First Batch of Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) begins at IIT Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar, as part of its new initiative towards creating outstanding teachers and add value to the education system of India, has introduced a 4-year B.Sc – B.Ed Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) from the 2023-24 academic year. The classes for the first batch of 50 students from different states of India have commenced from 17th October 2023. The students were selected via National Common Entrance Test (NCET) conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
IIT Bhubaneswar is one among the two IITs (including IIT Kharagpur) to start the Program this year. The Institute has offered the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) with Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Economics. Students enrolled in this Program will complete their studies within a condensed timeframe of four years, unlike the conventional five-year duration mandated by the current B.Ed. Curriculum.
To maximize the effectiveness of this new important program, separate interactive orientations were held for the students, their parents and associated faculty. Prof. Shreepad Karmalkar, Director, IIT, Bhubaneswar, along with experts including Prof. Harish Chandra Singh Rathore, Former Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Bihar and Prof. Prakash Chandra Agarwal, Principal, Regional Institute of Education, Bhubaneswar, highlighted the unique features. They also responded to the questions along with the ITEP coordinators – Dr. Rajan Jha, Head, School of Basic Sciences and Dr. Dukhabandhu Sahoo, Head, School of Humanities, Social Sciences & Management and Deans – Dr. Rajesh Roshan Dash, Dean (Student Affairs) and Dr. Shantanu Pal, Dean (Undergraduate Programs).
The orientation was held in an Active Learning Classroom, where learners are seated in groups of three on movable chairs around round tables to promote interactions and collaborative activities. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Karmalkar pointed out that ITEP students are the first batch who will have the privilege of undergoing their entire education in an active learning environment, which promotes communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills essential for success in any profession including teaching. Further, in contrast to students of other Programs, the assessment of ITEP students will include a component involving demonstration of teaching skills in all courses undergone by them. He also noted that majority of ITEP students were women though there is no reservation for women in the ITEP Program.
Major queries addressed during the orientation interaction were as follows.
1. An R&D career for ITEP students: Though ITEP is optimized to create outstanding teachers, the students enrolled into this program can also take up research and development careers as other students. As per the existing policy, they have to acquire a Master’s Degree prior to applying for a PhD Program. Several parents suggested to make a provision to add on 16 credits of coursework leading to an ITEP Honours degree, after which the students can directly join a PhD program if they so wish.

2. Higher education in international universities: This course, as any other course of India, will provide the relevant degree, academic credits and knowledge to the students to pursue their higher studies in any of the international universities. However, they have to pursue the regular process of application and admission into their desired courses/institutions/universities. The worldwide recognition of being an IITian will enhance their academic credentials.
It may be mentioned that ITEP is a momentous initiative by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), under Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, to ensure that outstanding students enter the teaching profession at the school level. ITEP will be available to all students who choose teaching as a profession after passing the exit examination of Higher Secondary (10+2) in any discipline (Science/Humanities/ Commerce/ Others). The primary objective of ITEP is to equip the teachers of tomorrow with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively teach students at the various stages of formal education, following the revised educational framework outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020. A student undergoing this program will be grounded in Indian values, languages, knowledge, ethos, tribal traditions and well versed in latest advances in education and pedagogy.
The ITEP at IIT Bhubaneswar includes various subjects like Art Education (performing and visual), Sanskrit Language and Yoga, along with the core subjects. The students enrolled in this Program have the advantages of an excellent academic environment, research opportunities and infrastructural facilities along with a vibrant campus life.

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