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J&K Education Deptt refutes claims of teacher shortage

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JAMMU: Reacting to the news item, “Nearly 80 % of Schools Lack enough Subject Teachers” published in the section of the paper, dated 9th Feb 2024, the School Education Department Jammu and Kashmir, has refuted the claim and statistics given in the news item. 

It is clarified that, by the department, there are 18723 Govt. Schools in Jammu and Kashmir as on date, out of which, 8966 are Primary Schools,7228 are Upper Primary, 1741 High Schools and 788 HSS Schools. 97116 Teachers have been placed in the Govt. Schools of Jammu and Kashmir, for teaching from the Pre-Primary to the Sr. secondary classes.

As per the recruitment made in the Schools, through Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board and RET Scheme of the Govt., no subject-specific teachers have been recruited or engaged. These are all general line Teachers who are capable of teaching Mathematics, Science, SST and Languages in the Schools.

The pupil-teacher ratio in the case of Primary Schools is1:13, in Upper Primary Schools is 1:9, in Secondary Schools it is 1:14 and at the HSS level, it is 1:30, compared to PTR of 26, 19, 17 and 27 at the Primary, Upper Primary, Secondary and Sr. Secondary respectively at the National level. There were some Schools in Jammu and Kashmir, which were having single teachers but J&K was among the few States/UTs to implement the School Complex system policy as mandated under NEP 2020. Under the Guidelines issued for School Complex System, 762 School Complexes have been formed in the UT of J&K and rationalization of Teachers has been made at different levels, to ensure that, No single Teacher School exists in the UT.

The Unified District Information System (UDISE) for School Education launched by the Ministry of School Education, has the fields of Science, Maths, SST and Language Teachers in the Schools, as such the data is filled in by the Teachers from the School Level to ensure the compliances and the data of the updated UDISE reflects the availability of more than 90 % teachers in Upper Primary Schools, in all the subjects, though they are competent and qualified to teach the subjects other than those reflected against them. As such, it is clarified that there is no dearth of Teachers in the Upper Primary Schools to teach any specific Subjects. However, the subject-specific teachers are recruited at the Higher Secondary Level and there was a deficiency of those Subject-specific teachers at the beginning of the academic year 2023-24. To address that, the Govt. has engaged 1496 Cluster Resource Coordinators, who are subject-specific and have been deployed in the remote School, where there was a shortage of Teachers. 

It is further added that the Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir is spending almost 18 Crores every year to strengthen the Libraries and the Library books have been provided in all the 18723 Schools from primary to Sr. Secondary level, for making student knowledge enriched about the general awareness, environment and other Health & hygienic Conditions, as envisaged in the Library Guidelines. Efforts are also made to construct special Library rooms, where the same doesn’t exist and 617 library rooms are under construction in different schools. Presently, Libraries have been established in all the Schools as per the space availability.

As per UDISE, 10104 schools are without concrete ramps and efforts are being made to construct the Concrete ramps, in a phased manner. Temporary Ramps in the leftover schools have been placed and functional. Recently, funds amounting, to Rs 2.62 Crores have also been released for the construction of Ramps in Schools. Moreover, the schools where Children with Special Needs are enrolled, have been given priority for the construction of ramps.

Similarly, 8339 Schools, which had availability of Land have playground facilities. Further, funding is being provided in the case of Schools, having space for playgrounds, for its proper development. However, to ensure that, the Children have access to Sports facilities, where Playground facilities could not be developed due to lack of Land availability, the Govt. has developed Playgrounds in every Panchayat, where students of the schools also enjoy sports activities. Moreover, 100 Model Playgrounds with a cost of Rs. 20.00 Crores are being developed, under Samagra Shiksha, besides this number of playgrounds, has been taken up under Capex grants.

The School Education Department has also recently conducted the Annual Transfer Drive, where more than, 13000 Teachers were transferred based on Zone formation as per the Transfer Policy. The transfers were made through an online mechanism in a very transparent manner and Teachers have been posted in the schools, keeping students and enrolment in the schools as the primary focus. Further, the School Education Department is committed to enhancing the competency of the Teachers and a lot of stress is being laid on the training of teachers for their orientation to improve the learning outcomes of the students. Capacity building programmes/workshops/ Orientation/ Training Programme under TTAP, in 2023-24 stand attended by more than 40000 Teachers, wherein their orientation has been done.

The 17% increase in enrollment in 2022-23 is tantamount to the improvement of the basic amenities in the Schools. The Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir, is committed to revamping the overall education system of the Union Territory and in recent years more than, 3500 Civil works have been completed under Samagra Shiksha and an equal no. of works are under execution at different stages. Similarly, under UT Capex, more than 2000 works are under execution and no. of the works have been completed. Model Kindergartens are being developed. Infrastructure has been improved in the Schools, as on the date, 92% of Schools have having own Buildings. Furthermore, for the year 2024-25, the Department of School Education and Literacy GoI has approved a mega plan of Rs 1665 Crores for the holistic development of the children studying in the schools of Jammu and Kashmir.

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