Friday, December 03, 2021

Regional

Himachal records increase in number of single-teacher schools

Yadavindra S Rana | September 30, 2021 06:33 PM

CHANDIGARH:On one hand Himachal Pradesh is poised for the top slot in literacy in the
country, on the other hand it is witnessing an increase in the number of single-teacher
schools. Situation becomes more precarious with single-classroom schools. On the other,
Punjab and Haryana its neighbouring states have recorded decrease in the number of single-
teacher schools.
According to Unified District Information System for Education-2020-21, there are
6, 479 primary and 378 middle schols running with just two teachers. It presents a sorry state
of school education in the government schools in the state. A report revealed that as many as
2507 primary and middle schools have single teacher, 6479 primary and 378 middle schools
have just functioned with two teachers respectively. While 1573 primary and 746 middle
schools are being run by three teachers each, states the report.
The report has also painted a grim picture of school education infrastructure. It states
that a total of 722 schools in the state have one classroom, 3056 have two classrooms and
5177 have three classrooms respectively.
As per official records, the state has 15, 323 government schools with 67, 249 teachers
comprising 40, 758 male teachers and 26, 491 female teachers while in 2019, the state has
15, 398 government schools and 69, 268 teachers.
The state has witnessed decline in student-teacher ratio from 15.3 to 12.83 at primary
level but it recorded increase student-teacher ratio from 8.5 to 11.32 at middle level, from 7.5
to 11.60 at secondary level and from 9.5 to 10.96 at senior secondary leve, in turn points to
shortage of teachers.
Another disturbing issue is that 47 per cent colleges has no principals, states the
report and adds irrational deployment of staff and opening of new schools without provision
of sufficient staff. .
It is also reported by the department of higher education that highest number of 9215
students shifted to government schools from private schools because of COVID 19 that hit
the economic condition of the people. In Kangra district followed by Una (4027), Hamirpur
(3446), Shimla (2901), Mandi (2195), Solan (1866), Bilaspur (1818), Kullu (1803), Chamba
(1475), Sirmaur (591) and Kinnaur (127).
While talking to a retire principal he said that the state was facing a severe teacher
crunch while the starting salaries in corporate houses grads going through the roof, the
teacher was more often being paid between Rs 10, 000 and Rs 18, 000. “Contractualization of
education is leading to more than just a little heartburn, ” he says. The jumber of contractual
teachers in elementary schools across the country over five lakh. The single-teacher schools
across the country remained high, making up nearly 10 per cent of all elementary level
schools.

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