Student-teacher ratio revised in govt schools

Ahmedabad, Mon Oct 28 2013, 03:07 hrs

The classroom strength is to decide the student-teacher ratio in lower and upper government primary schools. With the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act and recent mass appointments of teachers (vidyasahayaks) for primary schools, the state Education Department has revised the student-teacher ratio that is based on the student strength.

Earlier, while the ratio was fixed below a set number of students for entire primary school (from Class I-VIII), it has been now divided into lower and upper primary sections as well as for both sections based on the number of students in each class categorised into different slabs.

While, the upper limit of students in lower primary (Class I-V) schools has been fixed as 40 if the classroom strength exceeds 200, the same has been kept as 35 in upper primary (Class VI-VIII) schools if the classroom strength exceeds 105.

This has been done after a major reshuffle of teachers from secondary to primary schools with the implementation of RTE Act that stipulates free and compulsory education till Class VIII. While, as per Gujarat Education Department the primary schools were till Class VII only. Thus, more than 12,000 teachers became surplus as Class VIII was brought down from secondary to primary schools leaving thousands as surplus, who had been recently "adjusted" in primary schools.

"The student-teacher ratio has been revised in consonance with the RTE Act. Also, the ratio has helped estimating the requirement of teachers in primary schools that will further guide the number of posts to be created and filled in the coming months," said a senior official of the Education Department.

At present, there are over 2 lakh teaching faculty for nearly 33,900 primary schools in the state with a student strength of over 53 lakh students. These include all the schools directly run by municipal corporations in urban areas as well as district panchayats in villages. The number of villages as per the official records is 18,500.

Also, keeping in mind the implementation of RTE Act, the Department had conducted recent appointments of more than 15,000 teachers for upper primary schools. Recently, 8,800 posts of primary teachers for Class VI-VIII were created and appointments completed in the month of August by the Education Department.

While, a similar number of posts, for both primary and secondary teachers, are expected to be created for candidates who have taken the recent Teachers Aptitude Test (TAT) conducted in the month of September, this year.