BHUBANESWAR:The Opposition Congress and BJP on Wednesday came down heavily on the State Government for large number
of vacancies in the teachers’ posts and lack of infrastructure in Government schools.
Accusing the Government of neglecting school education, Opposition members said education system in the State has collapsed due to lack of adequate number of teachers and proper infrastructure.
Participating in a discussion on admissibility of an adjournment notice moved by Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Opposition members voiced concern on the future of students stating their studies were severely hit due to shortage of teachers in schools.
Hitting out at the ruling BJD for the pathetic state of affairs in schools in the State, Congress member Naba Kishore Das said nearly 35,000 teacher posts are lying vacant when the Government is claiming surplus revenue.
While about 6,000 primary schools are functioning from a single room each, about 40,000 schools are managed by single teacher. Salary disparity between regular and other type of teachers, including Sikshya Sahayak and Gana Sikshyak, has generated huge resentment among the teachers.
Das demanded that the principle of equal pay for equal work should be applicable to all the teachers. Subala Sahu, Prafulla Majhi and Tara Prasad Bahinipati supported ‘equal pay’ demand of Das.
BJP Legislature Party Leader Basant Panda disputed the claim of the School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra that the teacher-pupil ratio norm in the State is above the RTE (Right to Education) yardstick.
To the Minister’s claim that the teacher-pupil ratio in the State is 1:25.76 as against the RTE norm of 1:30, Panda said how could it be possible when 34,761 teacher posts are lying vacant against a sanctioned strength of 2,24,330.
Admitting that a large number of vacancies has affected teaching in all levels of the school education, ruling BJD member and former minister Pratap Jena said the problem could be partially sorted out by way of rationalisation.
BJD members Prafulla Samal and Sanjeeb Sahu, however, said the Government has taken a number of steps for spread of education in the State.
The Minister dismissed the Opposition allegations that education was hampered due to shortage of teachers and said vacancies were being filled regularly as per requirement.
As per RTE, as many as 2,24,330 teachers are needed in the State, while there are 1,89,569 teachers at present, he said and added that the process is underway for recruitment of 16,601 teachers.
Around 1.24 lakh teachers have been recruited during the past 14 years, the Minister informed.
Unhappy over the Minister’s reply, Congress members staged a walkout from the House.