32% teaching posts vacant in Chandigarh’s govt schools
Over 32% of the 4,874 sanctioned posts for teachers in Chandigarh’s 115 government schools are lying vacant, UT education department’s response to an RTI application has revealed.
Among the 1,585 posts vacant, 146 are for Nursery Teacher Training (NTT) category, for which 245 posts are sanctioned, indicating a 59.6% vacancy.
Similarly, 28.4% of Junior Basic Training (JBT), 26% of lecturer and 29.4% of master cadre posts have also yet to be filled.
Among lecturers, 24 posts of English teachers are vacant, followed by 15 of Hindi, 14 of physical education and 13 of Punjabi teachers.
Similarly, 130 social studies teachers of master or Trained Graduate Teacher (TGT) cadre have not been recruited, apart from 114 teachers for non-medical and 87 for fine arts.
“The number of vacancies increased in 2020 after the Punjab government decided to reduce the age of retirement from 60 to 58. Many teachers retired due to this and fresh recruitments could not be conducted due to the Covid pandemic,” said Rubinderjit Singh Brar, director, school education, Chandigarh.
Brar said the education department was working to fill most of these vacancies. “An entrance exam for 100 TGT and 300 JBT teachers will be conducted soon by the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research. Another 300 teachers will be roped in on deputation from Haryana and Punjab.”
The official said as classes were being conducted online due to the contagion, students’ education was not affected by the vacancies: “Many lectures were pre-recorded for students and teachers worked with students throughout the lockdown, taking their doubts and answering any queries they had.”
However, president of UT Cadre of Educational Employees Union, Swarn Singh Kamboj said vacant positions had increased teachers’ workload. “The department needs to recruit more teachers soon, even if on contractual basis,” he said.
NGO Yuvsatta’s coordinator Pramod Sharma added, “Students of government schools are already facing hardships in accessing the internet and using phones to study. The student-teacher ratio must be maintained. More teachers must be hired before schools reopen.”