In a bid to make teacher education more professional, the Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Education University is planning to introduce a four-year integrated B.Ed. course for students completing Plus Two.

Official sources told The Hindu on Thursday that the university is in the process of framing the syllabus for the proposed integrated course.

On successful completion of the proposed course, a student will receive a B.Sc. or a B.A. degree and also learn teaching methodology for a B.Ed. degree.

T. Padmanaban, university Vice-Chancellor, said a meeting of a specially constituted syllabus committee to frame the curriculum for the four-year course would be held in a few days. The integrated course would cover both undergraduate content and teaching methodology.

Welcoming the move, Kokila Thangasamy, principal, Lakshmi College of Education, Gandhigram, said it would tone up the quality of teacher education and expand opportunities for youngsters. “Teachers’ education will become a professional course like engineering, medicine or law where students decide at Plus Two what they want to become,” she said.

When contacted, Higher Education Secretary K. Ganesan said the government would wait for a concrete proposal from the university before taking any action.

Simultaneously, the State government has decided not to accord permission for starting any more B.Ed. colleges in Tamil Nadu.

With 645 B.Ed. colleges, including seven government-run and 14 government-aided colleges in the State, the Vice-Chancellor said it was felt there was no need to start new colleges.

“The Tamil Nadu Government has asked the National Council for Teacher Education not to accept any fresh applications for opening new B.Ed. colleges,” Mr. Ganesan said. However, minorities will be permitted to start new B.Ed. colleges, if they want, sources said.