A large number of posts of teachers in the government schools in the district are vacant, some for than 20 years, information gathered under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed.
Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, not more than 10% posts of the total approved could be kept vacant in any of the government-aided or approved schools which means, of the 10 approved posts only one post could be kept vacant. However, in the district, percentage of vacancies is very high. Statistics also show that most of the vacancies fall in rural areas.
In the middle and higher secondary schools, as many as 36 posts of Punjabi teachers are vacant. The senior secondary school in Budhawar is without a Punjabi teacher since 2003, whereas the post of Punjabi teacher in Harse Mansar school has been vacant since 2004. Government school Jaijon is doing without history teacher since 2005.
As per the information gathered by Social Democratic Party president Jai Gopal Dhiman, of the 72 posts of history teachers, 33 are vacant. Similarly 15 schools are without a Hindi teacher.
Fourty seven of the 104 posts of English teachers and 44 of 96 posts of political science are vacant. Government Senior Secondary, Dharampur, school has been wihout a political science teacher since 1999.
There is a shortfall of 44 posts of economics, 20 of chemistry, 11 each of physics and mathematics, six of biology, nine of commerce and 13 of physical education.
Twentyof the 34 posts of vacational teachers are unfilled. There is only one sanctioned post each of home science and fine arts lecturer in the district in Government Secondary School, Railway Mandi, and Ajjowal, respectively and both are vacant.
The Government High School and Higher Secondary Schools in Tanda have two recognised posts of agriculture teacher, but both are vacant since 2001. A large number of posts of JBT and vocational teachers are also vacant. As per a rough estimate, more than 450 posts of various categories of teachers in the district are unfilled.
"One can imagine the standard of education in government schools in the absence of teachers. The mere introduction of Right to Education Act will not suffice, unless the government provides the required staff and infrastructure," said Dhiman.
He said the government should form a concrete policy to ensure that all posts get filled immediately on the creation of a vacancy.