More than 80% academic posts are lying vacant in the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and 17 District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) in Punjab.
The academic staff shortage is a whopping 82% (four out of five seats are vacant) in the district teacher education institutes across the state and 55% in SCERT, according to an appraisal report prepared by the Educational Consultants of India Limited (Ed.CIL) for the Union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) last month before deciding on grants to the Punjab government under the centrally sponsored scheme Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
Against the academic staff of 425 needed in the 17 DIETs as per the government guidelines, the school education department has a sanctioned strength of 264. However, these district level institutes have academic staff of 76 and the remaining 349 posts are vacant.
Under the centrally sponsored Scheme of Restructuring and Reorganisation of Teacher Education, the central ministry has stipulated academic strength of 25 for each DIET to strengthen teacher education institutes.
FIVE NEW DIETs BEING ESTABLISHED
Of the 22 districts, DIETs are currently functioning in 17. Though the department is still to sanction additional posts or even fill the existing ones, five new district teacher education institutes have been approved in Mohali, Tarn Taran, Fazilka, Barnala and Pathankot. DIETs have been set up to undertake pre-service and in-service training of teachers, periodic school-based action research, assess pedagogical practices and coordinate with SCERT for teacher education and are critical to teacher training and, consequently, the quality of education in the state.
Similarly, SCERT, which was established in 1981 as the nodal agency for bringing qualitative improvement in school education, is required to have 45 academic posts, including subject, curriculum and training experts, as per norms, but the state government has sanctioned only 24, out of which, four are vacant.
IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS, 6,527 TEACHERS are UNTRAINED
A human resource development ministry official said there were national norms prescribed for organisational structure in all SCERTs in the reorganisation scheme.
“In Punjab, there is a gap of 55% in academic staff strength and present strength. The state needs to fill this gap to take care of its research and training requirements,” he said, requesting anonymity.
Of of total of 29,187 teachers in the state’s government secondary schools, 6,527 teachers (approximately 21%) are untrained.
SCERT director and director public instructions (DPI elementary education) Inderjit Singh said the organisational restructuring of SCERT was under process. “Detailed discussions have already been held with the Punjab Public Service Commission and the finance department. The new organisational structure will be decided shortly and posts filled as per the state’s requirement and norms approved by the Centre,” he said. “We have adequate availability of academic staff in state and district level institutes and training work has not been affected in any way,” the SCERT director added.