The Rayat Shikshan Sanstha is one of the prominent educational Institutions in Maharashtra . It emphasized on the education of the poor and down- trodden who really form the major bulk of society. The founder, Late Dr. Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil, was a man of the masses who devoted all his mind and heart to the cause of their education. He established Rayat Shikshan Sanstha in 1919.
“ Tere should not be a village without school and a school without a trained teacher.” This is the ideal, the founder of the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha, the late Padmabhushan Dr. Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil cherished and earnestly struggled for throughout his life. He sincerely believed, a teacher from masses who knows the rural community with all its ills can effectively instruct the students belonging to the rural areas. How to get trained teachers in such a large number was a genuine problem. To fulfil the growing demand of the trained teachers for the secondary schools which he has started in nooks and corners in remote areas of Maharashtra for the education of masses, he strongly felt the need of having sanstha's own secondary teachers' training college.
Before the beginning of twentieth century, there was dearth of secondary teachers' training college. Even in the previous Bombay state there was not a single secondary teachers' training college. The first secondary teachers' training college was started in 1906 at Mumbai. Afterwards the colleges were started in the cities as Poona, Belguam, Ahemdabad, Baroda and Kolhapur. These colleges were established mainly in big cities with restricted intake capacity. It created many limitations in the qualitative and quantitative development of Secondary education. To meet the dire need of the trained teachers for the secondary schools, particularly in the rural areas more training colleges were required. Moreover the Government was not in a position to open secondary training colleges so the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha, the voluntary agency vehemently decided to enter in the field of teacher education at secondary level with or without Government financial assistance. By this time the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha has successively started number of secondary schools in the remote areas of the state with co-operation of rural people. These schools needed a large number of trained teachers for the effective functioning. Realising the basic need of secondary schools, the founder of the sanstha opened a secondary teachers' training college in 1955 at the historical place Satara city. To commemorate the memory of the late Honorable Moulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then first Education Minister of Government of India the college was renamed as Azad College of Education in 1958.
The College was started in a very critical situation. For the affiliation of the college as per rule of Pune University an amount of Rs.5000/- was required for deposit, but the huge amount was not at hand and the possibility of raising a loan from local bank was considered. Karmaveer did not wish to borrow money from others. But he believed that “ Do right thing the help will automatically come to you ” and fortunately the same thing happened. He received a cheque of Rs.5000/- as a generous donation from the famous industraliast Sir Purushottamdas Thakurdas through Dr. R.K. Bhosale, the world famous massagist of Mumbai. Thus the problem was solved.
In the beginning, the college was started in the rented godown owned by the philanthrophic industrialist Annasaheb Kalyani in the Camp area of Satara city which was very close to the present Zilla Parishad building. A bunglow nearby having eleven rooms was hired for college hostel. For the first year, 49 male and 4 female teacher trainees were admitted. In those days to get qualified staff was a colossal problem. However the problem of securing the well qualified staff and principal was solved by consulting authorities in the field of education, by correspondence and giving advertisements in leading newspapers. Initially the college had five lecturers and two master of methods and one clerk and a peon only. In the library there were 1351 books. The permission of highschools and Municipal primary schools in the city was sought for the purpose of practice teaching. The course introduced in those days was B.T. (Bachelor of Teaching) and the medium of instruction was English.
Year of Establishment : 1955
Affiliating University and year : Pune University, Pune 1955 to 1961
Shivaji University , Kolhapur 1962 to onwords
Year of Last Accreditation by NAAC : Awarded 'A' Grade in 2012