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Few teachers, lesser data Addressing the issue of teacher

shortage is about tough political choices at many levels





How many teachers do we need in India? And how many do we
have currently? Most sources, which could have authoritative
information on these numbers, candidly admit that the available
data is not very good. The data from District Information
System for Education (DISE) is our best bet for any such
country-wide analysis. The website itself points out that because
of methodological issues the data may not be very accurate, but
this is the best we have. Certain kinds of data are likelier to be
more accurate in DISE. For example, the number of teachers is
probably quite accurate, whereas the number of toilets with
water is likely to be less accurate; not only because of the
definitional difference of with water, but also because of what
may be seen as the correct response by the respondents, that
is, the teachers. Be that as it may, lets go by the DISE data of
2013-14; it is enough to give us an approximate but good
enough picture of the situation on the ground. India has over 7.7
million teachers across 1.5 million schools, which have about
210 million students. The most specific norm that determines
how many teachers are required is stated in the form of Pupil
Teacher Ratio (PTR) in the Right to Education Act. The target
for this number is 30:1, that is, 1 teacher for 30 students (and
slightly higher under certain conditions). At a gross level, we
have enough numbers to meet this norm. But as all of us know
arithmetic averages hide more than they reveal; the DISE reports
also point this out. The variance in PTR is very significant
across states. There is substantial shortage of teachers in most of
the eastern and north-eastern states, and in Uttar Pradesh. This
shortfall is estimated to be about 1.2 million teachers. While
Jharkhand and West Bengal are short by nearly 100,000 teachers
each, in the case of Bihar and UP the shortage is more than
300,000. To get a better sense of this issue, we have to go a few
levels deeper. For that DISE (or other available data) becomes a
rougher guide, and can only be used to broadly validate what we
see on the ground. Lets look at a two more geographic slices on
this matter. Even in the states that seemingly have no shortage at
the gross level, there are significant shortages when looked at
closely. There are significant regional differences within states.
For example, northeast Karnataka has fewer teachers than
required, while south Karnataka may have more than the norm.
Most states have regions of this nature. For example,
southwestern Rajasthan, southwestern Madhya Pradesh,
northeastern Maharashtra, where there are significant teacher
shortages. The other relevant (and obvious) teacher shortage
areas are those that are difficult to get to. This is not only
about schools in sand dunes or up in the mountains, but also
places that only need some effort to get to, like rural areas some
distance from a city. Here is an example: schools in Chennai
have estimated PTR of 15:1 and in the periphery of Chennai that
of 28:1; given the size and nature of Chennai, one would have
imagined that there is no such divide, but the reality is different.
In brief: the disadvantaged (in absolute and relative terms) parts
of the country continue to face significant teacher shortages.
Grades 1 to 8 are relatively better off; for grades 9-12 teacher
availability drops sharply. Lets now look at the situation in
different subjects. There is an acute scarcity of teachers in math,
physics, biology and geography, especially in the higher grades.
There is no accurate data available for this, but the estimate of
this shortfall is in the range of 50-70%. Also, there is hardly any
recruitment happening in these subjects. sports, art and music
which are part of the curriculum have hardly any teachers. In
even worse condition is the number of Special Education
Teachers; there are perhaps a few hundred available for the 3
million children with disabilities who are enrolled in our
schools. These various dimensions of teacher shortage have a
multiplicative regressive impact. For example, least number of
math teachers will be in rural areas of the disadvantaged regions
of some particular states. For now lets leave aside some very
important and complex issues that impact the requirement of
teachers, after just listing a few. A very large percentage of
teachers handle multiple grades at the same time, which is
clearly not desirable. The requirement arising from our
curricular goals probably requires better PTR than 30:1.
Significant numbers of teachers in many states are contract
teachers, with inadequate preparation as a teacher. Addressing
the issue of teacher shortage is about tough political choices at
many levels, it would require significant financial commitment
for additional numbers and the willingness to transfer existing
teachers where they are required. It will also require creating
significantly more capacity of high quality teacher education
programs, completely revamping existing teacher education
institutions and substantial improvements in overall higher
education.



Technique:
For fulfilling the teachers requirement, we can suggest govt to take teachers in bulk. Like take
Pera-teachers in low cost, then govt will apply scheme that a pera-teacher
must study further, only by this their salary will increase as per degree+ and for sustaining the
same post he/she must complete some minimum requirements within 3 to 5 years.
In Parallel govt should give about 3 months(2+1) leave for study and provide a setup of fast track
course completion in 2+1 months in block-wise/district-wise with free hostel+food for pera-
teachers so that they will only focus on study.

e.g In 2-months leave of summer vacation he/she will attend classes (with 90% attendance) and
LECTURER must complete 70% course in fast track(a head-tracker will be monitoring state-
wise as per study plan) and till winter vacations, pera-teachers should prepare for small test as a
beginning of winter break and after that test remaining course(30%) should complete in 1 month
then in april(x) Final exam will be conducted.

This is a suggestion from me but who so called THINK-TANKS can think on above suggestion
and re-modify it so that it can be applicable easily in govt or can also use in private
organisations.


And this technique will effect some area like increase in number of teachers from 9 to 12. But for
sport,art and music only wake-up-seminar for govt officials can be placed, like MAGICAL-
MARYCOM. And for within state uneven distribution of teachers can be minimize by publishing
the comparision of teachers data in newspappers.