Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Education suffers from too many and too little

303 surplus teachers on Govt payroll while some schools go without teachers

GANGTOK, July 15:
At a time when the State Government is taking all necessary steps to improve the quality of education in the State, schools in the State continue to suffer from ills that plague the system.
The State is not only being plagued by lack of teachers and inadequate teaching staff and infrastructure, the surplus teaching staff is also a major cause for concern. According to the latest statistical data with the Human Resources and Development Department, a surplus of little over 300 government teachers have been appointed in various government schools all over the State right from primary to that of Senior Secondary level.
While some schools, especially in the rural areas have been suffering due to lack of adequate and qualified teaching staff, some schools have more than three teachers for the same subjects.
The report says that the East District alone has 165 excess teachers followed by the South District with 112 teachers. The West District records 26 such teachers. The North District records none.
This abnormality has resulted in hampering the studies of the students. For instance, the students of Phodong Senior Secondary School is still waiting for their Post-Graduate biology teacher to join the school It is almost mid-term and the school has been functioning without a biology teacher.
The hapless students of the School met the secretary, Human Resource Development Department, KT Chankapa, here today requesting him to immediately intervene in the matter.
“It is almost mid-session and we have not even touched the first chapter of our biology syllabus. How are we going to sit for the board examination this way,” complained one of the students while speaking with SIKKIM EXPRESS.
A source in the education department told SIKKIM EXPRESS that one biology teacher was appointed for the school but the teacher never joined his duty.
SIKKIM EXPRESS has learnt that many such schools like Phodong SSS are facing similar kind of crisis basically for the important subjects like Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. There is an acute shortage of Post Graduate teachers for science subjects across the State.
Talking on this issue, the Secretary told SIKKIM EXPRESS that the crisis of teachers mainly in the senior secondary schools was because of non-availability of qualified candidates for the posts.
“We are now not taking teachers on adhoc basis but are regularizing the one who were already working on adhoc basis,” Mr. Chankapa informed.
He also said that all the 303 excess teachers would be now transferred to various schools across the State, which are running short of teachers.
“Most of the teachers go on leave or do not join on medical grounds. The State Cabinet had already passed a decision that voluntary retirement would be suggested for those teachers who could not perform their duties because of their health problems,” he added.
According to sources in the department, 109 teachers have revoked their transfer orders on medical grounds in the past. The department had already started issuing notices to these teachers. The transfers of teachers to rural areas have always been a tricky situation for the State Government, often met with resistance.