP 2020. ITEP will be replacing DU’s Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed) programme which was introduced in 1994. Currently, only eight colleges offer this programme which is unique to the varsity – Shyama Prasad Mukherji College for Women, Jesus and Mary College, Mata Sundari College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Gargi College, Miranda House, Institute of Home Economics, and Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Out of these, the former three institutions have been granted permission by NCTE to offer ITEP in the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. Admissions to the same will be done through an entrance exam conducted by NTA instead of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET).

The design of the ITEP is based on the design of teacher preparation stated in the NEP 2020. It combines rigorous educational understanding, disciplinary depth and a strong focus on school practice while taking into account existing ground realities.

Reads the Agenda for the Academic Council’s meeting.

This proposal has met scathing criticism from educators who question the legitimacy, lack of syllabus and hasty decision making behind the programme. Key addressors at the press conference included Prof. Poonam Batra (former Faculty member, CIE, DU), Prof Anita Rampal (former Dean Faculty of Education, CIE, DU) and faculties from the eight colleges currently offering B.El.Ed.

The ITEP differs from the existing programme in two key areas – minimum Faculty qualification and programme structure. Teacher groups have alleged that the B.El.Ed is ‘internationally-recognised’ and ‘has successfully trained close to 10,000 teachers’. The ITEP curriculum on the other hand will follow three years of general education followed by one year of rigorous professional training. Educators have also come forward with criticism about the declining qualification standards for teaching the new programme.

This dilution of faculty qualification and a standardised homogenised curriculum indicates a deep dilution of the standards required to prepare school teachers. A common curriculum to educate teachers across diverse cultures, communities and languages of India will not prepare them to teach in diverse classrooms and hence will make them ineffective.

– Dr. S.Ram, a teacher at Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi.

Questions have also been raised on the impact of this programme on the ongoing ad-hoc crisis and other temporary faculty in the varsity. With strict NCTE norms about the curriculum and exit options, the University’s autonomy about such decisions also comes under fire.

Closing down a well reputed programme such as the BElEd is not only illegal, it is also, academically and professionally irrational. The University should come clear on why it is coercing colleges to replace the BElEd with ITEP?

– reads the Official Press Release of DTF dated 24th May 2023.

Several independent educators and other teacher groups, both within Delhi University and outside have come forward with their disapproval of the programme.

By comparison with the B.El.Ed. program at Delhi University, ITEP thus represents a significant dumbing down. It reflects a conception of the teacher as a mere conduit for delivering pre-approved subject content, rather than as a socially responsible and autonomous professional capable of interpreting and adapting the curriculum and inspiring her pupils.

– a letter addressed to DU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Yogesh Singh by Edward Vickers, UNESCO chair professor on Education for Peace, Social Justice and Global Citizenship, Kyushu University, Japan dated 25th May 2023.


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Featured Image Credits – DTF

 Bhavya Nayak

[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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