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Like doctors, Modi govt wants to make it compulsory for teachers to work in villages

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Central govt working on policy to bring 60.61 lakh out-of-school children back into the system; CABE sub-committee recommends following doctors’ model.

New Delhi: Like doctors, the central government could soon make school teachers serve mandatorily in rural areas.

MBBS graduates in India are supposed to spend a certain period of their careers in rural areas before they can get a posting of their choice, and a similar rule could brought in for teachers under a new policy the Centre is working on.

The recommendation has been made by a human resource development ministry-appointed panel, which was asked to work on ways to bring out-of-school children back into the system, as a way to improve the quality of teachers.

“Rural posting for teachers should be made compulsory as it has been made for the medical professionals,” said the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) sub-committee headed by Upendra Kushwaha, minister of state for HRD.

CABE is the highest decision making body on all matters related to education in the country.

“The central government has been consistently pursuing the matter of improving teaching standards in schools and for redeployment of teachers to ensure that all school teachers should spend adequate time in serving in rural areas through a transparent policy,” the sub-committee report said.

The size of the problem

Even though education is a state subject, the central government formulates policies which all states are supposed to comply with. States, on their own, also come up with policies that they find suitable, keeping in mind regional issues.

As per the latest records available with the HRD ministry, 60.64 lakh of India’s 20.41 crore children are currently out of school, according to the last survey conducted by the ministry in 2014.

Schools in rural areas grapple with a huge shortage of teachers, which is why the government is working on new policies.

“The number of teachers that are deployed in government schools in rural areas is anyway low, and out of those that are available, ‘real’ teachers do not go to schools in many places; instead, they send their proxies,” said a senior government official.

“Rural schools are facing huge problems with teachers, which is why we are working on various ways to improve the quality of teachers in schools, and rural posting for teachers is one of them.”

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