Statistics, philosophy, geography: with teacher shortage, Gujarat government plans to relax hiring standards

The Gujarat Department of Education is examining possibilities to relax hiring standards for upper secondary teachers in statistics, philosophy and geography, due to a severe shortage of applicants.

The advice of an eight-member committee comprising officials from the education department as well as education experts was sought for the changes.

According to data viewed by The Indian Express, out of 230 vacancies for teaching statistics in public and subsidized upper secondary schools, only 18 have been filled.

Likewise, out of 155 posts for philosophy professors, 48 ​​were filled and against 128 vacant posts for geography education, only 46 were filled. As a rule, the allocation of teaching posts for upper secondary schools is made on the basis of the number of classes. For example, for two classes – 11 and 12 – five teachers are assigned. Depending on the subjects offered by the schools, the appointment is made by the educational service.

An average of 97,000 to two lakhs of students each opt for these subjects, in classes 11 and 12 of the general stream.

Several committee members The Indian Express spoke to said that because few colleges and universities offer this studies as majors, many students end up not choosing it as a major first or post-graduate.

The head of primary education, MI Joshi, who is one of the members of the committee formed to solve the problem, told the document: “After examining the possible reasons for the shortage of teachers in these subjects, he It appeared that the applicants applying, when they were students, did not have many options to study them as major subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as very few institutes offer these subjects. The institutes shared that there was a shortage of teachers teaching these subjects.

The shortfall emerged when the education department completed the online recruitment process of 2,307 teachers for subsidized secondary schools and 3,382 teachers for upper secondary schools in July. The previous hiring of teachers dated back to 2016.

According to data from the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Education Council (GSHSEB), 1.92 lakh of the total of four lakh students in class 12 this year opted for statistics, while 1.58 lakh students opted for the statistics. are registered for geography and over 97,000 for philosophy.

The Ministry of Education is concerned that obtaining the Teacher Aptitude Test (TAT) required by the Right to Education Act, which is necessary to qualify for these jobs, has led to the decrease in the number of qualified candidates.

Data from the Ministry of Education shows that the number of people who completed these subjects in the last TAT organized in 2018 was lower than the number of vacant positions.

Gujarat Upper Secondary Teachers Association President Bharat Patel said, “Since there are not many graduates and postgraduates with B.Ed. in these three subjects, there is a shortage. To overcome this, we have proposed some changes in the selection standards.

According to the data, Surat district has the highest number of 34 vacancies for statistics, while Panchmahal has the maximum number of vacancies for philosophy teachers at 26 and Dahod district has the highest number of vacancies for geography teachers at 16.

To deal with the shortage, the Schools Commissioner has sought to relax eligibility criteria, including relaxing TAT eligibility.

“The selection committee for secondary and upper secondary teachers in subsidized schools submitted their recommendations to the research directorate of the GSHSEB. A decision is expected soon, ”said a senior education official.

The official added: “At present, the situation is such that a candidate who has obtained his diploma, graduate diploma and TAT in these three subjects is sure to be appointed as a government teacher for the upper secondary schools. “

The recommendations of the committee submitted to the GSHSEB, a copy of which is with the Indian Express, state: “Due to the unavailability of teachers in the subjects of geography, philosophy and statistics for subsidized upper secondary schools Government decree January 11, 2021, a maximum of positions is vacant… Eligible teachers are not available under the conditions framed by the Ministry of Education due to which a large number of positions have remained vacant, which affects the education of students… To avoid this, the regulations issued by the Ministry of Education on January 14, 2021 should be revised.

At a meeting of the selection committee for subsidized high schools and high schools, it was unanimously recommended to revise the recruitment criteria because there were fewer candidates than the positions advertised on March 2, 2021.

GSHSEB co-secretary BN Rajgor, head of the research branch, said: “The recommendations of the members of the upper secondary school selection committee have been forwarded to the expert committee of the education committee… Each member was invited to submit his opinion on these recommendations. ”

The committee suggested that even applicants who have taken these three subjects as junior high should be considered. For example, in geography, the existing qualification is BA / BSc in geography. It was suggested to replace it with “Geography as a main subject or as a secondary subject”. A similar change has been suggested for post-graduation.

The committee also suggested that if the candidate has passed the TAT in any upper secondary subject, he / she should be considered eligible. If a candidate has graduated and postgraduate degree in geography as a major or secondary subject, but the person has obtained the TAT degree in any artistic subject such as history, philosophy, sociology or the economy, it must be taken into account.

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