J-K’s Udhampur grapples with a shortage of teachers

Udhampur: Government schools here are grappling with a severe problem of shortage of teachers, with schools in rural areas bearing the maximum brunt of the staff crunch.

Official data showed that 543 out of 2,246 teaching posts including 274 posts of lecturers, 272 posts of masters, 543 posts of teachers are lying vacant in the district. There is more than 30 per cent shortage of staff in government schools in rural areas of the district, as per the data.

Teachers and students accused the education department of the lackadaisical approach in filling the vacant posts. The gravity of the situation can be understood from the fact that a government school in Gharodi block of the district, which ANI visited, has only five teachers for 125 students in classes first to 10th.

Students and teachers in Nallah Ghoran High School said that a lack of teaching staff hampers their study and students were leaving the school for private institutes.

“Staff is very less in our school. We have only three to four teachers in the school but most of them are busy in office work. There are some subjects which we have not touched yet. How will we pass the examination?” Arun Kumar, a class nine student, told ANI.

Dheeraj Kumar, who studies in class 10 at the school, said: “We face very severe problem in our study due to the teacher crunch. There are five teachers out of which two are busy in official work for most of the time. Since the number of teachers is very less here, children do not take admission and opt for private schools instead.”

“I request the district collector sir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Governor to see that some more teachers are appointed in the school,” he said.

Another student, Neelama Devi, echoed her peers’ claims that they were yet to start studying a few subjects in their class owing to the shortage of teaching staff.

Speaking to ANI, Chief District Education Officer, Sardar Daljeet Singh, agreed that there is a shortage of teachers, especially in rural areas, and promised to take up the issue with higher authorities to resolve the problem.

“As far as the availability of teachers is concerned, there is a huge deficiency of teachers in government schools, especially in Kulwanda and Godi areas. There is a process of teacher recruitment through SSRB. As soon as the new teachers come in, we will fill those vacancies in these areas. We have nearly 56 teachers in the last days whom I have deployed in those areas,” Singh said.