A paucity of teachers continues to haunt Madhya Pradesh as about 13.49% elementary schools here are still manned by a single teacher each, according to the latest report of the District Information System on Education (DISE).
This makes MP the second worst performing state after Andhra Pradesh where 15.65% schools have a single teacher each.
The state of affairs remained dismal despite the directives of the state government that there should be a minimum two teachers in a primary and three in the middle schools.
The report was released by the National University for Education, Planning and Administration (NUEPA) in August. It studied the state of affairs in 1,42,844 primary and middle schools in the state, including 1,14,444 government-run ones. The study found that out of the single-teacher schools in the state, over 18,600-odd had over 15 students strength.
The all India average for the single school teachers is 8.32%. The study reveals that almost 9% of all elementary schoolchildren study in such single teacher schools in Madhya Pradesh, which is second highest again in country, just behind the small northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh where 9.69% students go to such lacking schools.
The all India average for such enrolment is just 3.68%. The DISE report shows that the situation is even worse in primary schools, where 15.09% schools have single teachers.
According to experts, this not only overburdens the teachers but also adversely affects the education of the students. Education specialist with MP office of UNICEF, FA Jami says, "The department of education is taking steps to improve provisioning of teachers and implementation of RTE in Madhya Pradesh, but there are challenges as about 5,000 schools are without a regular teacher and 19,000 schools have only single regular teacher, which has an impact on functioning of schools and learning levels of children."
State general secretary of MP Shikshak Congress, Ashutosh Pandey said that the situation existed despite the directives of the state government that there should be minimum two teachers in a primary and three in the middle schools. "According to Right to Education (RTE) norms, the primary and middle schools in the state are short of 1.6 lakh teachers and the government is doing nothing to fill the gap," he says.
"The directives of the government that the teachers would not be loaded with additional work remains on paper," he charged.