Press Trust of India|Nov 28, 2023
- 5.6 lakh teacher vacancies in 15 states; 3 lakh in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh
5.6 lakh teacher vacancies in 15 states; 3 lakh in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh
Teacher Vacancy: While 5.6 lakh posts lie vacant in Classes 1-8, government data also shows acute shortage of subject teachers in secondary school.
NEW DELHI: Over 1.87 lakh teaching posts in Bihar and over 1.26 lakh in Uttar Pradesh are vacant, according to the minutes of the education ministry’s project approval board (PAB) meetings in 2022 to decide funds for the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme. The vacant posts are at the elementary level, Classes 1 to 8, in government schools; the SSA scheme supports the push for universalisation of education at that level.
Other states such as Jharkhand (74,357), West Bengal (54,900), Andhra Pradesh (39,008), Karnataka (23,881) and Gujarat (19,963) also reported huge teacher vacancies at the elementary level. According to data in the meeting minutes, 15 states together reported teacher over 5.6 lakh vacancies. Data on the rest of the states was either unavailable or is yet to be made public. These states include Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and others.
Teacher vacancies were relatively lower in secondary schools compared to primary and upper primary schools across states, despite the fact that free elementary education is guaranteed by the law – the Right to Education Act 2009 – and is a fundamental right. However, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka recorded huge vacancies at the secondary level too.
States face acute shortage of secondary-level subject teachers. For instance, Jharkhand has only one social science teacher for every 1,254 students.
Teacher vacancy and PTR
Some states reported an increase in teacher vacancies over the last year. In Gujarat, at elementary level, vacant teaching posts increased by 4.39 percent in 2022-23. Tripura recorded an increase of 0.75 percent and West Bengal’s teaching vacancies in elementary schools increased by 0.21 percent in 2022-23. In Jharkhand, vacancies rose by 0.28 percent.
Punjab had the lowest teacher vacancy in primary and upper primary schools with only 129 posts vacant.
Teacher vacancy by state in Classes 1-8
Jammu and Kashmir
The number of schools with an adverse pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) is quite high for Karnataka at 37.7 percent and 24.2 percent at the primary and upper primary level, respectively. The RTE Act mandates a PTR of 30 in primary schools (Classes 1-5) and 35 in upper primary (Classes 6-8)
In Jammu and Kashmir, 22 percent primary schools and 60 percent upper primary schools have adverse PTR. Jharkhand and Bihar have very high PTRs each.
In Jharkhand 48.62 percent primary schools and 62.88 percent upper-primary schools have adverse PTRs. In Bihar, the numbers are 64.48 percent primary and 76.99 percent upper-primary schools. Teacher recruitment in Bihar was delayed in the winter of 2021 leading to widespread protests.
Only 63.78 percent of Gujarat’s upper-primary schools have all subject teachers as per the RTE norms.
Subject teacher shortage
Although teacher vacancy was considerably lower in secondary schools for most states, Bihar was still nearly 28,000 government teachers short, despite the vacancy-level decreasing by 2.54 percent from 2021-22.
Andhra Pradesh with over 11,000 teacher vacancies, and Karnataka with over 7,000 teacher vacancies, also fared poorly at the secondary level.
A majority of schools in Jharkhand and West Bengal did not have teachers for all core subjects. In Jharkhand, only eight percent of secondary schools have subject teachers for all core subjects and 98 percent of head teachers posts are vacant in secondary schools. In West Bengal, only 18 percent of secondary schools have teachers for all core subjects.
Most schools in Bihar, Tripura and Gujarat face acute shortage of subject teachers.
Only 22.1 percent of Bihar’s secondary schools have teachers for all core subjects; in Tripura, that figure is 22.4 percent. Only 43.92 percent of secondary schools in Gujarat have teachers for all core subjects.
Subject Teacher Shortage: Classes 9, 10
Jammu and Kashmir
Bihar and Jharkhand also have very few teachers for core subjects.
In Bihar, subject PTR at the secondary level is 462 for maths, 437 for science,191 for language, and 331 for social studies. In Jharkhand, the subject-wise PTR at the secondary level is 397 for maths, 555 for science and 1,254 for social studies.
Shortage of teachers also varied widely depending on the state and the subject. In West Bengal, for instance, the subject PTR for language is 60, for science it is 99, for maths it is 166, while for social science it is 673. .
Assam fared better, according to the data, with subject PTR of 30 for language, 90 for maths, 62 for science and 44 for social studies. In Karnataka, subject PTR at the secondary level is 86 for maths, 89 for science and 88 for social studies.
Punjab fared better than most states with a subject PTR of 55 for maths, 51 for science and 58 for social studies.
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