Over 9.8 lakh teacher vacancies in government schools across India: Report

Central government cut over Rs 5,000 crore from the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan budget, added over Rs 2,000 crore to the mid-day meal scheme.

Over 7.4 lakh teacher vacancies are at the elementary level (source: Wikimedia Commons)Over 7.4 lakh teacher vacancies are at the elementary level (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Atul Krishna | March 29, 2023 | 01:06 PM IST

NEW DELHI: More than 9.8 lakh teaching positions out of the over 62 lakh sanctioned posts are vacant across state government schools in India, a Parliamentary Standing Committee report said.

The committee found that the most teacher vacancies – over 7.4 lakh – are at the elementary level (Classes 1 to 8); at the secondary level (Classes 9 and 10), there’s teacher vacancy of 1.6 lakh positions; and at the higher secondary level, over 92,000.

“It is also observed that in many states, the teacher recruitment process is not transparent and is cumbersome. Therefore, the committee recommends that the Autonomous Teacher Recruitment Board should be formed at state level as recommended by some education committees,” the report added.

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan budget cut

The union government has cut over Rs 5,000 crore from the budget for Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in the revised estimates for 2022-23. The SSA is the country’s largest scheme for school education and it supports the Right to Education Act and the fundamental right to education. The SSA scheme was allocated over Rs 37,383 crore in Budget 2022-23 but it has been revised down to Rs 32,151 crore in the revised budget estimates for 2022-23. At the same time, PM Poshan, erstwhile mid-day meal scheme, saw an increase in allocation of over Rs 2,000 crore in the revised budget.

The report also noted that “no study/assessment” for the efficacy of the PM Poshan scheme has been conducted by any independent agency during the years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.

States, KVs, PM SHRI

The committee also noted that eight states or union territories – Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal – have still not signed an agreement with the union government for PM SHRI schools. As per the PM SHRI schools scheme, 14,500 schools will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 27,360 crore over five-years. The funding for PM SHRI schools will be shared between the centre and the state. Incidentally, all the states holding out are currently ruled by opposition parties.

It also found that 258 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) do not have permanent buildings and are functioning in temporary accommodations. The committee urged the ministry of education to work with states to “convince them to provide land for the remaining 258 KVs”.

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