Mumbai: To address what he says the deteriorating education quality and making early choices for the students, Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde on Wednesday said the state government is considering making English and Mathematics optional subjects.
The minister also said that in line with the pattern followed in the countries like the United States engineers, doctors and graduates with other professional degrees may also be allowed to work as teachers.
"My personal view is that (English and Maths) should be compulsory only till Std VIII. After that they should be optional for the students who are academically weak in these subjects", the minister said while talking to Times of India.
"For this, the academic performance from Std V to VIII will be analyzed and if it becomes absolutely clear that the student cannot improve his performance then that option should be there. Such students can later choose Arts stream in college and pursue their interests", he added.
In reply to a question regarding the deteriorating teaching standard in schools, the minister while stating that pool of available teachers should be expanded said, "Currently, all our teachers need to have either a Diploma or Bachelors in Education (D.Ed. and B.Ed.). So the pool of available candidates is restricted. But if there's a qualified engineer in a remote village who's interested in teaching, why should we deprive the children of that opportunity?"
"In the US, they have a 50-50 quota for educationally-qualified (EQ) teachers and professionally qualified (PQ) teachers. We are contemplating a proposal to allow 30% of teaching posts to be filled by PQ candidates.
"There are many who have become engineers, doctors etc who excelled in other professional fields and have a desire to teach. I believe they should be given that chance. Having worked as professionals they will also bring an element of experience which can add value to teaching quality", the minister said.