An aided elementary school in Brahmin Street in One Town has all of 73 students, who enjoy the luxury of six to seven teachers. The school could perhaps do with just three teachers.

A few yards away from this school is yet another school in Arjun Street, which has a strength of 400 students. These 400 students, ironically, depend on mere five teachers. The awful inconsistency of teacher-student ratio in many schools across Krishna district is attributed to absence of rationalisation process.

Krishna district has a large number of aided schools and a major chunk of them present a bleak scenario due to severe shortage of teaching staff. The issue of student-teacher discrepancy came into sharp focus at a zonal meeting held on Thursday. Following an observation made by Principal Secretary for School Education D. Sambasiva Rao that Krishna tops the list of districts where education suffers due to disparity of teacher-student ratio, Minister for Secondary Education K. Parthasarathi took a tough stand on the issue. He directed the District Education Officer D. Venkata Subbaiah to furnish within a fortnight a comprehensive report on rationalisation of teacher-student ratio in schools in Krishna.

“There is a terrible mismatch in teacher-student ratio in most of the 160 aided schools in Vijayawada. This is because of the capping of the recruitment process way back in 2000. Recruitment of nearly 8,000 teachers is needed to fill vacant teacher posts in aided schools across the State. In some schools, clerks double up as teachers to make up for the severe crunch of teaching staff,” rues K. Mallikharjuna Reddy, secretary of the United Teachers' Federation (UTF), Krishna district.

Interestingly, the gap exists despite the fact that rationalisation was taken up last year. “Many school managements successfully influence the authorities to serve their ulterior goals. This hugely contributes to the wide gap,” he says.

“There are discrepancies in the public sector schools and Krishna district has a large number of aided schools. We have a fortnight to study the disparity and suggest effective measures to remove,” admits Mr. Venkata Subbaiah.

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