WHILE the Right to Education Act mandates that schools should have a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:30 at the primary level and 1:35 at the upper primary level, the ratio in several city schools is very high.
According to a survey conducted for the District Information System for Education (DISE) for the 2013-14 session, of the 192 schools in the city, both government and private, as many as 156 schools did not adhere to the teacher-pupil ratio prescribed in the Act.
DISE was developed by the Delhi-based National University for Education, Planning and Administration as a monitoring tool for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which is a flagship programme of the government. All district elementary education plans under SSA are based on the data generated through DISE annually.
The survey also found that many schools don’t have sufficient classrooms. Under the norms, there should be not more than 30 students in a classroom at the primary level and not more than 35 at the upper primary level, but as many as 112 schools in Chandigarh had more students in classrooms.
Besides, as many as 107 city schools did not fulfil the criteria of average number of teachers required under the RTE norms.
Officials admit that despite the UT Education Department opening new schools, the classrooms remain overcrowded and there is a shortage of teachers in most government schools.
By the next academic session, the city will have 10 more government schools, which is expected to address the problem of overcrowded classrooms. Besides, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has given approval for recruitment of over 1,300 teachers.
On certain other parameters, however, Chandigarh fares better. All 192 schools have drinking water available, all are approachable by roads, have boundary walls, electricity, and separate toilets for boys and girls.
But 10 schools do not have ramps for disabled students, nine do not have computer facilities for students and 12 do not have a playground.