UP schools will have retired teachers as ‘shikshak sathi’

These ‘shikshak sathi’ in UP government schools will receive Rs 2,500 as ‘mobility allowance’ per month.

Retired teachers who are state and President's awardees, will be given preference in selection. (Representative image: Shutterstock)Retired teachers who are state and President's awardees, will be given preference in selection. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

Sanjay | September 30, 2022 | 12:09 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government has planned to re-employ dedicated retired teachers in state-run schools, including Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV). Retired teachers below 70 years of age are eligible to be employed as mentors in schools for one year.

The move is intended to help overcome the shortage of teachers in schools and improve learning, according to a government notification dated September 28, 2022. According to government data, UP schools have 1.26 lakh teacher vacancies, and are behind only Bihar schools in number of vacant teaching posts.

Uttar Pradesh principal secretary, basic education, Deepak Kumar, in a letter to district magistrates (DMs) of the state, has said that the government is planning to hire dedicated retired teachers for collaborative supervision of schools. Retired teachers who are state and President's awardees, will be given preference in selection by district-level committees. The selected candidates will be known as ‘shikashak sathi’ (teacher companion) and renewal of their service will be on the basis of performance. Selected candidates will receive Rs 2,500 as “mobility allowance” per month. They will not receive any extra honorarium. DMs have been asked to send the information to the state project office after selecting the candidates within a month.

“It is to inform you that the Vidyanjali programme has been started by the Ministry of Education, Government of India with the objective of promoting the quality of education in government schools. The objective of this scheme is to improve the teaching work in schools with the help of volunteers. In order to provide additional academic support in schools, it has been decided to conduct collaborative supervision of schools through dedicated retired school teachers who will be known as Shikshak Sathi,” reads the letter.

Selection, job role of mentor teachers

The retired teachers must have served at least five years as assistant teacher or headmaster in basic education council-run primary and upper primary schools of Uttar Pradesh.

In a statement, basic education secretary, Vijay Kumar Anand, said that the selected candidates will be utilised in schools facing shortage of teachers. The move will also promote mentoring concepts in schools with little expenditure.

Also Read | Over 50% teaching posts in UP Government Inter Colleges vacant: Education Minister

According to the government communique, the selected candidates for mentorship work will be responsible for ensuring peer learning, making the classroom student-centric and triggering intrinsic motivation. They will sensitise teachers and students by discussing topics like gender equality, life skills education, environmental protection, disaster management and child rights.

Their performance will be tracked on the school activities monitoring Prerna App. The selected candidates will have to do online supportive supervision of minimum 30 schools through Prerna App. They have to send the reports of educational activities of schools to district basic shiksha adhikari (BSA) and District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) principal on the twenty-eighth day of every month. They also have to send the reports of activities planned for the upcoming month.

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