J&K has 1733 single-teacher primary schools

Net enrolment ratio at elementary level falls from 63.01 percent in 2016-17 to 61.70 percent in 2017-18 | After fresh rationalization of schools, every school will get adequate staff: Rigzin Sampheal

Jammu and Kashmir has 1733 government primary schools each being run by single teacher.

The single teacher schools exist even after the department merged over 2000 schools mostly of primary level under the process of rationalization three years ago.

According to unified district information of school education (UDISE) data, there are 13175 government primary schools in the state. The single teacher primary schools form 13 per cent of the total primary schools.

The figures came to fore in a project approval board (PAB) meeting convened by joint secretary school education in Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) at New Delhi on  June 20.

The meeting was convened to consider the annual work plan and budget (AWP&B) 2018-19 under Samagra Shiksha for J&K state.

The MHRD, as per the minutes of the meeting, has questioned the state officials over the “disproportionate ratio” of pupil-teacher in schools at primary level and directed to take measures to rationalize the institutions properly in order to reduce the single treachery schools.

“The state will rationalize teacher deployment in primary and upper primary schools, so that there is no single teacher school and all schools have PTR as per norms under the RTE Act, 2009,” the officials have told the MHRD joint secretary in the meeting.

Besides single teachers schools, around 1100 primary schools and 900 upper primary schools have adverse teacher-pupil ratio in J&K state. Also, around 2100 schools are without subject specific teachers.

“The state is advised to focus on completing the redeployment and rationalization of teachers at elementary level,” read the minutes.

Also, 20.45 percent posts subject specific teachers and 17 percent post of headmasters are vacant in the government secondary schools.

The school education department as per the minutes of the meeting has witnessed a decrease in net enrolment ratio (NET) at elementary level from 63.01 percent in 2016-17 to 61.70 percent in 2017-18.

The MHRD has also instructed the state to undertake positive consolidation of schools, within the provisions of the RTE Act, with a view to strengthen primary education and for optimum utilization of resources.

Secretary school education department, Rigzin Sampheal said the department is contemplating to start fresh rationalization of schools and ensure that no school is left with single teacher. 

“After fresh rationalization of schools, every school will get adequate staff,” he said.