Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

A ruling that gives primary school teaching a new slate


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Teacher Eligibility Test (TET)

Mains level: discrepancy between qualifications and the requirements of primary education

Bratya Basu | Teachers' Eligibility Test exam: Education minister trashes report of question paper leak - Telegraph India

Central Idea:

The central idea of the article revolves around the recent Supreme Court ruling in India, which upheld the necessity of specialized qualifications for primary school teaching, emphasizing the significance of Diploma in Education (DEd), Diploma in Elementary Education (DElEd), or Bachelor of Elementary Education (BElEd) degrees over Bachelor of Education (B.Ed). The article highlights the implications of this decision on recruitment policies and the quality of primary education in the country.

Key Highlights:

  • Different Requirements for Primary Teaching: Teaching young children in primary grades requires specialized skills in foundational literacy and numeracy, which cannot be adequately addressed by the B.Ed degree, designed for teaching older students. The Right to Education Act underscores the importance of appropriate qualifications for primary school teachers.
  • Discrepancies in Qualifications: Despite regulations, there are discrepancies in the qualifications of primary school teachers, with a significant portion holding B.Ed degrees instead of the required DEd, DElEd, or BElEd qualifications.
  • Challenges in Quality: The quality of teacher education programs varies, with government-funded institutions generally performing better than self-financed ones. Concerns exist regarding low mean scores, especially in mathematics, indicating a need for improvement in pedagogical content knowledge.
  • Government Support and Innovation: There is a call for government support and innovation in primary teacher education, including the expansion of successful programs like BElEd and the Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP).

Key Challenges:

  • Discrepancies in Qualifications: The prevalence of B.Ed holders in primary teaching roles highlights the challenge of aligning qualifications with the specific requirements of primary education.
  • Quality Disparities: Disparities in the quality of teacher education programs, particularly between government-funded and self-financed institutions, pose a challenge to ensuring consistently high standards of teacher preparation.
  • Limited Government Focus: The article criticizes the government’s focus on higher education faculty development rather than primary teacher preparation, potentially neglecting the crucial foundation of education.

Main Terms:

  • Bachelor of Education (B.Ed)
  • Diploma in Education (DEd)
  • Diploma in Elementary Education (DElEd)
  • Bachelor of Elementary Education (BElEd)
  • Right to Education Act
  • Teacher Eligibility Test (TET)
  • District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs)
  • Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP)

Important Phrases:

  • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN)
  • Teacher Eligibility Test (TET)
  • District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs)
  • Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP)
  • Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers & Teaching


  • “Teaching these competencies has to be learnt by prospective primary schoolteachers, through specialized teacher education for this stage.”
  • “Almost all of us have forgotten how we learned to read or manipulate the number system.”
  • “Better students seem to prefer government-funded institutions.”
  • “The decision to become a teacher can also occur at different stages.”

Examples and References:

  • The State of Teachers, Teaching and Teacher Education Report.
  • Analysis of Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) data from a particular state.
  • The success of programs like BElEd offered by Delhi University.
  • The announcement of the Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP) and the Scheme of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers & Teaching.

Facts and Data:

  • 90% of teachers have some form of professional qualification.
  • Only 46% of teachers teaching primary grades have the DElEd (or equivalent) qualification.
  • 22% of primary school teachers in private schools have B.Ed degrees.
  • 4% of students enrolled in DElEd already have a B.Ed.
  • Only 14% of qualifying candidates in TET had a mean score of 60% or above.

Critical Analysis:

The article effectively critiques the discrepancy between qualifications and the requirements of primary education, highlighting the need for specialized training in foundational literacy and numeracy. It addresses disparities in teacher education quality and government focus, advocating for greater attention to primary teacher preparation. However, it could delve further into the socio-economic factors influencing qualification choices and explore potential solutions in more detail.

Way Forward:

  • Strengthening government support for primary teacher education programs.
  • Expanding successful models like BElEd and ITEP.
  • Addressing quality disparities between institutions.
  • Implementing section-wise qualifying cut-off marks in TET.
  • Providing pathways for professional development for B.Ed holders aiming for primary teaching roles.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch