Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Staff shortage takes toll on quality of education

Staff shortage takes toll on quality of education

Rupa Giri, TNN Mar 11, 2013, 05.11AM IST

RANCHI: Education seems to be low on the government's priority list with 40,000 vacant seats of teachers and the future of 45 lakh students studying in government schools at stake.
According to provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the student-teacher ratio should be 30:1 in Classes I to V and 35:1 in Classes VI to VII. But the schools are violating the RTE provisions and jeopardizing the career of lakhs of students in the state.

With about 43,000 government schools in the state, there are 27,000 recruited teachers against a total of 67,000 sanctioned strength. Beside, 90% of the schools are running without headmasters.
According to an HRD official, the teachers' eligibility test (TET), an examination meant for recruitment of teachers in the state, has not been conducted for the past two years. Though the department announced the date of the test several times, but the exams were cancelled.
Member of the Jharkhand Primary and Secondary Teachers' Association Parsuram Tiwari said, "We are facing a lot of problem in teaching large number of students at a time because of staff crunch. "
The shortage of 40,000 teachers in the state is adversely affecting the education system as a whole. The department says that they will recruit teachers but they fail to do so each time, added Tiwari.
This apart, teachers have to look after the midday-meal scheme and various other programmes and are even engaged in various government programmes along with elections. In all this, the students are the one worst affected.
Tiwari said that TET was conducted in 2011 against the vacancy of 18,600 posts generated against a total of 25,000 vacant seats. In the advertisement announcement, there was a provision of taking two sets of examinations. The candidates passing TET would have to take another exam. But only 5000 teachers passed the examination.
The HRD then made a sudden announcement that they would not conduct the main exam as the candidates passing the examinations are less as compared to the vacant posts and that they would be directly recruited.
Seeing this, several candidates challenged the decision of the HRD in court, owing to which the state government's efforts to fill up the vacant posts of teachers suffered a major setback when the Jharkhand high court cancelled TET conducted by the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) in 2011. Hearing the writ petition filed by Anjuman Tarique Urdu, a division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice P P Bhatt ordered for cancellation of the recruitment process.
The petitioner had alleged that the TET was not conducted as per the laid norms of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
District superintendent of education in Ranchi, Jayant Misra said, "In order to meet such a crisis of teachers, the HRD in collaboration with the Jharkhand Academic Council will conduct TET." According to him, exams will be conducted by the end of October.

DSE even added that to cope with the situation teachers from urban areas are deployed in the rural areas and para teachers have also been appointed. However, the HRD department officials said TET exams would be held soon. The dates are yet to be announced. Singh denied quoting on the topic. He said, "I cannot say anything about it unless I see the report myself."

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