GUWAHATI, Sept 2: The Centre has asked the Assam Government to rationalize teachers’ appointments and create a healthy student-teacher ratio in schools across the State.
During the recent project approval board meeting on Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan in New Delhi it was found that despite 27,000 excess teachers in Assam, 24.97 per cent lower primary schools and 22.73 per cent upper primary schools were running with adverse pupil-teacher ratio. According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the ratio should be 1:30 for lower primary schools and 1:35 in upper primary schools.
“Under such circumstances the Centre has asked the Assam Government to rationalize teachers’ appointments at the earliest,” an official of Sarba Shiksha Abhijaan told The Sentinel.
The official said even though the State was committed to reduce average dropout rate from 5.66 per cent in 2016-17 to 4.75 per cent in 2017-18 in lower primary schools and from 3.02 per cent in 2016-17 to 2.5 per cent in 2017-18 in upper primary schools, it was found that the annual average dropout rate had increased at primary and upper primary levels with 10.08 per cent and 5.36 per cent respectively in 2017-18. He said Assam had admitted before the Centre the dropout rate was 14.90 per cent in secondary schools.
During the meeting, the Assam government promised the Centre that it would rationalize teacher appointments so that there is no single-teacher school and all schools have pupil-teacher ratio as per norms under the Right to Education Act 2009. Dispur also committed to start the process of appointing headmasters of schools.
The official said the Centre was shocked to know that not a single student took admission in 476 government lower primary schools and 95 upper primary schools in Assam in 2017. There are about 48,000 government lower and upper primary schools in Assam. The number of private schools stands at 5,000.