June 1, 2016 6:02:39 pm
Government teachers in Punjab are often asked to teach subjects for which, they claim, they have no expertise. Recently, a teacher from a government school in Muktsar had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court stating that he was forced to teach English when he was recruited to teach social science.
The Indian Express has data accessed from the office of Director Public Instructions (DPI) Secondary Education Punjab, that details that there are only 866 English teachers under master cadre for 11.38 lakh students for classes 6 to 10. That is one teacher per 1,314 students.
This is nowhere close to the number of teachers that other subjects boasts of – 11,200 for Social Science teachers, 6,369 for Punjabi, 5,119 for Mathematics and 6,641 for Science.
According to educationists, Punjab is short of at least 6,000 English master cadre teachers.
The government, however, seems to not have gotten the grasp of the problem, its latest advertisment for the post showing requirement for only 200 teachers.
“There is nothing to hide here,” said Dharamjit Singh Dhanansu, district president of Master Cadre Union. “I am teaching English when I am not qualified for it. How does the education minister want 100 per cent pass when teachers who know more of history are forced to teach grammar?”
“Punjab never had separate specialised posts for English teachers till 2011,” said a source in the education department.
“In 2011, some 1,000 posts for English teachers were created of which 134 are still vacant. Since then, Social Sciences teachers were given task to teach English.”
“I have particularly focused on recruitment of English teachers and since 2012- they have to be from Elective english (BA) or MA English. Now, we have even started taking special subject test for which teacher applies before appointment which will have 50% weightage along with TET (Teacher’s Eligibility Test),” said Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema, education minister.
Balbir Dhol, DPI (secondary) said, “We have started bifurcation of social sciences teachers who had English elective in graduation or post graduation. Also, whatever social sciences posts are getting vacated due to retirement, they will be converted to English.”
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