As many as 1.60 lakh teaching positions still lie vacant in government-run schools across 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh, despite the recruitment of 15,000 assistant teachers to bridge the shortfall.
The state government admitted to this while seeking financial aid from the Centre under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan on April 22 last year. The report submitted to the human resource development (HRD) ministry also revealed that until April 2016, as many as 1,74,726 teaching positions were vacant in schools of up to Class 8 alone.
These revelations emerged after Gonda activist Durgesh Pratap Singh filed a Right to Information (RTI) application with the HRD ministry, the reply for which came on March 17. The RTI response also revealed that while Uttar Pradesh has 759,958 teaching positions in primary and upper primary government schools, there are only 585,232 teachers serving at present.
“I had filed the RTI application to know more about the state of affairs in the education sector. The data reveals the poor state of education at government-run schools across the state,” said Singh.
Alarmingly, as many as 10,187 government primary schools and 4,895 government upper primary schools are being run in the state with just a single teacher each.
An education department official told HT that this data was presented before the project approval board of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan last year, on the basis of which grants under various heads – including teacher salaries – were approved. However, no new recruitments were eventually made owing to various reasons, including pending litigations filed against various recruitment processes. “It’s alarming that despite having such a huge number of vacancies, new appointments – including that of BEd and TET qualified candidates – still aren’t being made,” said Singh.
This data shows the extent to which shortage of teachers affect government-run schools in Uttar Pradesh at a time when crores are being spent to enhance the quality of education every year.
The RTI query revealed that 1,53,307 teaching positions out of a total 5,32,001 still remain vacant in the state’s government-run primary schools. As many as 1,016 headmaster/headmistress posts out of the sanctioned strength of 66,498 were also yet to be filled in these institutions.
On the other hand, 5,390 assistant teacher positions against the sanctioned strength of 1,17,240 lay vacant in government upper primary schools. As many as 15,013 headmaster/headmistress positions were also yet to be filled against a sanctioned strength of 44,219.
“The state government needs to undertake recruitment drives immediately to fill up all vacant teaching positions in government-run schools. This is vital for students enrolled in these institutions as well as qualified youth desperate for jobs,” said Dileep Singh, general secretary, Junior High School Shikshak Sangh (Allahabad division).