Maharashtra: More seats but many shortlisted candidates give BEd course a miss

With almost half of them rejecting the seats allocated, concerns are raised about vacancies in BEd colleges.

Colleges said that while there is high demand for teachers, there has also been an increase in online education platforms that do not require BEd degrees. (File)

In the first round of the Bachelor of Education (BEd) admissions round administered by the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell, of the 14,717 candidates who have been allocated places, only 7,806 have so far confirmed their admission. With almost half of them rejecting the seats allocated, concerns are raised about vacancies in BEd colleges.

From no promising career options after BEd to significant delays in starting the admissions process, the degree in Maharashtra faces major challenges. While 43,983 candidates registered for BEd approval last year, the number has fallen to 41,450 this year. On the one hand, the number of places has increased from 33,290 to 34,182 while the number of applications for admission has fallen.

“January is already coming to an end and only one admission round has been carried out. The academic year begins in March. Ideally, the academic year should start in July-August. Many candidates prefer to choose other higher education options,” said Dr. Jayashree Inbaraj, Principal of Kapila Khandwala College of Education.

Colleges said that while there is high demand for teachers, there has also been an increase in online education platforms that do not require BEd degrees. This enables many postgraduates to opt for such teaching positions.

dr Arundhati Chavan, Academic Dean at Swayam Siddhi College of Education said: “After the BEd you have to pass the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) for a government job, which gives a good salary. But the numerous online education platforms that are growing amid the pandemic and are also lucrative do not insist on such degrees.”

Educators at BEd colleges pointed out that as with other professional degrees, few colleges that offer quality education are preferred, while many others lack good faculty support.

Prof Mythili Ramchand, from the Center of Excellence in Teacher Education at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, said: “While on the one hand we have far more trained teachers than the number of positions available – if we compare TET-qualified teachers to those who actually have qualified jobs – it does is also true that there is no data on the demand-supply curve for teachers.”

“There is no information showing in which areas or subjects there is a shortage of teachers. We can see what happened to engineering degrees in the past…as demand increased, the number of places started to increase…However, soon the vacancies increased as only a few colleges were in demand.”

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