Did you know that 6,404 schools out of the 7.6 lakh primary schools in India do not have a teacher at all ?
It just does’t stop there. According to the District Information System for Education (DISE) of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, the academic year 2014-15 saw 41.55% of the 7.6 lakh primary only schools in the country staffed by only two teachers.11.62% had only one teacher and 0.84% (6,404) did not have any teacher at all.
And of the total 12.6 lakh schools in India, including those with primary, senior secondary and higher secondary sections, 28.68% have only two teachers, 8.84% have only one and 0.91% (11,249) have no teacher at all.
Elementary education, the ‘stepping stone’ to a threshold of possibilities that a young mind is gently guided to, in our case, is sadly denied to a majority – the numbers don’t lie. Just for comparison, if we were to take the India’s most populous and backward states — UP and Bihar – the numbers that were shared by the hon.Minister way back in December 2014 were frightening – UP is short of 2.52 lakh teachers at the primary level with Bihar at a close 1.14 lakh !
So, what is the way forward?
We would say over and above streamlining the existing processes and tuning it up to maximum efficiency, legitimate partnerships in the Public-Private domain which makes skilled talent avialable is the need of the hour. With regard to lower primary teachers, it would be these partnerships, along with initiatives that augment the existing resource machinery that will effectively address the acute shortage of school teachers in India on a fundamental basis.