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UP: 85,152 Primary Teacher, Headmaster Posts Vacant in Govt Schools, but no Plan for New Recruits

Basic education minister Sandeep Singh told the Assembly there would be no fresh recruitment drive, even as lakhs of B-Ed graduates await jobs.
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Representational Image. 

Lucknow: Over 85,152 posts of headmasters and assistant teachers are lying vacant in government schools from classes 1 to 8 (primary and upper-primary), managed by the basic education department in Uttar Pradesh. But, basic education minister Sandeep Singh on Tuesday said there would be no fresh recruitment drive for teaching jobs.

Recall that lakhs of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) graduates have been protesting for the past many years, demanding fresh recruitment.

Singh, while responding to a question asked by  Samajwadi Party (SP) MLAs Anil Pardhan and Abhay Singh in the budget session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, said in the field of basic education, there were currently a total of 6,28,915 teachers across the state, which included part-time instructors, shiksha mitras, and assistant teachers.

The minister informed the Assembly that 10,506,379 students were enrolled in council primary schools, with a student-teacher ratio of 31:1, meaning one teacher for every 31 students. There is a provision of one teacher for 30 students in primary schools and one teacher for 35 students in upper primary schools. According to this, primary schools have enough teachers, he added.

The minister further said that primary schools, including shiksha mitras, had a student-teacher ratio of 21:1, meeting the standard requirements.

He also informed the House that the ruling government had hired 1,26,371 new teachers since 2017. 

The Education Ministry, in response to a question during the monsoon session of the Assembly, had acknowledged the existence of over 1.26 lakh teaching vacancies at the primary level in Uttar Pradesh.

Nevertheless, the government has affirmed its decision not to undertake any new recruitment drives for teaching positions. 

Dreams Broken

According to the state government, there are 85,152 vacant posts for headmasters and assistant teachers compared with the sanctioned posts of 4,17,886 in council primary schools under the purview of the Basic Education Council.

For upper primary schools, out of the sanctioned 1,62,198 posts, 41,338 posts for headmasters and assistant teachers remain unfilled.

The shortage of teachers in primary, secondary as well as higher education has severely impacted the education sector.

According to government data, there are around 5,000-7,000 government and aided schools that are either closed in the absence of teachers or have only one teacher. 

Lakhs of B.Ed applicants, who have successfully cleared both the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) and the Uttar Pradesh Teachers’ Eligibility Test (UPTET), have been waiting for teacher vacancies to be filled.

In view of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the applicants were optimistic that the government would advertise teacher vacancies. However, they were disappointed after the basic education minister said there was no plan for fresh recruitment. 

The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government last published an advertisement for the recruitment of junior teachers in 2018. Since then, no advertisements or recruitments have been conducted. The most important question arises what will happen to the students who are pursuing BTC and B.Ed. programmes every year?

Reacting to the Minister’s statement, Rahul Vidyarthi, president of B.Ed Chhatra Sangharsh Morcha (BCSM), told NewsClick that it was clear that the government had no intention of recruiting. Therefore, it said the ratio of teachers and students is fine in UP.

“Basically, the education minister has manipulated the student-teacher ratio. When the government admits that over 85,152 primary teacher posts are lying vacant in the state, it should recruit teachers to fill the vacant posts. But they have not been playing the game of ratio and proportion of teachers and students for five years, destroying the careers of lakhs of candidates,” he alleged.

Vidyarthi added that the government was also counting shiksha mitra and anudeshak as government teachers but when it came to salary and other government facilities, they do not give equal salary to these para-teachers.

“This is how they have been fooling the youth of the state. However, when the government and the Supreme Court do not consider shiksha mitras as permanent teachers, they should either recruit teachers or give para teachers equal status," he added.

Meanwhile, scores of applicants have been protesting at Lucknow's Eco Garden for the past several months, demanding fresh recruitment. 

"Teacher recruitment has not been done in the past five years. The number of eligible candidates is continuously increasing. We get arrested when we protest. The government should stop all the courses if they have no plan for recruitment," Ravi, a protesting applicant, told NewsClick, adding that over 15,000 applicants had been selected as government teachers in the neighbouring state of Bihar as there was no vacancy in their own state, UP. 

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