3,716 other institutions being run by a lone teacher
GUWAHATI: As of date, as many as 3,716 primary schools across the State are functioning with a lone teacher, while 314 such schools are in existence without a single teacher.
This data came to light during a survey conducted by the Assam State Primary Teachers' Association (ASPTA) in 33,829 primary schools of the State spread over 51 academic sub-divisions in 32 districts, which are under the association's jurisdiction.
In three academic sub-divisions which are outside the association's jurisdiction – West Karbi Anglong, Karbi Angong and Diphu – the numbers of primary schools with a single teacher are 245, 225 and 207, respectively.
Further, there are 1,664 schools where students of as many as six classes are taught lessons inside a single classroom.
The Tezpur academic sub-division has the highest number of teacher-less schools with 55 such schools. Dibrugarh takes second place with 38 teacher-less schools, while the Guwahati sub-division follows close behind with 37 such schools.
ASPTA president Akhil Chandra Nath and its general secretary Ratul Chandra Goswami said in this context that the then Education Minister had put the number of primary schools with a single teacher in 2020 at 3,085. However, this figure increased to almost 4,500 by January this year.
Moreover, over a thousand schools lack a lavatory, while over 10,000 schools do not have electricity connections. Further, new desks and benches have not been provided to the primary schools for around two decades.
Nath and Goswami said an additional fund was announced in the State Budget of 2019-20 to overcome the shortcomings identified by the first Gunotsav. However, no one knows what became of that fund.
The duo further questioned the need for a new Gunotsav when the lacunae exposed by the previous Gunotsavs remain unaddressed.
"How will the Government hold Gunotsav in schools which have not a single teacher or have only lone teacher each?," Goswami queried.
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