Many teachers refuse to work at government schools in remote areas of Malnad taluks with hardly any transport facilities, leaving hundreds of students with no permanent faculty in Shivamogga district. The Department of School Education and Literacy is finding it difficult to accommodate teachers for 132 primary schools located in hilly terrains in Sagar, Sorab, Tirthahalli, and Hosanagar taluks.
During a review meeting on June 3, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Madhu Bangarappa directed the officers to somehow ensure teachers are posted to these schools. The officers are hoping that at least a few teachers will choose to work in such schools during the counselling being held for excess teachers.
C.R. Parameshwarappa, Deputy Director of Public Instructions in Shivamogga, is optimistic that during the counselling, at least a few such schools will get teachers. “The counselling for 243 excess teachers is on as of now. We have made a list of excess teachers considering the student-teacher ratio. We have called them for counselling. I hope at least a few schools in remote villages get teachers,” he said.
Madhu Bangarappa, during his visit to Shivamogga on Monday, June 19, also discussed the issue with the officers and wanted schools in his native district to not face a shortage of teachers.
However, teachers argue that they have genuine reasons to avoid such schools. Many of them have settled in towns and cities. They want their schools to be easily reachable, if not close to their place. “It is difficult to reach schools in Byakodu and Karur hoblis in Sagar taluks. Even after getting off the bus, one has to walk a long distance to reach the school. Whoever is posted to such a school would make all possible efforts to move out,” said a primary school teacher in Sagar taluk, not willing to be named.
Another teacher said that she worked at one such school earlier and taught students from Class 1 to 5. “It is difficult for one person to handle five classes, besides keeping the records of admission and the midday meal programme. Hence, many wish to leave such schools whenever they have a choice,” she said.
Mr. Parameshwarappa, DDPI, felt that if native people were appointed to such schools, it would be better. However, there were hardly any teachers from such places. “As a temporary measure, we are running those schools now with the help of guest teachers,” he added.