535 Govt Teachers’ Posts Vacant in Guwahati
GUWAHATI: While the state government has been continually laying stress on improving the quality of education in government-run schools, around 20 per cent of the total sanctioned posts of government teachers are currently lying vacant in Kamrup (Metro) district.
Presently, there are 535 vacant posts of teachers in Kamrup (Metro) district, informed officials. Out of these, 375 posts are for secondary assistant teachers while the rest 160 vacancies are for elementary school teachers.
Shortage of teachers has always been one of the major reasons for the poor quality of education in government schools in Guwahati as well as in the entire state.
However, the state education department is now undertaking steps to bridge the gap. The authorities in the elementary education department informed that currently the process of recruitment of elementary as well as secondary teachers is ongoing.
“We had published advertisements for teacher recruitment for TET qualified teachers. Following this, we received online applications and began the selection process on the basis of marks obtained by the candidates and keeping in mind the reservation categories,” informed district elementary education officer, Buli Gogoi Bhuyan.
She added that in the initial stage of the recruitment process, a verification survey is conducted by the director of elementary education to verify the actual number of vacant posts. This survey has already been completed for Kamrup (Metro) district, she said.
Officials also informed that while they received adequate number of applications in other categories, they saw a shortage of applicants for Schedule Tribes (Plains) (STP) category against the number of vacant posts reserved for the category.
On the other hand, taking steps to ensure better quality of education in government schools, the education department has begun teachers’ training.
“The training is taking place at the block level, cluster level and district level. This is being conducted for teachers of all subjects,” Bhuyan told G Plus.
Further, taking another step to ensure better quality of education, the state education department has merged a total of 140 schools in Kamrup (Metro) district over the past few months since several schools witnessed low enrolment of students during the past year.
Apart from low enrolment, there were also many such schools across the state in which not even a single student took admission during the last academic year.
These schools with zero and low enrolment mostly included Assamese and Bengali medium schools in the city as well as the state, informed officials.
Other than the schools which have already been merged in Kamrup (Metro), education department officials are planning to further merge more schools together.
“We have received requests for around three more schools for merger from Guwahati and will complete the process soon,” said an official of the elementary education department.
No new schemes, initiatives since May 2018
Education department officials told G Plus that since the new education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya took charge in May 2018, there have been no new initiatives or rules that have been introduced.
Recently, Bhattacharya had revealed that one of the reasons behind vacant posts not being filled on time is that school officials do not inform the elementary education department in advance about the teachers who are set to retire.
This has given rise to more than 36,500 vacant posts of teachers in schools across Assam, informed the education minister in a written reply to a query by AGP MLA Atul Bora in the state assembly. He added that 17,293 of these vacant posts are of primary schools.
“Now we are asking the schools to inform us 180 days before a teacher retires, so that we can start the process and appoint a new teacher on time,” Bhattacharya said in the assembly.
Additionally, the school education department has planned to continue with its major programme – Guntosav - which is aimed at improving the overall quality of education in primary schools. Students between classes 2 to 8 of all primary schools of the district are assessed under the initiative.
During the previous rounds of the scheme, external evaluators consisting of the chief minister, other state ministers and officials visited and marked the schools. The overall assessment was based on academic achievements of students and co-curricular activities comprising the morning assembly, formation of student parliaments, use of library books by students, conduct of physical education classes, availability and utilisation of school infrastructure and other facilities, and participation of school management committees in school activities were a few criteria taken into consideration for the evaluation.
The district education officials said that this form of evaluation proved beneficial for them as they were now aware of the shortcomings and are already working towards actively improving them.
This apart, last year the government had also decided to conduct continuous medical assessment camps for differently-abled students in Guwahati.
The programme covered a total of 916 differently-abled students between the ages of 6 and 14 in the district.
Kamrup (Metro) district resource person for inclusive education, Suranjana Goswami said, “Teachers need to be made more aware about the learning needs of differently-abled children. For this, all teachers across the district were trained in Braille and also developed suitable study material for all students.”