Srinagar, Feb 9: The government schools across Jammu and Kashmir are grappling with a dearth of subject teachers, leaving the students at the receiving end.
The move has been viewed seriously by the Department of the School Education and Literacy (DSEL), Ministry of Education (MoE), as the schools with a dearth of subject teachers at the upper primary level and secondary level are not fulfilling the norms set under Right to Education (RTE) Act.
As per the official figures assessed by Greater Kashmir, only 22.8 percent of upper primary sections of government schools have subject teachers while around 77.2 percent of schools are grappling with subject-specific teachers.
An official said that the problem was persistent in schools owing to the lack of infrastructure wherein students from more than one or two classes are accommodated in a single room.
“In these circumstances, only one teacher takes a class of the students of these combined classes in one room,” the official said.
Over the years, national surveys and other government reports have pointed out the lack of infrastructure in schools, particularly at the primary and the upper primary level, raising concern over the quality of education imparted in these schools.
While the schools at the upper primary level are grappling with a scarcity of subject teachers, official figures have revealed 8984 surplus teachers at the elementary-level schools in J&K.
The situation at the secondary school level is no different as the official figures have revealed that 53.5 percent of the schools at the secondary level have teachers available for all core subjects.
“Only 46.5 percent of the secondary schools have teachers for all core subjects,” the official document reads.
The dearth of subject teachers in schools prevails despite the government's efforts to reshuffle the teaching staff annually and address the problems of teacher deficiency in schools.
The School Education Department (SED) orders transfers of teachers through the Annual Transfer Drive (ATD) wherein the teaching community is reshuffled to address the concerns of the non-availability of staff in schools.
Besides this, the SED has also authorised the teachers to rationalise the teaching staff in schools on a need basis and utilise the services of surplus staff in teacher-deficient schools.
Not only this, but the official documents have revealed that around 10,631 schools are without a playground within the vicinity of the schools, depriving the students of participating in sports activities.
Also, 14,706 schools are without a library while 12,917 schools are without ramps, raising questions over facilitating the education for children with special needs.
Administrative Secretary SED, Piyush Singla said he was not in a position to comment on the issue.
“You can share the document with me which you are quoting. I need to check the source and will respond accordingly,” Singla said.