Over 5.5 lakh of the 33.08 lakh sanctioned posts of primary teachers in government schools are lying vacant, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar informed Rajya Sabha. In a written reply to a question on primary education, Javedkar told the House that 5.56 lakh or 16.82 per cent of the total sanctioned posts in schools across states and union territories were vacant as on March 31, 2016.
Replying to another question, he gave details as per which out of 16,823 sanctioned teaching posts : 2,386 professors, 4,747 associate professors, and 9,690 assistant professors in various central universities under University Grants Commission (UGC) were vacant. Among the vacancies as on June 30 are posts of 1,284 professors, 2,185 associate professors, and 2,514 assistant professors.
The HRD minister also said that out of 454 total teaching posts in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), 175 were vacant as on February 29.
Javadekar has decided to write to states requesting them to address as early as possible, the “serious issue” of the more than 5 lakh posts of primary teachers lying vacant in government schools across the country.
“There are more than one lakh schools today which are manned by only one teacher. The teacher vacancy is a serious issue. And we are requesting all states, because recruitment is done by state governments, that they should recruit as early as possible,” he said.
“Therefore, I am writing to Chief Ministers and we will have a conference of education ministers and this will be an important issue,” he said.
Officials of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry said that the ministry has taken serious note of the issue because it is a question of the quality of education in the country. Without proper infrastructure and manpower, raising the quality of education would only be a distant dream.
“The real long-term solutions can emerge only through proper coordination and focus,” one of the officials said. The officials said that the Ministry was also looking at the vacancies in the higher education sector as well.
The Ministry is also planning to increase the number of scholarships for differently-abled students, “Currently, around 2,500 scholarships are provided to differently-abled students. We are thinking about how this number can be increased and how differently-abled students can avail more benefit from these programmes,” Javadekar said.