Teaching colleges in Maharashtra are closing down. Of the 1,405 DTEd (Diploma in Teachers Education) colleges in 2012, already 318 have shut. This means only 72,000 seats will be available against the 90,000 last year.
According to NK Jarag, Director of MSCERT (Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research & Training), “Over 62 colleges have applied for closure this year. Already, 256 colleges have been closed down for not fulfilling the norms on infrastructure and staff.”
The scene in B Ed colleges are not any better either. About 38% seats are lying vacant. According to the state government, out of the 57,000 seats, only 35,340 seats were filled. Over 90 colleges have already closed down.
Vijay Naval Patil, president of Maharashtra Rajya Shikshan Sanstha Mandal, holds the state government responsible.
“The state government is responsible for this mess,” he said.
The gap between demand and supply and a haphazard growth of the institutes are supposed to be behind this mess.
“The aspirations of youngsters are rising. They don’t want to join a profession which has no glamour,” said Arundhati Chavan, Principal of Swayamsiddhi College of Education in Thane.
“While Marathi and Urdu medium sections are able to fill the majority of seats, 20-50% seats in English medium sections of D Ed remain vacant in almost all institutes,” she said.
Subhas Bhandarkar, president of Shram Safalya Education Trust, Amalner in Jalgaon district, was forced to close down his B Ed college last year.
“Many degree and diploma holders are still struggling to get jobs. People now prefer vocational courses which give them self-employment,” he said.
Rampant corruption in recruitment at government schools is another issue, pointed out experts.
A teacher told dna, “The colleges which used to demand Rs1-5 lakh as donation for admission till a couple of years back, are now charging only a fee.”
Over 80% of the teaching colleges are unaided ones. To recover the “losses,” many are now opening general colleges.
Others are indulging in malpractices. “Some institutes are making money by admitting people already employed in schools or other profession. Such candidates don’t attend classes and practical. They just attend exams and get degree,” says Chavan.