3K schools in Assam run by single teacher, lack basic facilities: Minister

by IANS |

Guwahati, March 31 (IANS) Nearly 3,000 schools in Assam have been functioning with only one teacher, whereas compared to the number of students, 12,731 schools in the state are facing a shortage of teachers.

Many schools lack a drinking water facility and have infrastructure issues.

While replying to a query from Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, the state Education Minister Ranoj Pegu on Thursday said, "Currently in 2,979 lower primary schools in Assam, a single teacher is running the whole school. The prescribed student-teacher ratio according to the Right to Education Act, 2009, could not be maintained in 12,731 schools across the state."

According to the Minister's reply, it has been learned that many schools in Assam lack sufficient infrastructure, including the system of providing drinking water.

"As many as 1,616 schools do not have the facility of pure drinking water, while 1,140 schools need pukka buildings. A total of 511 schools across the state still do not have electricity connections," Pegu informed.

Under the state government's Vidyanjali scheme, alumni and well-wishers donated a total of 71,356 fans to schools. Even after that, schools in Assam still require at least 48,649 number of fans.

As many as 14,587 schools also require renovation of the buildings, whereas there is a requirement for increasing the classroom numbers in 22,724 schools.

Replying to a separate query from Congress legislator Bhaskarjyoti Baruah, the state Education Minister said that 5,320 teaching posts are lying vacant in primary schools whereas in secondary schools, there are 9,258 vacancies for teachers.

Pegu claimed that the state Education department has been taking initiatives to fill up the vacancies, but a lot of pending judiciary matters related to the recruitment process were creating obstacles.

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