Teacher-­pupil ratio worsens in Maharashtra: 1 teacher for 27 students | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Teacher-­pupil ratio worsens in Maharashtra: 1 teacher for 27 students

Academics blame government’s recruitment freeze in colleges; ratio was 1:24 in 2015­-16

mumbai Updated: Jan 09, 2018 10:00 IST
Musab Qazi
(Picture for representation)

The number of college teachers in Maharashtra dropped by around 15,000 in the past one year, even as the student enrolment increased marginally, reveals the central government’s All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2016-17.

The state now has one teacher for every 27 students as opposed to 24 students per teacher in 2015-16. The national pupilteacher ratio (PTR) also increased from 23 to 26 in the past one year, shows the survey.

The data compiled by the survey shows that in 2015-16, the state had 1.66 lakh teachers at various positions such as professor, assistant professor, associate professor, tutor and temporary teacher.

In 2016-17, it dipped to 1.51 lakh teachers — a 9% reduction. During this period, the enrolment in various higher education courses increased from 39.87 lakh to 40.6 lakh.

The state PTR has been gradually worsening since 2012-13, when there was one teacher for every 21 students. However, this is the first time in the past five years that the number of teachers, which was on an upward trajectory, has gone down.

The trend is similar on the national level. Between 2012-13 and 2015-16, the number of teachers kept increasing from 13.09 lakh to 15.19 lakh, but dipped to 13.66 lakh in 2016-17.

According to academicians, the stagnant allocation for education by the central and the state governments is responsible for the dip in the number of teachers.

“The grants allotted to colleges have been reduced. Many schemes run by University Grants Commission (UGC) have been stopped. The government wants quality, but won’t allocate money for it,” said Rohni Sivabalan, president, Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU).

The academicians blamed the state government’s freeze on recruitment of teachers for the worsening of the pupil-teacher ratio, as the colleges and universities are unable to make fresh appointments in the place of retired teachers.

In an effort to bring financial stability to the state by curbing the expenditure on the government employees, the state in 2015 put a freeze on creating new posts and filling existing posts. Another government resolution, issued in May last year, announced that the freeze will continue for respective departments until they take a stock of their existing posts and finalise a new administrative framework for the department.

According to Madhavi Pethe, a retired college principal, most colleges have very few approved teachers. “We have to compensate by appointing teachers on a contractual basis,” she said.

Sivabalan said that lack of regular teachers takes a toll on quality of education. “The teachers who are appointed temporarily don’t have requisite qualification to teach. As a result, students suffer,” she said.