In a shocking revelation, a recent survey conducted by the government has found that as many as 16 schools in the State have no teachers and in several thousands of schools, one or two teachers are all that are available to teach different subjects to students in multiple classes.
As per the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) Survey for 2012-13, 16 schools in Tamil Nadu have no teachers at all. The schools are in the districts of Villupuram, Chennai, Vellore, the Nilgiris and Coimbatore. Meanwhile, 2,253 schools in the State manage with just a single teacher. The largest number of such schools are in Krishnagiri district, which accounts for 195 such institutions. Other districts with a large number of single teacher schools are Tiruvannamalai with 159, Sivaganga 134, Vellore 127, Villupuram 113 and Dharmapuri 131.
What is disturbing is that 83,641 students, including 765 students in classes IX-XII, study in schools with just a single teacher. On the other hand, 16,421 schools have only two teachers. In fact, in all the schools in Tamil Nadu under various categories — whether State-run, Central government operated or private — more than one-third have less than three teachers as per the figures in the RMSA survey report.
Experts in the education sector have often cited the availability of just one or two teachers to instruct students in multiple classes and in several subjects as a reason for parents opting for private schools, despite misgivings that the quality of teaching in such schools could be worse than those in the government institutions.
The survey also points out that there are as many as 21,931 sanctioned teacher posts lying vacant in the State. In districts like Vellore, there are about 3,000 sanctioned posts that are yet to be filled, according to the report.