Shortage of Teachers in Government Schools in Delhi despite Vacancies

An adequate student-teacher ratio is the cornerstone of quality teaching-learning process and without the appointment of a sufficient number of teachers in place education is bound to suffer. Will the insufficient recruitment of teachers be immediately addressed or will our government schools continue to suffer?

Kavya Thomas The New Leam

The student-teacher ratio is central to the question of improved educational practices. /Credit : Hindustan Times

The Delhi Government schools are faced with an important crisis that needed urgent attention. There seems to be a shortage of 27,000 regular teachers in Delhi’s government schools. This is reported within a context where the hiring of guest teachers has been purposefully put on hold by the Delhi High Court.

The lack of teachers hampers the day to day functioning of the schools across the state and this means that the quality of education being imparted in these schools also has to suffer. Having initiated many structural reforms within the state’s educational system the AAP government has decided to hire retired teachers for  a three month tenure to fill in for the scarcity of enough teachers. Hiring of teachers in Delhi government schools has been a long-standing issue, with experts saying the shortfall impacts studies. “As a short-term measure, we are hiring retired teachers for two-three months. They will be paid on a per lecture basis. Candidates can be within the age of 60-70 years,” Atishi Marlena, adviser to Education Minister Manish Sisodia, said.

After being asked about this ongoing crisis the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education told the High Court that there had been a shortage of more than 27,000 regular teachers at government schools. It was also reported that initially there were 64,263 regular posts sanctioned for teachers out of which only 38,926 have been filled as on April 1. “Though the recruitment was done, an equal number of teachers have retired. We depended on guest teachers to fill in. But with their recruitment process on hold, we are looking at a crisis,” Ajay Veer Yadav, general secretary of the Government School Teachers’ Association, said. Before coming to power in 2015, AAP had ensured that it would regularize services of 17,000 guest teachers. While it could not have directly regularized them, the government had decided to give them weightage during the examination.

In August, the DSSSB had issued a notice inviting applications for 8,914 teaching posts in Delhi government schools, and for 5,906 teaching posts in MCD schools. This advertisement was quickly withdrawn after a letter from Sisodia was issued to L-G Anil Baijal, asking him to put the process on hold as the exam did not give weightage to guest teachers already teaching in schools. Both Baijal and his predecessor Najeeb Jung have raised issues with the clause, and the file has been stuck in the government since the month of October. Since that time a new bill for the regularization of guest and 2,000 contract teachers has also been issued. But Baijal, in a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, said the bill is not in accordance with the constitutional scheme of governance.

The government went ahead and passed the bill, and the file is now with the L-G. It is amusing to learn that the need for teachers is such a pressing demand in our education system and is a problem that has very deep rooted repercussions on the quality of education being departed and yet this important crisis is not being looked at and worked up with sincerity. In a clash of interests between officials the real victims are the students who study in these schools and the quality of education will most directly impact their careers. Even though the AAP issued various interesting and thought provoking measures to innovative school education in government schools this lack of teachers and improper filling of seats cannot be overlooked. The authorities must take immediate measures to look into the matter now. This would give both young educated men and women interested in the vocation of teaching a secure job and also enable students to have a fruitful learning experience with adequate teacher support. Are our authrities paying any heed?

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