A majority of government-run schools in Madhya Pradesh’s Agar-Malwa district have no teachers and the education system is in shambles, officials said.
According to district education department officials, out of the 999 schools in the district, at least 42 schools do not have a single teacher while 68 schools were running with only one teacher.
Agar-Malwa became the 51st district of Madhya Pradesh on 16 August 2013. It was carved out of the existing Shajapur district with Agar town as the district headquarters.
15 schools without teachers in Barod development block alone
In Barod development block alone, 15 government schools are running with no teachers, followed by Agar with 11 government schools without any teachers, while nine in Susner and seven in Nalkheda have no teachers.
The district with a population of more than 4.80 lakh has 999 government schools, including 651 primary, 296 middle, 31 high schools, 19 higher secondary and two model higher secondary schools.
Bhayana village in Agar development block most affected by shortage of teachers
Bhayana village in Agar development block of the district is the most affected by shortage of teachers.
The village has a middle school with 148 students but due to lack of teachers, students have either dropped out or attend another school in the neighbouring village.
The principal of the primary school in the village doubles up as the middle school principal and he has the support of only three guest faculties.
As per the Right to Education Act, all schools except unaided minority institutions have to maintain a healthy pupil-teacher ratio in schools. For every 30 students, there should be at least one teacher.
The district administration has failed to provide sufficient staff in the schools even after several representations from villagers.
No appointments since 2013, says district education officer
Asked about the reason for the shortage of school teachers, Rama Nahata, district education officer in-charge, said there have been no appointments since 2013 and teachers transferred from urban areas were unwilling to take classes in rural schools.
“No promotions have taken place in last the three years since the district was curved out in 2013. As a result, several schools are facing a staff crunch. We are managing to run the schools with the help of temporary teachers,” she told Hinduatan Times.
Anand Singh Vaskele, former district education officer of Agar, said the government needs to address the problem soon and the only solution is to appoint permanent teachers to fill the vacant posts.
“Schools cannot be run with visiting teachers, most of whom are inexperienced,” he said.
“Most teachers, who are transferred from urban to rural areas, either stop their transfer orders cancelled by using political connections or do not attend their duties.” As the district education officer or district collector has no authority to appointment permanent teachers, only the government can redress the problem, he added.
SHORTAGE THREATENING EDUCATION OF CHILDREN
Total number of schools in Agar district: 999
Total number of students from classes 1-12 in the district: 67,721
Total number of school teachers in district (excluding visiting teachers) in the district: 2,479
Sanctioned posts in primary schools: 1,687
Sanctioned posts in middle schools: 986