In Tamil Nadu, out of 59,152 schools, 2,631 schools were running with only one teacher. Since almost 87 per cent of these one-teacher schools are in rural areas, the academicians seem to be worried even though the number comprises only 4 per cent of the total schools in the state. The report, released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was titled, 'No Teacher, No Class: State of Education Report for India-2021'.
The report also pointed out that the one teacher situation in government schools violates the Right to Education Act, which mandates the pupil to teacher ratio to not be above 30:1 for primary grades and 35:1 for upper primary grades of 6 to 8. The New Indian Express quoted Prince Gajendra Babu, the General Secretary of Platform for Common School System, "If these figures are true, then it's alarming as the State government has been claiming there are no single-teacher schools in the State".
24% Schools Had Internet Facility
The news daily also quoted the Convenor of Tamil Nadu Child Rights Watch, Andrew Sesuraj saying that one could imagine the quality of education being imparted in one-teacher schools. He further questioned the feasibility of one teacher managing all the classes and administrative tasks. The report also mentioned that only 24 per cent of the schools had accessibility of internet facilities and only one per cent had Information and Communication (ICT) laboratories available.
A Grave Concern: Under-Qualified Teachers
In Tamil Nadu, only 61 per cent of schools had libraries, whereas, in the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Telangana, nearly 88 per cent of the schools had functional libraries. In the most shocking revelation, a significant share of teachers in the pre-primary, primary and upper-primary levels neither have a graduate or post-graduate degree nor a professional degree like the Bachelors of Education.