One in every four Madhya Pradesh schools has only one teacher

February 9th, 2009 - 11:48 am ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Feb 9 (IANS) Single teacher-run primary and middle schools, no headmasters in most schools and, more shocking, senior secondary schools till Class 12 managed by a single teacher - welcome to Madhya Pradesh’s education system.

According to the latest District Information System for Education (DISE) report, as many as 25 percent schools - one in four - in Madhya Pradesh are managed by only one teacher. Of the total 120,661 schools in the state, 30,233 are governed by only one teacher.

The shortage is most acute in Rewa, the home district of Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh. In Rewa, 37.1 percent of schools, that is, 1,493, are governed by only one teacher. The district has 4,025 primary schools.

The report shows that schools also lag behind in having headmasters. Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development M.A.A. Fatmi had said that two-thirds of elementary schools in Madhya Pradesh are functioning without headmasters.

Among primary schools, nearly 32 percent are single-teacher schools. Of the 84,045 primary schools, 26,884 are run by one teacher, the report said. There are 77,982 government and 6,063 private primary schools in the state.

The phenomenon is most prevalent in tribal-majority districts. In Badwani, 64.5 percent of schools are single- teacher schools, in Dindori it is 54 percent, Sidhi 50.3 percent, Jhabua 48.6 percent, Khargon 46.5 and Mandala 42.7 percent.

All the 48 districts of Madhya Pradesh have some percentage of single-teacher primary schools. However, some districts have least number of such schools. Shajapur, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Indore, and Datiya have recorded 13.7 percent, 14.9 percent, 15.2 percent, 16.8 percent and 17.5 percent of such schools respectively, the DISE report said.

The statistics show why even after the completion of four years in school, about 38 percent of students are unable to read even a small sentence.

The report states that the condition of middle schools is none too better.

As many as 32 percent of middle schools - spread over 44 of the 48 districts of the state - are governed by one teacher who teaches students of five classes. It means that students of these schools are taught for only one hour in a day - much less than the norm of five hours a day.

In this case too, the tribal dominated districts like Mandala, Sheopur, Tikamgarh and Harda respectively have 25.7 percent, 23.4 percent, 20.9 percent and 20.4 percent schools governed by only one teacher.

Even Guna, the home district of former chief minister Digvijay Singh, has 21.3 percent middle schools that have single teachers to teach the students up to Class 8.

Bhind, principally notorious for criminal activities, has the maximum number of middle schools, 749, of which 20 percent are single-teacher middle schools.

Another shocker revealed in the report is that four percent of higher secondary schools have only one teacher to teach students till Class 12.

Under the 11th Five-year plan (2007-2011), the central government has kept the target of 100 percent extension of the primary education scheme by 2010.

(Sanjay Sharma can be contacted at sanjay.s@ians.in)

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