In Punjab’s most literate district, 23.5% govt schools have single teacher: RTI

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As many as 23.5% of the total government elementary schools in Hoshiarpur district are functioning with a single teacher, while 7% of the schools are going about their daily activities without a single teacher on the campus, a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed.

Hoshiarpur district – which has the highest literacy rate in Punjab – has altogether 1,227 government elementary schools across the district, out of which 86 schools are teacher-less, while 289 campuses have just one teacher each. Also, there are 767 posts of teachers lying vacant in these elementary schools.

In response to the RTI query, the district education office (elementary) has revealed that there are 21 posts of block education officers in the district, out of which 18 are lying vacant.

The condition of two blocks, including Kot Fatuhi and Mahilpur, is the worst. In Kot Fatuhi block, there are 56 smart elementary schools, out of which 22 are single-teacher campuses, while 12 smart schools are teacher-less. In Mahilpur block-1, there are 59 smart elementary schools, out of which 28 are single-teacher ones, while seven campuses have no teacher at all. In Mahilpur block-2, there are 56 smart schools, out of which 20 are single-teacher schools, while 11 campuses are functioning teacher-less. The state of Garhshankar block is also no good. There are 15 smart schools in block-1 that are going about their business with just one teacher each, while there are 14 such schools in block-2 of Garhshankar.

There are only 438 head teachers in these schools. There are total 76,327 children studying in these 1,227 government elementary schools, which have only four music teachers.

Hoshiarpur-based RTI activist Jai Gopal Dhiman, who got this information and shared it with the media, revealed that there are 45 schools where either 20 or less than 20 students are studying. Also, in Nurpur Jattan school under Kot Fatuhi block, there is only one student studying with no teacher on the campus. There are only 151 schools where the number of students is above 100, he revealed.

Officials at the district education office (Hoshiarpur) said that filling posts was not in their hands. Only the government can do something about it. They had written to the government about the vacant posts a number of times and have been managing the business with the available staff, the officials added.

However, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday told the media that they would be filling all the vacant posts one by one in education and other departments. He said that they would be regularising the services of teachers as well.

Hoshiarpur district has the highest literacy rate in the state with 84.6% (according to 2011 census), which is much higher than the state’s overall literacy rate of 75.84%.

Hoshiarpur district topped the merit list in the Class X and Class XII results of 2021-22 academic session conducted by Punjab School Education Board. In Class XII results, out of the 119 students of the Punjab government schools who were placed in the merit list, 36 students were from Hoshiarpur district. In Class X results also, 15 students were from Hoshiarpur out of 105 students of government schools placed in the merit list.

Dhiman said, “All the children have the right to education, but in teacher-less and single-teacher schools, how can the government give this fundamental right to our children who are the future of the country.” The condition of the government schools is the same across the state, and Hoshiarpur district is holding a mirror up to society, he added.



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