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At 3 lakh, UP faces largest teacher shortage in India

Budget Private Schools

6 May, 2013

Isha Jain

The Economics Times

LUCKNOW: The  Uttar Pradesh government has made English a compulsory subject from Class I onwards, but it has failed to ensure adequate number of trained English teachers in its schools.

According to  Ashok Ganguly, former chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education, only 2-2.5% teachers (primary and secondary) across the state can teach or communicate in English.

The state is already grappling with an acute shortage of teachers, leading to a situation where a science teacher is teaching Hindi and a mathematics teacher is taking social science classes, said Ganguly.

Ganguly said there was an urgent need for UP to get a good cadre of educators who could impart training to primary and secondary teachers. “Classroom teaching needs to be overhauled,” he said. “In district after district, there are hardly teachers who know their subject. None of them can’t teach anything to the children.”

Figures released recently by the Union ministry of human resource development reveal that UP needed three lakh teachers in schools — the maximum in the country. Other states facing a severe shortage of teachers include Bihar (2.60 lakh) and  West Bengal (one lakh).

According to figures put out by the district information system of education, there are about 20% (8.6 lakh) untrained teachers in the country.

UP alone has 1.43 lakh teachers who have not been appointed as per the norms of the National Council for Teachers’ Education ( NCTE), the apex body for matters pertaining to teacher education, training and research.

Criticizing the state for not implementing the 25% quota for children from economically weaker sections in private schools, Ganguly said the schools complained of a funds shortage, although this should be a secondary concern.

“The prime focus must be on education for all,” he said. “There should be a transparent, hassle-free system for reimbursement of fees to the schools.”

A former CBSE chief said that only 2-2.5% of primary and secondary school teachers in Uttar Pradesh can speak English.



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