Right to Education is creating its own problems. As the Govt’s sustained campaign to enhance attendance in schools is bringing over 90% of children to schools, predictably it is also creating infrastructural problems. At primary level currently there are 5.23 lakh of vacancies. This would almost double, i.e. another 5.1 lakh vacancies, if the Govt decides to implement the RTE norm of 30 students per teacher.
Not only this the standard of teachers currently employed are not as per norms set out. Presently 7.74 lakh teachers do not have necessary qualification or training. In fact present criteria for qualification for primary teachers is having passed Teachers’ Eligibility Test. To be eligible to sit for this examination, one needs to have passed XIIth examination and undertaken a 2 year diploma in Teachers’ education, however most states are finding it extremely difficult to get teachers with such qualifications. In fact WB Govt appoints teachers with Xth pass (Refer earlier blog post on SRRF Dialogue http://blog.srr-foundation.org/?p=424 ).
The problem is not limited to primary level, at secondary level, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan requires 1.79 lakh new teachers for English, Mathematics and science. The problem is getting further accentuated since the institutes providing Teachers’ Training has capacities of less than 30,000 per annum.
The issue is not just limited to shortage of teachers, there are constraints of space, several states are allowing schools to add floors to present buildings of schools. Refer earlier post on SRRF Dialogue on this subject http://blog.srr-foundation.org/?p=501 .
Let us all recognize that Govts (both at central level as well as at state levels), education authorities, school administrations are all facing huge challenges in complying with RTE, let all of us work together to ensure that future generations of India are not only literate but well educated.