Dehra Dun : Uttarakhand has some of the best schools of the country. The state capital is also called an education hub. But the condition of education in the state sector has deteriorated ever Uttarakhand came into existence and is at best pathetic.
State education minister, Mantri Prasad Naithani himself revealed the pitiable condition, when while addressing a meeting organised by the Rajkiya Pradhanacharya Association. He said that the state has four lakh students and a mere 8000 teachers.
This is not all, there are as many as 760 posts of principals vacant in the state colleges and the reason for it is claimed to be that no one is willing to take positions in the upper reaches and interiors of this small mountain state.
Chief minister Harish Rawat was not far off the mark when he said that the quality of education in schools in going down and sincere efforts needed to be made to improve it at the earliest. On his part he assured that efforts will be made to fill all vacant posts.
At a time when quality education is the need of the hour, it is tragic that over the past 14 years no sincere efforts have been made by successive state governments and the education department to improve the quality of education in government schools.
Schools are without teachers, headmasters and principals. In some schools the condition is so pathetic that there is just one or two teachers to take all the classes, which is simply not possible. Then there are schools without roofs, or the school building is so dilapidated that teachers prefer to take their classes out in the open.
However, when the weather deteriorates for the worse students huddle into the one or two rooms that make up the school. One can but imagine the state of affairs that there are times when three different classes are being taught in one room.
There are also reports that some of the teachers posted in the difficult and mountainous regions of the state take their classes by proxy. They have hired some local educated youth to take the classes and pay them a portion of their salary, while they themselves stay at their homes in the plains.
During a recent surprise check of the schools, a number of teachers were found absent from the classes, without any application or notice. This is perhaps why the education standards in Uttarakhand are at an all time low, which the chief minister himself has admitted.