In data reflective of the status of government school education, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, in response to an RTI query, has revealed that there are one million teaching posts that are lying vacant in government elementary schools (Classes I to VIII) across the country. In the region, Haryana is the worst performer with 23.5 per cent posts vacant, followed by Punjab and Chandigarh at 10.1 per cent each, and Himachal Pradesh at 4.4 per cent. While Jammu & Kashmir has 7 per cent vacancies, Rajasthan has 11.7 per cent.
Haryana also figures among the top five states all across that country where maximum teaching posts are vacant in elementary schools. The chart has Uttar Pradesh on the top with 43.9 per cent posts for teachers lying vacant in government elementary schools. In the list, Uttar Pradesh is followed by Jharkhand, Bihar, Daman & Diu, and Haryana.
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Goa, Odisha, and Sikkim are the best states where not a single posts of teachers have been lying vacant against the total sanctioned posts of teachers. Nagaland and Mizoram too have less than two per cent vacancies.
This information has been revealed by the Department of the School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), in a reply to an RTI application applied by the Hoshiarpur-based social activist Jai Gopal Dhiman.
According to the available information on status of the teachers — sanctioned, working and vacancies 2018-19, total 10, 22,195 posts (20 per cent of the total sanctioned) of elementary teachers have been lying vacant. There are total 51,62,569 sanctioned posts out of which 41,40,374 have been filled.
Uttar Pradesh has total of 8,79,691 sanctioned posts of teachers in government elementary schools out of which 4,94,114 are filled and 3,85,577 (43.9 per cent) posts are lying vacant. Jharkhand and Daman and Diu are at the second and third position with 41.7 per cent and 36 per cent vacancies for teachers, respectively. In Bihar, there are 34.5 per cent posts (2,03,934 posts) which have to filled against 5,92,541 sanctioned. Haryana has 50,074 posts filled against 65,446 sanctioned. There are 23.5 per cent posts vacant in the state.
In Punjab, 10.1 per cent of the sanctioned teaching posts are vacant in elementary schools. There are 75,805 sanctioned posts out of which 68,218 are filled and 7,587 posts are vacant in the state, the RTI information revealed.
Data also revealed that out of total 28 states and eight Union Territories (UTs), there are only a dozen states and UTs that have less than 10 per cent vacancies.
Dhiman, who has also formed his own political outfit, the Labour Party, said: “This data shows that how our governments at the state and central level are not serious about their responsibility towards the poor and downtrodden of the country while they (political leaders) make big statements to improve the lives of the poor during their political campaigns at the time of the elections.” He added that the data shows the failure to ensure realisation of the goals enshrined in the Right to Education, claiming that the governments were flouting the RTE Act by not filling these posts. Dhiman had filed the RTI in November 2019.
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