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Gujarat: 1606 primary schools operate with just one teacher, government reports

February 13, 2024

During a recent session of the legislative assembly in Gujarat, the state government disclosed that 1,606 government-run primary schools are currently operating with only one teacher. This revelation emerged in the midst of a debate during the Question Hour of the ongoing budget session. State Education Minister Kuber Dindor acknowledged that the shortage of teachers in schools has increased over the past two years, primarily due to the transfer of educators to their preferred locations.

Facing questions from Congress MLA Tushar Chaudhary, Minister Dindor confirmed that as of December 2023, 1,606 government primary schools in Gujarat were functioning with only one teacher. This revelation raised concerns, considering the state’s extensive network of over 32,000 government primary schools.

In response to the situation, Minister Dindor assured the legislative assembly that vacant positions in state-run primary schools would be filled “at the earliest.” However, Congress MLAs expressed dissatisfaction and pressed the BJP government to provide a specific timeframe for addressing the shortage.

Senior Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar highlighted that despite previous assurances from the state government, the number of primary schools operating with just one teacher has doubled in the past two years. Parmar drew attention to the persistent issue of more than 19,000 teacher vacancies in Gujarat and sought clarification on the government’s plan to address this critical shortfall.

Minister Dindor explained that while 1,606 schools operated with only one teacher, nearly half of them adhered to the student-teacher ratio of 30:1 mandated by the Right to Education (RTE) Act. He emphasized that various factors, including recent transfers facilitated by the education department, contributed to the shortage. In a recent transfer camp, 27,848 teachers were relocated, and the government committed to promptly filling the resulting vacancies to ensure uninterrupted education for students in these schools.

Source: PTI

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