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Himachal Pradesh: Over 2,000 Government Schools Have Only One Teacher

As per Unified District Information System for Education report for 2020-21, as many as 6,479 primary and 378 middle schools have just two teachers each.
School class himachal

New Delhi: Post-pandemic job losses and income declines have led to over 29,000 students shifting from private schools to government ones in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. But, are there enough teachers in these schools to handle the influx of more children?

As per data by the state department of higher education, the highest number of 9,215 students shifted to government schools in Kangra district, followed by Una (4,027), Hamirpur (3,446), Shimla (2,901), Mandi (2,195), Solan (1,866), Bilaspur (1,818), Kullu (1,803), Chamba (1,475), Sirmaur (591) and Kinnaur (127).

However, such is the sorry state of school education in government schools in HP that as 2,507 primary and middle schools have only a single teacher, 6,479 primary and 378 middle schools have just two teachers each while 1,573 primary and 746 middle schools are being run by three teachers each, says another report in The Tribune newspaper, citing the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) report of 2020-21 as its source.

On the poor state of school infrastructure, the report said that a total of 722 schools in the state had just one classroom, 3,056 had two rooms and 5,177 had three classrooms each. Out of this 2,807 primary and 249 middle schools were functioning with two rooms and 4,041 primary and 1,136 middle schools with three rooms each.

As per the data furnished in The Tribune, there were 15,323 government schools with 67,249 (40,758 male and 26,491 female) teachers. Conditions in the state seem to have deteriorated compared with in 2019, when there were 15,398 government schools and 69,268 teachers.  While the student-teacher ratio has declined from 15.3 to 12.83 at the primary level, risen from 8.5 to 11.32 in middle level, risen from 7.5 to 11.60 at the secondary level and risen from 9.5 to 10.96 at the senior secondary level. This change in ratio points towards a situation of shortage of teachers.

There is a worrisome trend in higher education as well, where, as per a report, there are no principals in 47% colleges in the state, says the report

The report cited the ‘irrational deployment of staff’ and ‘indiscriminate opening of schools’ as the reason behind this worrisome situation.

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