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Only one teacher running the show in 1588 schools of Maoist-hit Bastar


RAIPUR: Bastar in south Chhattisgarh suffer from twin challenges—the severe shortage of school teachers and the Maoists menace.

The region has far more security personnel (over 60000) than teachers.

Chhattisgarh government has allowed to reopen schools for Class 10 and 12 on Monday after a gap of almost a year and a half. However, schools in tribal dominated backward region of Bastar region, with an an area bigger than the Kerala state, suffers owing to the lack of improvement in education system.  

The academic activities and the learning process are apparently seen more in disarray in the government primary schools of the region.

The severe shortage of teachers in the schools, according to the officials of the education department, are being compensated by securing alternative arrangement seeking the support of ‘Shiskha Doot, Athiti Sikshak, Shikshak sarthi, Shikshak sevak'.

The school education in the Bastar zone suffers as the situation remains depressive in 1588 government schools that are functioning with only one teacher. And if the official records are to be believed, there are 227 schools with no teachers at all. 

Academician Jawahar Suresetti cited the lax administration that is creating hurdles for scope of improvement particularly in the Bastar region. "If the administration is not sufficiently strict, the education system is bound to suffer", he added. 

“The teachers who get appointed do not wish to stay long and get themselves transferred from Bastar again creating vacant positions in schools after they complete the mandatory 3 years of service. Shiksha Doot, Athiti Sikshak, Shikshak sarthi, Shikshak sevak have been deployed in schools where acute shortage is felt. Based on the academic qualifications, their support has been roped-in and are paid from the District Mineral Foundation (fund),” said Bharati Pradhan, joint director (school education, Bastar region).

There are over 16500 schools in the seven Maoist-affected districts—Kanker, Jagdalpur, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Dantewada and Sukma of Bastar. 

“Such demanding situations have been there but the things are gradually improving. The state government has placed order to appoint 14588 new teachers for the schools last week. In disturbed areas owing to Maoists and the remote locations, the department often faces the issue of adequate teachers for obvious reasons. Several local teachers will also be appointed for elementary level schools”, said Alok Shukla, principal secretary (school education).