The syllabus for B.Ed and M.Ed courses has been revised to include a mandatory paper on special education this session onward. This paper, introduced by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), will focus on how to teach students with special needs.
The NCTE monitors the regular B.Ed and M.Ed programmes, but the courses on teaching people with disabilities are regulated by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). And so, NCTE signed an agreement with RCI last week in order to formulate the syllabus and modules for the compulsory paper to be included in these programmes.
This decision has been implemented after the National Sample Survey of Estimation which found that approximately 60.41 lakh children aged 6 to 13 years did not go to school last year, and out of these six lakh were physically or mentally challenged. This survey was conducted in 2014 by the NGO Social and Rural Research Institute in collaboration with the PSU Educational Consultants India Ltd.
In January this year, the NCTE decided to go back to the two year format for B.Ed and M.Ed, starting from the 2015-16 academic year. In accordance with this change, the RCI has agreed to increase the duration of special education courses from one year to two years.
A special committee has been set up by NCTE and RCI for this purpose. Headed by Professor N.K. Jangira, of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), this committee will prepare the curriculum for the two years’ special education course. It will also put forward recommendations for the special education examinations in B.Ed and M.Ed.
In addition, the RCI has declared that out of the 17,000 B.Ed and M.Ed courses that run across the country, it will coach at least one teacher in special education every session