Primary school teachers in the State can take paid leave to pursue undergraduate courses from the coming academic year.
The Department of Public Instruction has given teachers this opportunity to strengthen English, science and mathematics teaching in primary and higher primary schools. The Government will bear the expenses of their education.
Teachers aged below 45 and who have worked in the department for at least five years are eligible for the programme. However, there are certain conditions that the teachers must satisfy to get their names recommended.
A circular issued by the department, a copy of which is with The Hindu , said science teachers can pursue B.Sc. — physics, chemistry and mathematics (PCM) combination or chemistry, biology and zoology (CBZ) combination; others can pursue B.A. with English Major.
Those wishing to take up B.A. (English Major) should have completed their pre-university course in English medium, or chosen English as their first language in pre-university, or scored 60 per cent in English if it was their second language.
Teachers availing themselves of the opportunity should work in the department for at least 10 years after completing the course, and are required to give an undertaking in this regard.
“If the teachers failed to complete the course in time, the department can recover salary and other allowances given to them during the ‘paid leave' period,” the circular said. Interested teachers may submit applications to the respective block education officers by March 1, 2012.
The officers will prepare a seniority list of 15 teachers from each taluk, which will be forwarded to the deputy directors of public instruction, who in turn will submit it after verification to the Director (Primary Education), Office of the Commissioner of Public Instruction, Bangalore, by March 5.
The department has directed the districts to make arrangements to prevent any inconvenience to students if the teachers from their schools pursue the courses.