Shortage of subject teachers: a festering wound in the Indian school system

Shortage of subject teachers: a festering wound in the Indian school system

As I was going through recent education data of India, three startling facts caught my attention. The first was the shortage of subject teachers in upper-primary, secondary, and higher secondary schools in many states, the second the percentage of schools without any teacher, and the third the number of surplus teachers who had not been deployed in any school. This may not be a surprising finding for those who have been following the trajectory of teacher recruitment, deployment, and transfers. Many researchers have commented on the deep political network that links teacher-related policies and the pivotal role of teachers in the election process. The shortage of subject teachers in schools has remained a festering wound in the Indian school system.

Many states have not deployed the three subject teachers mandated by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, in more than one-fifth of their upper primary schools. According to the PAB Minutes 2019-20 published by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, the state of Uttar Pradesh suffers the most with 90 per cent of upper primary schools without all three subject teachers, followed by