Andhra Pradesh has a shortage of 25,000 school teachers

Some teachers say that the state government is intending to bring down the number of schools by restructuring them

VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh has a shortage of nearly 25,000 school teachers out of a sanctioned strength of about 1.70 lakh in 47,000 schools. The teachers are more concerned that the vacancies are not mentioned in the state government’s job calendar.

The vacancies include 9,000 in single teacher schools, 9,000 subject teachers, 400 school heads and other schools.

Several groups of teacher leaders from the 13 districts are carrying out a survey on restructuring of schools, staff strength, infrastructure and amenities in order to come up with a comprehensive report, which they will submit to the state government seeking its immediate intervention.

Accordingly, a group of teachers visited an upgraded high school at Kodumur mandal in Kurnool district and noticed that it was having only two classrooms, three school assistants for nearly 240 students against the requirement of six school assistants and a few more rooms in order to accommodate a lab, a library and other mandatory facilities. The school has no head master. The upper primary school has been upgraded as a high school and school assistants are taking classes for upper primary students.

The teachers want the state government to take up recruitment of teachers through district selection committees so that it helps fill up vacancies and lessen the burden on them.

As part of the Nadu-Nedu programme, some school heads carried out renovation of school buildings and took up construction of additional classrooms and other civil works by borrowing money with an expectation that they would be reimbursed. As the schools were asked to engage sanitary workers on a monthly pay of `6,000, they did so. However, they were irked when the authorities said that they were inclined to pay only `1,000 from February to July, stating that their online attendance was not registered. Some school heads, who had paid `6,000 from their pockets, were shocked.

Some teachers say that the state government is intending to bring down the number of schools by restructuring them after merging primary, upper primary into high schools and upgrading them based on certain norms so that the number of teacher vacancies would come down.

Team leader of a group said “As the state government is coming up with the good intention to provide quality education in all government schools, we intend to bring to its notice certain facts based on ground-realities with an expectation that it will set right the anomalies.”

A school head from West Godavari said “The state government is providing ISI marked products from sanitary ware to furniture for the good of students. I too spent money from my pocket when workers refused to take up assigned civil works with the sanctioned estimate claiming it was unviable.”

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