IT is a matter of grave concern that nearly one-third of the posts of school staff are lying unfilled in Haryana.
IT is a matter of grave concern that nearly one-third of the posts of school staff are lying unfilled in Haryana. At stake with this huge vacancy of human resources are many vital socio-economic components of the state. The future of children deprived of regular and quality teachers is compromised. This sorry situation is also a reflection of rising numbers of jobless qualified and trained teachers pushed to the wayside, and often to protests in streets. As the youth’s wait for employment stretches to never-ending periods, it is fraught with the danger of their talent and energies slipping into wasteful — or, even illegal or destructive — activities. In turn it has a deleterious impact on the economy of the state. By not filling the posts of teachers on priority, the state is losing out on a potential spur to its economy that can accrue from the spending power of a gainfully employed crucial section of society. The dearth of teachers is a sure recipe for untold misery arising out of a foundation weakened by the denial to kids of an optimal learning atmosphere.
Bearing the brunt of the staff crunch are rural children, who comprise nearly 70 per cent of the population. The Mewat region is particularly affected. With few teachers opting to work in this backward area, the endeavour to raise its standard is that much more difficult. Even as a former chief minister is cooling his heels in jail for a teacher recruitment scam, the state is not yet rid of the corruption-ridden and opaque methods of staffing, postings and transfers in schools. Efforts to cross over to a transparent system of functioning lack punch even as protracted litigation pulls them down.
The state School Education Department statistics of 2018 portray a stark lesson: of the 1,28,732 sanctioned posts of teaching cadre, only 86,246 are filled; of the 45,446 vacant ones, 13,731 are filled by guest teachers. What is more frightening is the consequent slide in the enrolment of schoolchildren: against 13,43,958 enrolments in 2012-13 in classes I to IV, they were 9,18,241 in 2017-18.