Shortage of teachers and excess schools

Dear Editor,
The problem of teachers’ shortage is a common problem all over the state. And it will go on; it’s an unending problem. As we know, the state government is not in a position to create enough teachers’ posts to fill up all the gaps. The state government is not even in a position to pay the salaries of SSA teachers on a regular basis: dreaming of creating such a huge number of posts would be mere rhetoric.
But the state government can do at least two things to minimize this unending problem. First, if the state government is not in a position to fill the vacant teachers’ posts, it should stop or pause its policy of establishing multiple number of new schools. Establishment of numerous new schools, especially by following the SSA rule, will not only increase manifold the problem of teachers’ shortage but also overburden the state’s finance.
Prior to establishing new schools, the state government has to ensure posting of teachers, and ensure sufficient infrastructure. Definitely, under the pressure of their workers, probably in the name of the SSA norm of establishing a school every three kms, our state leaders are compelled to follow the instruction of their workers, and thus go on creating new schools in every village and inter-village recklessly, without considering the ground realities.
Once a school has been opened up, it’s the duty of the government to post teachers and non-teaching staffs, maintain the infrastructure, and also ensure its functioning. So, it’s a huge burden on state government in the matter of financial as well as manpower. Hence, albeit the stoppage of creating new schools will not stop the teachers’ shortage, it will help halt the furthering of these problems in future.
Secondly, in order to cope with the problem of teachers’ shortage, the state government can opt for the clubbing system. Due to the reckless establishment of multiple new schools in all villages, teachers are posted to those schools, most of which are defunct or semi-defunct. Teachers posted at such schools are remaining idle and useless.
One of the main reasons of teachers’ shortage in the state is the unnecessary posting of teachers to those schools.
So what the government/education department can do is conduct a realistic and exhaustive survey to find out the schools which are not functioning or are defunct in villages, inter-villages or even in towns, and withdraw the teachers posted at such schools to engage them in functional ones. Another option – and the most qualified one – is to club the schools which are not functioning or semi-functioning to those nearest functional schools and shifting all human resources, machinery (some movable property) and students to such schools temporarily or even permanently. So, by doing this, the much talked about and felt problems of teachers’ shortage will not only be sorted out to some extent but will also release the state government from financial burden.
Mamin Nalo,