Sikkim Human Resource Development Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute of Open Schooling [NIOS] for training untrained elementary teachers.
The memorandum was signed by the Secretary NIOS, C Dharuman and Director-cum-SPD Samagra Shiksha, of the State HRDD, Bhim Thatal today to successfully carry out the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India sponsored 18 month-long online and open distance learning mode of the Diploma in Elementary Education (D El Ed).
As per the Right to Education Act, the basic minimum qualification to become a Primary teacher is D El Ed, a two-year course to be pursued after Class 12 through NCTE recognized institutes like the DIET and to become a Graduate teacher is BA/BSc with B Ed.
The RTE Act categorically specifies that elementary teachers must have these professional qualifications as the Act guarantees Right to Education freely and compulsorily up to the age of 14 years to be imparted by professionally trained teachers.
The MHRD, in August 2017, started the two year-long D El Ed programme for all those elementary untrained teachers both in government and private schools through the NIOS by shortening it to 18 months, excluding the practice teaching programme, and they are already teaching.
The amendment to the RTE Act in 2017 has mandated that all such elementary teachers who do not have much professional qualification must acquire this only through the NIOS on or before March 31, 2019 failing which, they cannot continue as elementary teachers.
A total of 4405 untrained teachers from government and private schools in Sikkim have enrolled themselves in the NIOS for this programme in 2017 and their 1styear examination has already been conducted and currently registering for their 2nd year programme. The programme in Sikkim is being conducted by the Samagra Shiksha in collaboration with the SCERT.