More than 11 lakh teaching vacancies in Indian schools: UNESCO Report

90 percent of teaching positions in rural Assam and 89 percent teaching positions in rural Bihar are vacant, according to the report.

More than 11 lakh teaching vacancies in Indian schools: UNESCO Report 90% of teaching positions are vacant in rural schools in Assam (source: Shutterstock)
Atul Krishna | Oct 6, 2021 - 12:50 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: A report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has found that more than 11 lakh teaching positions are vacant in schools across India.

The report titled State of the Education Report for India: No Teachers, No Class, analysed the central government’s Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2018-19. The UDISE has since released a newer version of the data in 2019-20.

“The work force has a deficit of over one million teachers (at current student strength) and the need is likely to grow,” said the report.

Among teacher vacancies, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar reported the highest number of vacancies with 3.2 lakh vacancies and 2.2 lakh vacancies respectively.

Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra were the other states with most vacancies. Madhya Pradesh had more than 87,000 teaching vacancies, West Bengal had more than 84,000 vacancies and Maharashtra reported more than 74,000 vacancies.

Teacher shortage in rural schools

The situation was even more dire in the rural areas. According to the report, Assam had 90% teaching vacancies in rural areas followed by Bihar with 89% vacancies and West Bengal with 82%.

The report also found that more than 1.10 lakh schools in India had only one teacher. This amounted to 7 percent of all schools

Arunachal Pradesh fared the worst with 18 percent single teacher schools. Goa and Telangana followed with 16 percent of all schools having just one teacher. Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand had 14 percent schools with only one teacher.

Based on UDISE data, the report analysed that 90 percent of government school teachers and 93 percent of teachers in aided schools have professional qualifications. However, the percentage was much less in private schools with only 77 per cent of teachers in private unaided schools that are professionally qualified

The private unaided sector accounts for 30 percent of the teaching workforce, while the government sector employs about 50 percent

The report noted that while teacher availability has improved, pupil-teacher ratios are adverse in secondary schools.

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