Teacher shortage hits govt schools

Shortage of teachers badly affecting academic activities in govt-run schools

ADNAN LODHI April 25, 2024
Punjab School Education Minister Rana Mashhood says Bahria School is also being established in Gwadar. PHOTO: REUTERS


A shortage of teachers is affecting academic activities in thousands of government schools across Punjab.

According to sources in the Punjab School Education Department, it is estimated that around 500 primary schools in the province have no teacher appointed in them. They rely on staff from other schools to continue their functions.

The sources said around 10,000 schools in the Punjab were operating with one or two teachers.

There is a shortage of more than 100,000 teachers in government schools in the province.

The shortage of teachers has made it difficult for the worst affected schools to continue their routine work. They include a large number of girls schools in remote areas.

The sources said one or two teachers were teaching all the classes in about 10,000 schools.

"There are around 500 schools that do not have a single permanent teacher and staff members from other schools are sent to take classes there," a senior official of the Punjab School Education Department told The Express Tribune.

He said the authorities in the department were aware of the situation.

"Thousands schools have one or two teachers and according to reports there are also schools that do not have their own permanent faculty. The reason is that for the past many years teaches have not been recruited in Punjab," said Punjab Teachers Union General Secretary Rana Liaqat Ali.

He said the teachers had been demanding recruitment of government school teacjers by the provincial government.

"The government schools had been facing a lack of facilities, including buildings, water supply and toilets but the unavailability of teachers has now become the gravest issue," said a headmaster.

He said the shortage of staff was being faced by all primary, secondary and higher secondary schools.

The situation is worst for the village students who lack access to private tuition centres.

The headmaster said the most important role was of science teachers because the students could not study the subjects without their help.

He said the already burdened teachers also had to perform non-academic duties during sections and census.

When contacted, the school education minister's spokesperson Noorul Huda said,

"Teaches shortage is a fact and the government has a plan to streamline the affairs of schools. The government also has a plan to recruit new teaches but it will take a little time.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2024.


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