India

There are schools but no teachers

Vacancies of only one teacher and 11 lakh teachers in one lakh schools should be considered shameful not only in the country but also at the international level.

Vacancies of only one teacher and 11 lakh teachers in one lakh schools should be considered shameful not only in the country but also at the international level. India is not so resource-less country today that it cannot make proper arrangements for education for the children.

UNESCO has once again expressed concern about the state of education in India and the shortage of teachers. This shortage has been going on for so many years that whenever such surveys or analysis comes before the country, nothing new appears in it. When the dynamism of any system becomes loose, then even its biggest shortcomings and weaknesses are generalized and accepted unwritten as an unattainable goal. Education is in the Concurrent List of the Constitution. The responsibility of appointment of teachers in schools and state universities and colleges rests with the state governments. The central government or the central regulatory bodies set up by it can give only necessary guidelines, but their implementation is the right of the state in the federal system, the center cannot interfere in it.

The amount of education that has been spread in the country after independence should be considered as a great achievement achieved in difficult circumstances. There is no class today that does not want to send their children to a good school! But unfortunately the system has failed to support him. The biggest consequence of the insensitivity of the system is the declining credibility of government schools. This is a major impediment in the growth of intellectual property of the country. In the twenty-first century, no civilized and alert country can progress by depriving more than fifty percent of its children of opportunities for personality development.

In schools where the student-teacher ratio is not appropriate, children get only certificates and are deprived of the necessary knowledge, skills and personality development. Vacancies of only one teacher and 11 lakh teachers in one lakh schools should be considered shameful not only in the country but also at the international level. India is not so resource-less country today that it cannot make proper arrangements for education for the children.
The roots of the problem of shortage of teachers are very deep. Who and how much is responsible for this, it is not a hidden fact. The Allahabad High Court, in an order on August 19, 2015, had asked the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to prepare a plan in the next six months on how the children of every person drawing salary from the exchequer would study only in government schools! Everyone knew that this would not happen, because the elite and government system would not allow this to happen in unison! And the same happened. This section is solely responsible for the present condition of government schools, lack of credit and mistrust of the common man. When there are private schools available for the children of the elite class and there are provisions for education and allowances to teach there, then why this class will care about the government schools!

It will be in the interest of everyone and the country to accept this truth at the time of implementation of the New Education Policy-2020. The new education policy assures that every child will get education in a school with basic facilities, full-time, regular and trained teachers with appropriate student-teacher ratio. The fact is that for the last four decades, many states have made it a practice to appoint part-time-regular teachers with different designations in place of regular full-time teachers on a small honorarium. Due to this, regular posts became vacant with the retirement of regular teachers. The bureaucracy liked this system very much. Such deadly situations arise when a country leaves the decision on an important and sensitive subject like education to the bureaucrats only. Gradually the academic and academic leadership in the country was replaced by civil service officers occupying top positions in institutions like school boards, textbook boards, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). It is very important to know why this happened. Will the civil service of India accept the responsibility that the discrepancies that have arisen in the appointment of teachers today, are solely responsible for it?

Many problems regarding the appointment, posting and training of teachers have been attracting attention from time to time. While implementing the National Education Policy made in 1986, it was decided that there will be no school in the country which does not have at least two teachers. Under the project named ‘Operation Blackboard’, the central government sought data from all the state governments and on the basis of it, provided funds to about five and a half lakh primary schools for the appointment of one lakh thirty four thousand teachers along with building construction, teaching materials etc. The money was from the center, but all the work had to be done by the state governments, including the appointment of teachers, the construction of rooms in schools, the purchase of educational materials. But after a few years most of the states were forced to set up inquiry committees and all the projects went away from the targets. For example, during a discussion in a training program for teachers in Tikamgarh block of Madhya Pradesh, when it was tried to find out how positive impact the appointment of ‘Second Teacher’ had in rural schools, it was found that such teachers were appointed in the cities only. That is, there were two teachers in two hundred and eight schools on paper, but in reality they were not where they were needed! His salary was shown to be from a school he had probably never attended.

Today, communication technology has brought about many significant improvements in supervision. Now everything that was difficult to know and improve has become possible. But even today the proper running of a school depends on the degree of honesty, devotion and dedication of the officials. If public representatives give priority to education in their area, then the presence of trained and regular teachers can be ensured in every school. The entire generation is affected by the shortage of teachers at every level, but the most affected are the families and their children standing in the ‘last row’ as pointed out by Gandhiji. This is a fact that should come up for discussion and should be debated in the Legislative Assemblies and Parliament above party politics. It is this deficiency that delays social reform and stifles the pace of efforts to promote social harmony. This violates the constitutional assurance of providing equal opportunities, which indicates that we are not giving the freedom fighters and the framers of the Constitution the respect they deserve.

It was the dream of the mystics who dreamed of rebuilding India, that the light of education would bring a golden dawn to India and there is no other option than to provide every Indian with a proper opportunity for that. The most vivid proof of this is the provision contained in the Constitution in which it was expected from the state i.e. the government that it would be its responsibility to provide free and compulsory education for every child up to the age of fourteen years. If governments had fulfilled this responsibility, implemented uniform school system, brought uniformity in schools and did not promote commercialization in education, then today the credibility of government schools would be at a much higher level.

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Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is a young entrepreneur who hails from Uttarakhand. Shivam is a professional full time Digital Marketing and PR expert with a post graduation degree of Master's of Computer Applications. He is a founder of Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Branding Panther and Digital Leader.

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