For a total of 111 government schools in Chandigarh, there are 58 (50 trained graduate teacher’s + 8 lecturers) posts for music teachers.
Out of these 58 posts there are only eight table instructors.
Arvind Rana, a teacher at Sarangpur and president of Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan, Chandigarh, said, “ The department should look into this, as technically there should be 50 more tabla instructors since each music teacher is suppose to be accompanied by a tabla instructor.”
Shortage of staff has remained a problem with the Chandigarh education department.
Students of local government schools are at the receiving end as they are unable to pursue their desire to learn music and train themselves in playing the tabla due to shortage of staff.
Most Chandigarh schools don’t have an instructor for the subject.
As per information received under Right to Information (RTI) in September this year, only eight local schools have table instructors.
These include: Government Modern Senior Secondary School (GMSSS) Sector 32, GMSSS Sector 46, GMSSS Sector 16, GMHS Sector 34, GMSSS Sector 35, GHS Sector 11, GMSSS Sector 37 and GMSSS Sarangpur.
A physical education teacher of a local government school, spoke about the importance of vocational courses.
“Vocational subjects must not be undermined by the department. They go a long way in shaping the overall personality of a student. Learning music and playing the tabla also helps in rejuvenation and breaking free from the regular hum-drum,”he said.
Esha, a student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, said, “I’ve always wanted to learn to play the tabla but we don’t have an instructor in school and my parents finally had to help me take classes outside school which cost a lot.”
On the other hand there is Umesh of Class 7 from Government Model School, Sarangpur, who said he was fortunate that he was getting a chance to hone his music skills at school as it gave him an edge over other students and served as a stress buster.
President of UT Cadre Education Employees Union, Swarn Singh Kamboj, who is a table instructor himself, said music provides much needed financial security.
“Music is a subject which can lead to large returns and also ensure financial security. Be it a wedding or a cultural programme, a tabla player never goes out of demand. Keeping all this in mind the education department shouldn’t undermine the importance of teaching music to kids,” he said.