Students In 1.1 Lakh Schools Across India Taught by Only One Teacher: UNESCO Report

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Students In 1.1 Lakh Schools Across India Taught by Only One Teacher: UNESCO Report

A report published by UNESCO called '2021 State of Education Report for India: No Teachers No Class', 19% of the 11.16 lakh teaching positions go vacant, out of which 69% are based in the rural parts of the country.

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There are nearly 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in the country, out of which 89 per cent are in rural areas, as per the UNESCO report released on Tuesday. The report projects that India needs 11.16 lakh additional teachers to meet the current shortfall.

A team spearheaded by Prof. Padma M Sarangapani from Mumbai's Tata Institute of Social Sciences collaborated with UNESCO to make this report. All the data to support this case was accumulated by analysing Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE). A staggering 19% of the 11.16 lakh teaching positions are vacant at the moment.

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

As stated by The Indian Express, the report calculated the PLFS from 2018-2019 that showed schools in several states being run by a single teacher. While Arunachal Pradesh is at 18.22%, Goa and Telangana are at 16.08% and 15.71% respectively. Other states with single-teacher schools in rural areas include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

According to the Right To Education Act (RTE), the Pupil-Teacher ratio should be 30:1 in classes 1 to 5 and 35:1 in classes 5 and above. To overcome this grave problem, around 11.56 lakh teaching vacancies have to be filled, out of which 69% are in rural areas. States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar top the list of teacher requirements as their number is over 1 lakh.

'Balanced' Gender Ratio

According to the report, gender disparity in the teaching profession is the least of our concerns as the ratio is balanced with women accounting for 50% of the total number. What is alarming is the urban-rural divide where there are more women teaching in schools situated in towns and cities rather than in the villages. As of now, Chandigarh tops the list with 82% with Goa (80%), Kerala (78%) and Delhi (74%) in tow. Tripura has the least amount of women teachers (32%), followed by Rajasthan, Assam and Jharkhand at 39%.

Urban-Rural Disparity And Contractual Woes

It is a known fact that education in India is in a sorry state. The lack of resources is evident with the difference seen in schools around the country. The teachers' salary is one such instance. The PLFS data states that private school teachers, both primary and secondary, earn ₹13,564, whereas those in the rural areas earn lesser than them at ₹ 11,584. For women, it gets worse as those in rural private schools earn a meagre ₹ 8212 per month.

The proportion of teachers working without a contract is devastatingly high at 69%. However, government schools data shows some promise as only 28% of the primary and secondary teachers are not on a contractual basis. Indeed, there is a long way to go when it comes to solving the ongoing crisis in the educational sector.

Also Read: Maharashtra: 'My Students, My Responsibility' Programme Launched For Continous Learning


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Writer : Akanksha Saxena
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Editor : Ankita Singh
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Creatives : Akanksha Saxena

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