- But top schools say a teacher’s ability to deal with kids matters more than diplomas
Mumbai, Nov 30: Next time you check out the local nursery school for your toddler, make sure that it has qualified teachers.
According to a recent research, conducted by SNDT University’s Department of Human Development, 68 per cent of the teachers employed in pre-primary schools across the city are professionally unqualified.
“We used a sample of 120 pre-primary teachers from schools in central and western suburbs, and found that only 32 per cent of them have done diploma in Early Child Care and Education,” said Reeta Sonawat, head, Department of Human Development, SNDT University.
The research also stated that most teachers had taken three- to six-month certificate courses from private institutes which were not even recognised. As per norms, only a person with a recognised diploma in ECCE qualifies to teach in a pre-primary school.
“When we questioned the governing bodies of these schools, they claimed that owing to the severe dearth of qualified teachers, they had to make do with teachers with unrecognised certificate courses,” said Dr. Sonawat.
However, according to Shubhada Vinekar, principal of Manik Vidyamandir, there was no shortage of qualified teachers. “There are enough qualified teachers in the city. But many schools believe that private certificate courses are good enough. Some of the ECCE diploma holders are not good in English, which may go against them.”
Vandana Lulla, director of Podar World School, felt that teachers’ affinity with the children mattered more than recognised diplomas.
“There are instances of a teacher being qualified, but not having the required sensitivity to deal with children. At Podar, we don’t just look at qualification. We also take into account how a teacher gels with the kids.”
Many parents are not even aware of the issue. “I assume that reputed schools take in only qualified teachers. However, I have no idea what qualifications are required. I just check out how well a teacher gets on with my child,” said Rashmi Bhanot, a parent.