BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Government launches a fresh drive for industrialisation of Odisha by organising the Make In Odisha Conclave, education remains one of the most neglected sectors in the State with thousands of teachers’ post remaining vacant at both school and college levels.
More than 400 posts of teacher and 1100 non-teacher posts are vacant in universities under the Higher Education Department. Surprisingly, 72 posts of professor, 133 associate professor and 188 assistant professor have not been filled up in Utkal, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Ravenshaw, Fakir Mohan, North Odisha and Sri Jagannath Sanskrit Universities. Though the universities have sanctioned strength of 2477 non-teaching staff, 1105 posts are vacant.
The sorry of state affairs in the higher education sector came to the fore in a written reply of Minister of State for Higher Education Pradip Kumar Panigrahi to a question from Dilip Ray (BJP) in the Assembly.
The Minister admitted that the highest number of 161 posts is vacant in Ravenshaw Univesity. While Utkal University has 86 vacancies of teaching staff, 63 posts of teachers are vacant in Berhampur University. As many as 20 posts of teachers including all the seven sanctioned posts of professor are vacant in Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University at Puri.
Interestingly, half of the 141 posts of professor is vacant in the seven State-run universities.
Similarly, the condition of elementary education is more dismal. About 25 per cent of posts of teachers in primary and upper primary schools are vacant in Odisha.
Though the State Government has introduced several schemes including teacher-on-call to improve the situation, the number of vacancies remained the same.
In a written reply to a question from Tara Prasad Bahinipati (Congress), School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said of 1,32,824 posts of teacher in primary and upper primary schools, 36,271 are vacant. Odisha now has 34,238 primary schools.
The highest number of 2714 teacher posts is vacant in Balangir district followed by 2533, 2020, 1985 and 1971 in Kadhamal, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Bargarh respectively. Ganjam also has a high vacancy of 1876 teachers’ post followed by 1656 in Jajpur.