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Do we need specialised subject teachers at elementary school level?
With the Rajasthan High Court staying the declaration of the results of elementary teachers' selection owing to several petitions challenging the eligibility criteria of teachers' selection at elementary school level, the issue of specialized teachers at the general education level has come to the fore once again.

The issue of separate posts of English language teachers in government schools of the state is the bone of contention.

It is also being contended that the Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teachers (REET) violates the teacher recruitment criteria laid down by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE).

However, in the wake of the new National Education Policy on anvil, there seems to be a need for policy decision on teacher eligibility criteria for elementary school level teachers.

"When at the general education level all students have to learn all the prescribed subjects why can't teachers teach all the subjects? It is a vital question since in most advanced countries at the elementary education level no specialization is allowed and the same teacher teaches all the subjects. Not only all the elementary school teachers have to demonstrate the content mastery in all the subjects, but also  have to be updated in their pedagogical competence," said Jaipur-based educator Prabha Kishore.

Once a prospective teacher acquires elementary education diploma or certificate, he or she has been certified to teach all. The selection of teachers and their in-service development should make them competent and if they have a weak spot in teaching an area of curriculum, so will their students in learning, said Dr. Anita Srivastava, a psychologist in the city.

At the general education level, we need to have generalist teachers who have subject matter mastery and methods of teaching. After all, teaching consists of three elements consisting of subject matter, teaching method and instructional material.

It has been found that inclusive and integrated teaching at the elementary school is most viable. I feel that a policy decision should be taken that at the elementary school level, teachers must teach all the subjects well.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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