Even as the Delhi government talks about creating a sports university in the city, the number of physical education teachers at Delhi government schools is woefully short. The Indian Express has learnt that of the 864 sanctioned posts of post graduate teacher (PGT), 636 are vacant. These teachers are supposed to teach students of senior secondary classes.
Of the 228 filled posts, 64 are permanent teachers, 114 guest teachers, and 50 serve as ‘banks’ and are deployed in different government departments. Among graduate teachers (TGTs), supposed to teach junior classes, 489 of 1,369 posts are vacant.
With 1,024 government schools in the city, and 1,108 teachers, there is just one physical education teacher in each school for students of Classes VI-XII.
“In most schools, there are more than 2,000 students. One teacher has to attend to all of them. So PT classes basically mean recreational classes where students can gain some fitness. We are unable to teach them about individual sports,” said a physical education teacher at a north Delhi school.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) document on teacher shortage mentions that 424 vacancies for TGT have been notified by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB), and 860 posts have been created by the Cabinet.
A senior DoE official admitted to a “backlog” with the DSSSB, and said they are working to fill the vacancies.
“For the new posts that have been created, the file is with the Lieutenant Governor. Once it is cleared, the recruitment will take place,” said the official.
Teachers said the government ought to be more proactive about PGT posts, since no promotions of physical education teachers have taken place for last nine years.
“PGTs are supposed to teach Classes XI and XII. Lots of students opt for physical education as a subject. It helps them score well in the boards. But in most schools, TGTs end up teaching them. The government says they are going to promote teachers. But if they do not hire new teachers, vacancies will remain the same,” said Ajay Veer Yadav, a physical education teacher at a school in Karol Bagh, who is also the general secretary of the Government School Teachers’ Association.