A report on single-teacher schools across the country , tabled in Parliament on Monday , has thrown up some alarming statistics on the education scenario in India. A solitary teacher is running the show in as many as 1.06 lakh government elementary and secondary schools in the country .
Madhya Pradesh fares the worst, with 17,874 such schools. UP has the second-highest number of elementary and secondary schools -17,602 -where single teachers are performing the role of educators for multiple classes. UP is followed by Rajasthan (13,575), Andhra (9,540) and Jharkhand (7,391), according to the 2014-15 report of the HRD ministry that was tabled by MoS Upendra Kushwaha. Last month, TOI had focused on 41 such schools in Gurgaon.
No state can boast of having no single-teacher schools. UTs fare better, with Daman & Diu, Pondicherry , Chandigarh and Lakshadweep recording no single-teacher schools in two categories.Delhi has 13 such schools. Bihar, which was in the news after the infamous “topper scam“ surfaced in June, has 3,708 singleteacher schools.
The MHRD report comes close on the heels of a TOI report last month which had revealed that 41 primary and middle schools in Gurgaon are one-person wonders with teachers doubling up as administrators, clerks, caretakers, wardens, midday meal servers, nurses and sundry crisis managers. The report was based on a recent UDISE (unified district information for school education) survey , an annual exercise conducted by the state education department in association with Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.
While successive central governments have stressed the right to education, the ground reality is far from the specified objectives, with states flouting norms of the RTE Act.