DoE and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan have been asked to conduct a joint meeting to come out with a solution to single teacher schools before the upcoming assembly session to be held from July 21 onwards. Goa has been struggling with the problem of single teacher government primary schools for some years now, said sources in the DoE. This is proven by consecutive studies of the National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) whose latest study indicates that over 34% of Goa's primary schools are single teacher schoolsone of the highest figures in any state in the country.
The DoE too has identified 273 government primary schools operating with a single teacher. As per the state government rules, primary schools with 0 to 24 students get one teacher and 25 to 60 students get two teachers. Very often, as two teachers cannot teach in four classrooms, ie from standard I-IV, usually standard I and II are combined and handed over to one teacher and standard III and IV are combined and handed over to the other teacher, say officials. These schools are normally provided para teachers by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan as a temporary measure.
Schools with 60 to 140 student enrolment are given three teachers, those with 140 to 180 students are provided with four teachers as per the education department's norms in the state. At the moment, the DoE has 3,800 teachers to teach in government primary schools and close to 80,000 students.
The education minister's orders come in view of the pending decision to close down government schools with low enrolment. As the issue is related with that of single teacher schools, the education minister has called for a decision to the single teacher school problem as well, as it affects the quality of education.
There are nearly 100 government primary schools with an enrolment of 1 to 11 and the number of schools with students between 11 to 15 is approximately 130. There are another around 130 government primary schools with student enrolment between 15 to 25.
13 July, 2009