These students have staged dharna at the Lower PMG here after conducting demonstrations at their respective universities – Sambalpur University, North Odisha University, Fakir Mohan University and newly created Rajendra University.
Laxmi Narayan Nayak, an agitating student, said they enrolled for this integrated course because it has both BEd (bachelor in education) and MEd (master in education) courses. “After completion of the course, we cannot appear state-level teacher eligibility tests like Odisha Teacher Eligibility Test (OTET) and national-level teacher eligibility tests like NET. What is the benefit of the course then,” he added.
Bhakta Hari Mishra, another student, said the state government should add students of this integrated course to appear the teacher eligibility tests in the state and request the Centre to add it for national-level teacher eligibility tests. “We have requested the higher education minister, department secretary and other authorities to solve our issue, but nobody paid heed to our pleas. Therefore, we hit the streets seeking fulfillment of our demand,” he added.
Madhumita Das, vice chancellor of Fakir Mohan University, said, “According to national council for teacher education (NCTE), these students will get the eligibility to become teacher educators instead of being teachers. But the students want to become teachers. So they demand inclusion of their course for teacher eligibility tests.”
She said they have already written to the state government to look into the matter. “The government is positive about the issue. I hope the issue will be solved,” she added.
A senior higher education department official said the government may consider demands of the students.