The implementation of ITEP and the elimination of other teacher training courses such as B.El.Ed courses by Delhi University without consultation is being contested by students and academics who think the program is unique in its own way and that introducing ITEP doesn’t require the elimination of other programs.
The All India Forum for Right to Education ( AIFRTE ) conducted a webinar on’ Introduction of ITEP and against the cancellation of B.El.Ed.’ on May 30, 2023 (Tuesday) at 7 pm. The discussion took place live on Zoom platform and was also broadcasted on Facebook and YouTube page of AIFRTE. The list of speakers included – Prof Krishna Kumar (Renowned educationist & Former Director, NCERT) , Prof Poonam Batra (Expert in Elementary Education & Co-creator of the framework of B.El.Ed, Prof Latika Gupta (Prof in Dept of Education, Delhi University) and Prachi Gupta (Student of B.El.Ed., DU). More than a hundred people participated in the live debate, with many actively sharing their opinions through the comments, including several B.El.Ed students and professors.
The backdrop of the discussion was the adoption of ITEP ( (Integrated Teacher Education Program) by the Delhi University Academic Council on 26th May, 2023 overruling objections raised by many elected teacher representatives, protesting students, and expert opinions.
ITEP was launched by NCTE ( National Council for Teacher Education ) under NEP 2020 scarping all the existing teacher training courses and to be adopted as the single course in the entire country. Experts have highlighted how it can weaker in terms of pedagogic training and how it is a threat to courses like B.Ed. and B.El.Ed.
The conversation centred on the future of B.El.Ed programmes and how a systematic dismantling of prior structures and efforts to reform the education system is detrimental in many ways. It also emphasised the program’s values and how it helped the learning process.
Mr Jagmohan, the webinar’s host, began by introducing everyone. He also briefly stated how, from the commencement of NEP 2020, the main attack has been on how teachers will be prepared for it. Furthermore, it has now come down to teacher training for the same.
Prof Krishna Kumar, an experienced educationist and one of the oldest professionals to share his knowledge on the matter, opened the discussion.
At this point it is important to remember that B.El.Ed was born in struggle and has faced various struggles all along its short history of three decades. Some hurdles like the concept of elementary that was not easily digested at the time the program began. I remember how Prof Upendra Baxi steered the discussion with his great legal skills and was able to convince the council of what will the program do. Over time, it has faced various hurdles, but today we are facing a new kind of uncertainty.
– Prof Krishna Kumar
He mentions there are apprehensions on ITEP replacing courses like B.El.Ed but on the other hand there is a constant difficulty of faculty shortage. Prof Krishna Kumar states an important point the nowhere in the NEP policy it is mentioned that the ITEP will replace all the teaching courses, rather the general tone suggests that there will be multiple roots for teachers to be trained and prepared for jobs. This is not a threat to courses like B.El.Ed as it is well established and is widely accepted.
The university has underestimated the achievements and values of the program which has benefited both teachers and students. Delhi university has no dearth of colleges to start with its ITEP program, there is no point in killing one innovation to start with the other.
– Prof Krishna Kumar
Later on, He highlights the importance of the course by saying that nobody else in teacher education have the kind of theoretical command and the insights in pedagogy like the B.El.Ed graduates.
Prof Latika Gupta then recounts her own experience with how the Course presented so many new concepts and how, despite the fact that the country has changed so much, the programme has maintained its true spirit and enthusiasm throughout its duration.
This course is an existence in itself, which drives all of us together. The recent graduates and students must overcome this round of crisis. Maybe this is an opportunity to re organize and start fresh.
– Prof Latika Gupta
Several additional B.El.Ed students joined the discussion and highlighted how the degree empowered them and helped them to choose the finest ideas to share with the students. The programme serves as a model for not only imparting theoretical knowledge and training, but also building confidence and motivation to ask tough questions.
B.El.Ed has taught me how to make education more engaging and not boring, art and theatre has helped me in incorporating expression inside the classroom so that I could help my learners be more expressive and creative.
– A student who shared her experience during the webinar.
Prof Poonam Batra joined the conversation and expressed her concern about the teacher training course’s existential crises and how the elimination of such programmes might compromise children’s learning. She claims that teacher education is an easy target, and that if other higher education systems take the area, we are likely to lost the battle for our students. She recalls how well-crafted the curriculum was and how well developed its integration was, allowing for both interdisciplinary learning as well as theoretical and practical approaches of study.
The core subjects of B.El.Ed have significant contributions as it allows young students to revisit what they learnt in school and this time understand it from an epistemological viewpoint, It is about Knowledge generation and engagement.
– Prof Poonam Batra.
Another AIFRTE team member expressed his concerns about how the disintegration of the education system without consultation is an assault on the learning process, academicians, and students. He emphasises the importance of coming together to fight such acts. There is an increasing need to convey to individuals the consequences of such activities.
Mr. Jagmohan concluded the discussion by encouraging everyone to be optimistic and to participate in the struggle.
Link for full Discussion – https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1221617085188263
Read also – https://dubeat.com/?s=B.El.Ed+
Image credits – News click, Google images