Bhopal: After NDTV showed the dismal state of school education in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday, the education department today issued a circular to fill up the vacancy of guest teachers. Funds for providing electricity in schools are also being arranged, it assured.
“We started the regular recruitment process, but have now decided that till we complete the recruitment, we will keep the guest teachers at the local level,” said Deepak Joshi, minister of state for school education.
“What your report showed is true, but by 2018 no school will be deprived of electricity,” Mr Joshi added.
The teachers told NDTV that they don’t have electricity and cannot operate computers. Letters to authorities too remained unanswered, they said.
Studying inside dilapidated buildings, leaky roofs and dingy rooms, the students told NDTV that they have never used computers. On investigation, it was found that computer rooms and laboratories lie locked up and were gathering dust. This despite government’s ‘Headstart’ programme that was launched in 2003 to prioritise computer education in school education.
“After NDTV’s report, we had a meeting with all the officials,” said Ajay Gupta, Collector, Agar-Malwa.
“If there is any encroachment, we will set up a task force and monitor the situation in every 15 days. We will also provide electricity so that smart classes and computers could be run under the ‘Headstart programme’,” he told NDTV.
In a reply to the Madhya Pradesh assembly last year, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government admitted that 70 years after independence, while the central government brags about electrifying more villages than any previous regime, there are still more than one lakh schools in the BJP-ruled state that do not have power.
NDTV report highlighted that more than 50,000 teaching positions are still lying vacant in 1.23 lakh government primary, secondary and higher secondary schools across the state and more than 17,000 schools in have only one teacher.
“Your report has hit the underbelly of education in Madhya Pradesh. Student teachers ratio is dismal all over the state. I believe few thousand vacancies still exist. Why the government doesn’t take action is hard to understand,” Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh told NDTV.
“It’s sad that the schools do not have toilets. It is not only about funds, the government is robbing a future generation from education. I hope they deliver before December. Promises are meant to be broken and education is not their priority,” he added.