Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

On Teachers’ Day, 28,212 Posts at Gujarat Schools Vacant Since 2018

Out of the 33,000 government schools, around 700 primary schools have only one teacher.
On Teachers’ Day, 28,212 Posts at Gujarat Schools Vacant Since 2018

Visuals from today's protest at Gandhinagar.

The Gujarat government has not recruited school teachers since 2018. As per rules, 3,300 ‘Vidyasahayaks’, who are absorbed permanently as teachers after five years in service, must be recruited annually.

However, 28,212 vacancies for teachers, including 16,000 at primary schools, are pending for the last four years. Primary schools have the highest number of vacancies—16,318 for teachers and 1,028 for principals, state education minister Jitu Vaghani informed the Assembly in reply to a question by several Congress MLAs in March. At secondary and higher secondary schools, 730 and 756 posts are vacant respectively.


Visuals from today's protest at Gandhinagar.

Now, with Assembly election around the corner, the state government announced in January that around 3,300 Vidyasahayaks will be recruited for primary schools.

Gujarat has a high standard of qualification for primary teachers. An aspirant has to clear the TET test, obtain a PTC and also obtain good marks in high school and intermediate.

Furious candidates who have cleared all the stages of recruitment staged a 45-day-long protest in Gandhinagar in March which was halted only after Vaghani promised to fill the vacancies.

However, Kinjal and several other candidates who were selected have been visiting Vaghani since March demanding to fill the vacancies but in vain. “The education minister does not pay heed to our demands—all he has offered is vague assurances,” says Kinjal.

Initially, the state government gave the pandemic as an excuse for not filling the 2019 vacancies. However, only vacancies notified in 2018 have been filled so far.

Usually, parents in big cities don’t enrol their children at government schools because of the quality of education. On the other hand, meritorious candidates like us are eager to teach at government schools. But unless the state government completes the recruitment, we cannot do our job,” Kinjal adds.

During a recent meeting with the minister, he asked us to celebrate promising that the vacancies would be filled very soon,” says Archana, who was selected as primary teacher.

The condition of government primary schools in Ahmedabad is pathetic. Most of them have water-logged entrances, poor sanitation, asbestos roofs and mainly shortage of teachers.

Out of the 33,000 government schools in the state, around 700 primary schools have only one teacher who takes all the classes, the state government replied during the Question Hour in the Assembly in March.

Almost all aspirants belong to the middle- and lower-income groups. Kinjal narrates how running a family with the salary of a Vidyasahayak is impossible it is only Rs 19,250 in the first five years.

One of the several letters which the candidates have written to the Education Minister.
Visuals from today's protest at Gandhinagar

The candidates allege fraudulence even in recruitment. A Vidyasahayak opting for a change in location is considered a new recruit. “Most of the appointees this year were teachers who had opted for a change in location. We were left in the lurch,” a candidate alleges.

The provision for changing location has left schools in remote areas and the rural belt in a deplorable state. Kinjal and other candidates who claimed to have visited these schools alleged how they are managed by a only one teacher.

On Teachers’ Day on Monday, Kinjal and hundreds of other candidates reached Vaghani’s office in Ahmedabad to give an ultimatum that the protest would restart if a recruitment date is not announced.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram