Bengaluru

Schools continue to face severe teacher shortage

Many teachers have quit and moved to other professions that pay better, said an official of a school association.   | Photo Credit: File photo

Some private schools are combining different sections, and teaching over a hundred students in one class, as they struggle to cope with inadequate teaching staff strength.

With this, physical distancing has taken a backseat. The shortage was felt acutely once physical classes resumed for students across all sections.

Many teachers — who quit their jobs during the pandemic after managements slashed their salaries or were unable to pay when parents couldn’t afford school fees — found employment opportunities as private tutors or changed job sectors.

Lokesh Talikatte, State unit president, Recognised Unaided Private Schools’ Association, Karnataka, acknowledged that there was a “severe” shortage of teachers. "Currently, I have 180 teachers for the six schools that I run. But we need another 20 more teachers, at the very least. Many of the teachers who worked in my school but quit their jobs have taken to other professions that pay better salaries,” he said. Mr. Talikatte has started looking for teachers from other States. “This week I interviewed teachers from Meghalaya and West Bengal.”

Shalini S., a parent, whose daughter studies in a private school that follows the State-syllabus, said that when sections are combined, there are nearly a hundred students in one class. “Our child’s school is facing a shortage of English and Social Science teachers, so they have combined sections for these two subjects. For the remaining subjects, there are less than 50 students per class,” she said.

Although parents have opposed this, school managements have asked them to wait for a short duration till they get new teachers. A principal of a private school said they are conducting classes in large auditoriums so that some amount of physical distance can be maintained. “But it’s not an ideal situation. Not only is it difficult to follow COVID-19 protocols in such a situation, but also affects learning outcomes,” said the principal.

T.V. Mohan, Chairman of Jubilee International Public School, said that due to shortage of teachers, they are running classes in two batches – morning and afternoon batches. “As a result of this, the workload of our existing teachers has increased. I have even put out advertisements and have got a very poor response,” he said. He, too, added that many teachers switched professions about 18 months ago and are not willing to come back even if schools are now ready to pay them full salaries.

Mahalaxmi Chidanand, Principal of Oceans Elementary School, said that they are recruiting staff on a part-time basis to deal. “We just don’t have a shortage of teachers but all other staff ranging from drivers, office staff among others," he said.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 7:53:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/schools-continue-to-face-severe-teacher-shortage/article37714059.ece

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