With 10 meritorious schools in Punjab set to begin their new session next month, these prestigious institutions still have a shortage of nearly 175 teachers, including all 10 principals. The prescribed teacher-student ratio by Union HRD ministry is of 1:30 and as per this ratio nearly 270-275 teachers are required in these schools to teach over 8000 students in Class XI and XII. But as per the available information, every teacher is teaching 50 students in some of these schools.
Out total 175 vacant posts of teachers maximum vacancies are there in Sangrur district where there are 31 posts of teachers are vacant while Firozepur and Gurdaspur schools are at second and third place with 29 and 27 vacancies, respectively.
Apart from this there are 16 vacancies in Amritsar school, 17 in Bathinda, 14 each in Ludhiana and Mohali, 13 in Patiala, 5 and 9 in Jalandhar and Talwara schools, respectively.
Maximum vacancies are there in the science subjects including Physics, Chemistry and Biology as in these subjects posts of 83 teachers are vacant and the school has at least five to six vacancies in science subjects.
Apart from this, 18 and 13 posts are lying vacant in Math and English subjects, respectively.
An ex-principal of a Meritorious school said that the eligibility criteria of becoming principal for these schools is quite hard due to which the schools are not getting permanent principals and the officials from education department are being appointed as principals either on deputation from education department or additional charge is being given to the officials of the department.
There are 4200 seats in each Class XI and XII in these schools across the state and entrance test has already been conducted to admit the students.
When contacted, Punjab Education Minister O P Soni said that soon these posts will be filled as applications had been invited from the eligible candidates. He also assured that government will appoint permanent principals soon.