NEW DELHI: Under-graduate engineering students from technical institutes may be able to teach and earn as they learn at the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
Faced with a severe faculty shortage, IITs have proposed mentoring the top 15% under-graduate students from IITs, National Institute of Technology (NITs), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) through a teacher training program.
The proposal will be discussed at the IIT Council meeting on January 7 to be chaired by human resource development minister M M Pallam Raju.
IITs hope this joint program will enhance teacher quality and mitigate faculty shortage. The selected students could be asked to undergo a trainee teacher program at NITs. ``While initially they would assist in teaching they would simultaneously go through part-time post-graduate and doctoral programs so they can acquire higher education qualification that is a prerequisite for teaching at IIT and NITs,'' sources said.
Students taking up teaching programmes is not an unusual feature in many western universities but they are more typically pursuing post-graduate programmes. Students avail of assistantships to help pay university fees.
IITs hope to produce well qualified and skilled teachers and researchers while addressing the faculty needs for under-graduate students.
The ministry had set up a committee to suggest solutions to the lack of faculty in all central government-funded institutes and student-teachers is one of proposals being considered.
According to HRD ministry, IITs suffer from a nearly 33% vacancy while the faculty shortage is about 35% in the NITs. The teacher-student ratio in the 7 older IITs is about 1:16 at present, higher than the suggested 1:10. In the 8 new IITs, the ratio is about 1:8, in adherence to the international standards. About 1,600 teaching positions are required to offset the faculty shortage in the 15 IITs in the country.