Tackling Teacher Shortage in Rural Areas......by Harmeet Singh
Did you know?
8.9 million students attend rural schools and more than one in four schools are rural?
Rural teachers draw an average starting salary of Rs.10,000-12,000 as compared to their suburban counterparts, who earn Rs.18,000- 20,000?
The shortage of teachers and principals across India has intensified in recent years, disproportionately affecting rural communities. Rural schools face significant challenges in filling vacancies for educators, leading policymakers to study the causes and seek solutions.
Schools that are considered the most rural, are classified as remote, meaning they are 25 miles from an urban center. The more remote the school, the more challenging is to recruit and retain a qualified teacher. Thirty-nine percent of remote schools struggle to fill positions in every subject.
The imbalance between the number of open positions in demand and qualified teachers willing to fill positions in rural areas is due, in part, to insufficient recruitment and retention of teachers, the high number of retiring baby boomers, and fewer college students majoring in education.
Enrolment in education programs has declined nationwide. The shortage also includes school principals, with an annual turnover rate of 20 percent nationwide.
Action by NGOs
NGO like The Kalgidhar Society, Baru Sahib, headquartered in the backward district of Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh with 129 Rural Schools began addressing school personnel shortage with a variety of strategies, including running a teacher training institute operational in Sirmaur, HP, India.
The rural poor and underprivileged 12th pass girls are being benefited through a unique and free program for Educational Skill Development. The Kalgidhar Society gives them intensive Educational Skill Development Training in English language and communication skills, modern teaching methodology, and computer education.
All students will also be imparted spiritual concepts, moral values, and dedicated service to humanity with compassion and love, with a thought that teachers should be role models in all aspects.
This center is affiliated with the NIOS board and Eternal University (UGC approved). After completing education here, these girls become eligible to easily secure service as educators in reputed schools. During their stay in this center, these girls are provided with free boarding, lodging, medical and other facilities.
The teacher shortage is real, large and growing, and worse than we thought and organizations like The Kalgidhar Society are working day and night to tackle the working conditions and other factors that contribute to the growing teacher shortage, especially in rural schools.
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