The Bihar Education Department has taken steps to address the shortage of classrooms and teachers in government schools. In light of reports from District Magistrates highlighting deficiencies, officials have initiated measures to tackle the issue.
To accommodate students in schools facing classroom shortages, the Education Department has issued a directive to construct prefabricated classrooms, according to an official statement. Concurrently, schools grappling with teacher shortages have been instructed to employ ‘guest teachers’.
Regular inspections conducted across the state have unveiled pressing problems with school infrastructure, including inadequate classrooms and teaching staff. This led to classes being conducted in open spaces or verandahs due to space constraints. The Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of the Education Department, K K Pathak, highlighted the need for urgent action. In a letter dated August 26, 2023, addressed to District Magistrates, Pathak emphasized the necessity of swiftly constructing ‘prefabricated classrooms’ based on the specific requirements of each location.
To address the teacher shortage, the appointment of ‘guest teachers’ has been prioritized, as per the official. The ACS pointed out that although the Bihar Public Service Commission is in the process of recruiting teachers, this procedure would take several months to complete. Hence, the deployment of ‘guest teachers’ has been advocated to bridge the gap, adhering to established guidelines.
Earlier inspections unveiled widespread challenges, including discolored chalkboards, insufficient boundary walls, and functional toilet shortages in primary and middle schools across the state. In response, the ACS, in a communication dated August 16, 2023, urged District Magistrates to ensure the swift repainting of chalkboards and the maintenance of non-functional toilets under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. The ACS also emphasized expediting the construction of boundary walls in schools lacking them.