Schools across state facing acute shortage of subject teachers

[ Amar Sangno ]

ITANAGAR, 7 Jul: With the new academic session having begun in the government schools, acute shortage of subject teachers is reportedly looming large over the educational institutes across the state, and teachers and school authorities have raised grave concern over the scarcity of subject teachers.

“Shortage of subject teachers is a very alarming situation in both the higher secondary schools in Seppa headquarters,” said PGT (English) Prakash Yangfo.

He said that the government higher secondary schools (GHSS) in Bebo Colony and Bazaar Line in Seppa cater to “more than 90 percent students of secondary and higher levels, which is overwhelmingly overcrowded.

“However, both schools are facing acute shortage of subject teachers,” Yangfo said.

Postgraduate mathematics, political science, accountancy, history, geography, economics, chemistry, physics and biology teachers, besides two English teachers, a music teacher and a librarian is required in both the schools.

Shortage of subject teachers has also hit Tawang district. “We have acute shortage of subject teachers, especially like science, maths and language,” said the Tawang deputy director of school education (DDSE).

Reportedly, Pakke-Kessang district is also facing shortage of subject teachers. It is learnt that the GHSS in Seijosa is running without PGTs for maths and business studies, besides IT teacher, TT teacher and supporting staff like LDC, MTs, and a librarian.

Shi-Yomi DDSE Moli Tato informed that the district requires four trained graduate teachers (TGT) for mathematics, science, Hindi and English in three government secondary schools and a higher secondary school.

The shortage of subject teachers forced the Upper Siang deputy commissioner to issue an executive order on Monday, engaging all the BEOs, CRCCs, BRCCs and APOs in teaching, in addition to their normal duties.

Upper Siang DC Shashvat Saurabh also directed that “all the excessive teachers deployed in the schools across the district would be rationalised immediately.”

In order to mitigate the shortage of teachers in the district, the East Kameng DC is also mooting the idea of following the Upper Siang DC’s lead to mobilise and rationalise human resources till the issue is permanently resolved.

Lower Dibang Valley DDSE Deepak Tayeng informed that “the GHSS in Roing requires PGTs in chemistry and maths, and TGTs in maths and science in every secondary school and 32 more science and maths teachers (PRTs) in every primary school.”

Sources in the education department informed that the delay in recruitment of TGTs and PGTs by the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) is another reason for the shortage of teachers.

“The APPSC delay in recruitment of teachers, which was given to them long, long back, is making the situation worse,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

School Education Director Marken Kadu informed that 97 PGT and

388 TGT posts “are pending with the APPSC for recruitment.”

“Surplus teachers are in the directorate of elementary education, but in secondary education, there’s shortage of subject teachers due to delay of recruitment process by the APPSC,” he added.

He further claimed that the Itanagar Capital Region, Lower Subansiri district, Aalo in West Siang district, and East Siang district “are overcrowded with teachers, which is surplus as compared to other districts.”

He added that “there are some subject teachers, especially wives and relatives of influential people, who never teach in the schools.”

The Arunachal Times was unable to verify the exact number of “namesake teachers,” as claimed by an official of the department.

The teaching community believes that shortage of subject teachers in the government-run schools is one of the major factors behind the abysmal performance of the students in the schools, especially in the Central Board of Secondary Education examinations.

“The students of Class 12 are badly affected as no other teacher can compensate the loss,” said a principal who did not wish to be named.

Successive state governments laid special emphasis on the education sector. Several attempts were made and reformative steps were taken to mitigate the shortage of teachers.

In February 2020, the Chief Minister Pema Khandu-led government came up with the Teachers Transfer and Posting Policy 2019-2020, which was aimed at ensuring equitable, need-based transfer of teachers to protect the academic interests of the students and optimise job satisfaction among the teachers in a fair and transparent manner.

However, it is learnt that the rationalisation of teachers’ transfer and posting could not be implemented effectively on the ground due to excessive political interferences, resulting in inequitable distribution of teachers in the government-run schools.