India will need a million additional teachers to implement the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.
Addressing a National Education Day function in the capital to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India’s first education minister, Singh added: “To give universal education to children, the world will require 18 million new primary teachers in seven years.”
As the country embarked upon setting up new IITs, IIMs and central universities, Singh said attracting the best talent to teach at these premier institutions remained a problem.
“We must find ways of attracting the best talent as faculty in our premier institutions. We face difficulties in finding top-level professors and lecturers in the newly created IITs, IIScs...,” he said, adding: “We must restore the prestige of teachers in our society.”
The government is planning to expand the scope of higher education by opening eight new IITs and 15 central universities. It has also decided to set up six IIMs, 10 National Institutes of Technology, 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology and 6,000 model schools during the 11th Plan period.