More than 72,000 public schools across the state are facing a teacher shortage. Despite the recent appointment of almost 41,000 primary teachers, thousands more are needed from primary to upper secondary (Plus Two). Frequent disputes often create blockages in the process of their appointment.
According to official figures, the state has 72,663 public schools, including 42,573 primary, 25,587 upper primary, 2,286 secondary and 2,217 upper secondary. The state government had decided in 2013 to open a high school in each panchayat. Bihar has 8,387 panchayats and the government has opened 6,421 high schools in panchayats that had none, some by upgrading existing colleges. The number of senior secondary schools in the state now stands at 9,360.
Acting Chairman of Bihar State Primary Teachers Associations, Manoj Kumar, said there were about 3.77 lakh primary school teachers, including the 41,000 newly recruited teachers to teach at over 1.50 crore children. If the pupil-teacher ratio under the Right to Education Act (RTE) was implemented sincerely, the state would need at least two lakh more teachers, he said.
There are around 38,000 teachers in more than 9,000 secondary schools, including the recently renovated Plus Two schools. In accordance with RTE standards, each Plus Two school requires at least 14 teachers. If only recently renovated schools (about 8,000) are considered, a total of 1.12 lakh teachers are needed. However, the number of existing teachers is much lower, said Bihar State Secondary Teachers Association Chairman, Kedar Pandey, MLC.
As a reminder, for the first time, the state hired hundreds of thousands of low-wage contract teachers as “shikshamitras” between 2003 and 2005. In 2006, shikshamitras were included in the new category of teachers contractual. In 2010, a total of 4.5 lakh teachers were nominated in this category. After a persistent demand for regularization of their services, the state government absorbed them as regular teachers. However, while a previously appointed permanent teacher receives around 45,000 rupees per month, a regularized “niyojit” teacher receives 25,000 rupees, said the state chairman of the Qualified Teachers Association TET (Test Eligibility of Teachers). teachers), Amit Vikram.
However, even this salary seems lucrative compared to what private school teachers earn. “They barely get Rs 10,000-15,000 a month,” a private school teacher in South Patna said on condition of anonymity.