The Madhya Pradesh government is trying to privatise education in state-run schools, said contractual teachers on Sunday.
Contractual teachers participating in Shiksha Kranti Yatra alleged that the state government was trying to hand over the running of government schools to private institutes and blaming them for the falling standards of education.
More than 500 contractual teachers from different districts of the state, who are undertaking the march to highlight their demands, including revision of pay and draw the government’s attention on the standard of school education in the state, started the yatra from Satna on January 3 and after covering 17 districts reached Indore on Sunday.
Citing the example of the Madhya Pradesh State Transport Corporation, which was closed down about eight years back, contractual teachers participating in the march said that “the government was opting for the same formula in government school education system”.
The government engaged thousands of contractual teachers in non-teaching jobs like scholarship disbursement, health check-ups, pulse polio camp, and census work, to keep them away from teaching job and then they blame teachers for falling standards of education in state government schools, some of them said.
Contractual teachers claimed that there are more than 15,000 government schools in 51 districts of the state that were running without teachers, while more than 17,000 government schools are running with only one teacher. “They intentionally engage us in non-teaching jobs throughout the year so that they can blame us, saying we are not available in schools for teaching,” said Bharat Bhargava, Indore chief of the association.
Recently more than four lakh children dropped out of government schools and another 1.25 lakh children were forced to take admission in the private-run schools in the name of admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, despite government schools having all amenities and infrastructure, he said. “The government is simply trying to privatise school education in the state,” he said.
Jagdish Yadav, regional head of association, said they were opposed to privatisation of school education as it concerned the livelihood of thousands of contractual teachers.