The Gujarat state government is gearing up to recruit part-time teachers for primary and secondary schools. This decision comes after a recent approval for visiting faculty in government and grant-in-aid schools as an alternative to appointing regular teachers.
Part-time teachers will be recruited for computer science, physical education, music and arts subjects. The appointments would be conducted immediately for the second semester from September, once the proposal gets formal approval from the Chief Minister.
Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, “After consultation and final approval from CM Anandiben Patel, the decision will be implemented. It is for the benefit of students who should have a knowledge of physical education, computer science, music and arts.”
Figures show that there are 34,000 government primary schools in the state, while there are only about 7,000 regular physical education teachers. Thus, there is a shortfall of nearly 27,000 teachers for physical education alone. Similarly, there is a shortfall in the number of computer science teachers too. Surprisingly, no appointments in these subjects have been made for more than a decade.
“The justification for no appointments made by the education department has been the Right to Education Act that does not permit physical education teachers. However, the truth is that the RTE Act says that in upper primary schools (Class VI to VIII) with more than 100 students, there should be one art education and physical education teacher. While there is no mention of computer science and music teachers,” revealed a senior education department official.
Also, while the RTE Act talks about upper primary schools only, the education department is keen on bringing in all primary and secondary schools.
Prior to the notification of the RTE Act, the appointments were made in such a manner that 10 per cent seats were reserved for these subjects. Five per cent vacancies were reserved for physical education teachers and remaining 3 and 2 per cent for art and music, respectively.
The functionality that is being worked out for part-time teachers is one teacher against five schools.
Though the salary structure is yet to be materialised, sources reveal it would not be more than the salary of a vidyasahayak who draws nearly Rs 7,400 monthly.