Gujarat: 'Over 1,600 State Primary Schools Operate With Only 1 Teacher,' Admits Education Minister Kuber Dindor

Gujarat: 'Over 1,600 State Primary Schools Operate With Only 1 Teacher,' Admits Education Minister Kuber Dindor

According to the government's recruitment calendar, there is a shortfall of 19,650 primary teachers in Gujarat.

FPJ SURATUpdated: Monday, February 12, 2024, 06:51 PM IST
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Gujarat Education Minister Kuber Dindor |

In a startling revelation during the ongoing budget session of the Gujarat state assembly, Education Minister Kuber Dindor disclosed that over 1,600 government primary schools in the state are operating with just one teacher. This admission has raised serious concerns about the quality of education and the welfare of students in these schools.

During the budget session of the Gujarat state assembly, the Congress MLA from Khedbrahma, Tushar Chaudhari, raised a pertinent question regarding the status of government primary schools with only one teacher. In response, Education Minister Kuber Dindor admitted that as of December 31, 2023, there were a staggering 1,606 such schools across the state.

Further exacerbating the situation, Dindor revealed that there is a severe shortage of teachers in government primary schools, totaling 19,700 vacancies. According to the government's recruitment calendar, there is a shortfall of 19,650 primary teachers in Gujarat.

The gravity of the issue becomes apparent when considering the percentage of schools affected. Minister Dindor disclosed that 5.22% of all primary schools in the state operate with only one teacher. Particularly concerning is the situation in districts like Chhota Udaipur, Devbhumi Dwarka, and Bharuch, where a significant number of schools rely on a solitary teacher to educate the students.

During the discussion, Congress legislator Shailesh Parmar highlighted a stark contrast in the numbers provided by the government. In March 2022, the government reported fewer than 700 schools with only one teacher, indicating a substantial increase within just two years.

Minister Dindor attributed some of the increase to schools with low student enrollment, citing compliance with the guidelines of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. He outlined various enrollment brackets, ranging from five to 60 students, where recruitment decisions were made based on student numbers.

The education minister affirmed Parmar's information and admitted to having 700 schools in 2022. "When you talk about schools having only one teacher, one should also consider that there are some schools where the number of children itself is few. So following the guidelines of the RTE Act, we have recruited a few teachers there. There are 20 schools where only five students are studying, 86 schools where only 5 to 10 students are studying 316 schools where 11 to 20 students are studying, 419 schools where only 21 to 30 students are studying and there are 694 primary schools where the number of students range from 31 to 60," said Dindor.

Moreover, Dindor acknowledged the challenges posed by teacher transfers and vacancies resulting from teachers' personal preferences. However, he assured prompt action to address these vacancies and mitigate the impact on affected schools.

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