45% of school teachers’ posts lying vacant in C’garh

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 May 2018 12:47:23


 

Staff Reporter,

Durg,

It is really shocking fact that Chhattisgarh is one of the five major states, where most of the schools face acute shortage of teachers and this problem hit the school education system to a large number. The other four states are Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Till February 2018, 45 percent of secondary school teachers’ posts in the state are lying vacant. To make matters worse, many government employed teachers send proxies, who may not have even basic qualifications, to teach students. 

These facts were revealed in a World Bank report titled ‘Getting the right teachers into the right schools’. Managing teacher workforce of all schools consist of primary, upper primary and secondary ones in Chhattisgarh as well as 28 other states and 7 union territories of the nation. Although Ministry of Human Resource and Development data shows overall vacancy of government teachers in India at the elementary level (classes I to VIII) is 18% and at the secondary level (classes IX and X) is 15%. But states like Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have major shortage of teachers at elementary and secondary levels. Along with vacancies, truancy of the employed teachers is a cause for concern.

‘Alarming problem reported by these three states is that of proxy teachers, whereby a teacher appointed by the government illegally appoints another person to work in her/his place for some consideration. Proxy teachers are more common in remote and rural areas, but are also found in urban areas’, stated the report. It added that though the extent of the practice of proxy teachers could not be determined during the study, it was openly discussed during focus group discussions.

The report also cited a case in some districts of Surguja division where many applying to become teachers were found to possess bogus degrees. Given that this is a grey market; there is little concrete evidence to confirm the availability of bogus degrees as well as diplomas. It has also been found that owing to delay in releasing of salaries, many of contractual teachers in these districts do not turn up regularly at schools posts lying vacant in C’garh and it is affecting the school education. ‘Some other trends are more worrisome. In most of the districts across state, the teacher recruitment process continues to be opaque (politically driven). The government does not seem to have a well laid out policy to estimate the number of teachers required and a process to move from there to recruitment’, stated the report. Report adds that schools are neither supported nor supervised, thereby affecting the effectiveness of the schooling system.

The study research team observed that not one teacher sent their children or grandchildren to a government school. ‘Likewise, administrators avoid government schools for their children and grandchildren. Political leaders sent their children and grandchildren to high-end, English-medium, private unaided schools. Even after 20 years of reforms, teacher absence remains an important concern; teaching time is worryingly low; and, most importantly, low learning levels among children means they do not have a strong educational foundation for their future lives”, stated the study. Now in last one year owing to initiative of IAS officer to send his child to government school, some other politicians also followed the path otherwise earlier it was hard to believe that child of any officer or politician enroll in government school. ‘It is really a matter of concern and it seems it would not be solved so quickly’, said Gautam Banerjee, Coordinator of Right to Education Forum. On the other hand Kedar Kashyap, remained unavailable for comment on it.