200 KVs and 125 NVs have no Principals, also short of over 24 thousand staff

Out of the 1,064 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and 598 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) across the nation, around 200 Kendriya Vidyalayas and 125 Jawahar Navodaya are running without principals and 113 schools are also short of Vice Principals. Both schooling organisations come under CBSE.

A school without principal is similar to the temple without the idol of Gods or Goddesses to worship. Principals are the ray of hope and the idol in the life of the students. Further as per the reports submitted to Ministry of Human Resource & Development, there is also a shortage of 10,000 teachers across the KV’s. Amazed!! Eyes wide open. 10,039 teaching posts including TGTs, PGTs and PRTs are also vacant in Kendriya Vidyalayas besides 14,144 non-teaching posts.

Understanding the teacher shortage crisis

The shortage of teachers is a global reality. But the good fact is India is after Nigeria in terms of teacher recruitment required to meet the current demands of education. If we talk in absolute terms, India presently requires somewhere around 370 thousand teachers to meet the demand for primary education.

The Pupil-Teacher Ratio popularly known as PTR is defined as the average number of students per teacher in a school. It is calculated by dividing the total number of students enrolled in the school by the total number of teachers available in the school. The output is based on the teacher’s headcounts and does not have any relation with part time teaching or double shift teaching.

According to the Right To Education (RTE) Act, the ideal PTR required for the primary classes is about 30:1, for upper primary class it is 35:1. On the other hand as per the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the actual PTR in 2013-2014 was 28:1 for primary classes while for upper primary it was 30:1.

However, the need of the hour is certainly not the low PTR for there can be less number of students but on the other hand higher PTR is also definitely not a good sign. A moderately low PTR can mean fewer students or more teachers. And it’s towards the latter part, i.e., more teachers that India should strive towards.

Reasons and Antidotes

The government run schools are always eager to fill up the vacant seats by appointing teachers temporarily on an ‘ad hoc-basis.’ This increases the overall budget. This is so because as against paying INR 50000 per month to the permanent teachers the ad hoc teachers are paid a mere amount of INR 700. But the schools and the nation never realize that by doing this the quality of education suffers badly.

Another major reason for having such a low number of teachers in the country and the lack of enthusiasm for this profession is because of the emoluments offered to school teachers, be it in private or government schools.  There are some people who are really passionate about teaching, but they don’t want to avail the option of becoming a teacher in a school only because of the inadequate compensation being offered there. Hence, for luring fresh talent into the profession of teaching, the government will have to step up financially.

The shortage of teachers across the nation quantitatively is one issue and the shortage of qualified teachers is another. In some way or the other to quickly increase the number of teacher, somewhere the quality is being played with. A very important part compromising the recruitment of the teachers is the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET). Less that 20% of the total aspiring candidates clear this test and around 14 states have exempted the candidates to take the test. This in turn poses a threat to the quality education being offered.

This revelation comes against the backdrop of demands from aspiring teachers and education stakeholders for filling up vacant positions in various institutions including the prestigious IITs and central universities such as the DU.

This all is coming up when the Union Cabinet last month approved setting up of 50 new Kendriya Vidyalayas and creation of 650 regular posts to provide quality education to around 50,000 students.

Simply, the government or the schools cannot be blamed. Government every now and then takes initiatives to improve the education system of India. While some succeed, some succumb. The advent of technology has drastically altered the relationship between students and teachers.  Rekindle that bond which has played the vital role in nurturing some of the Great Minds of the World.

With inputs from Zee News.

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