Academic activities at many government secondary schools located in rural areas and district towns are being hampered badly due to acute shortage of teachers.
According to the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), 22 percent or 2,274 posts of teachers of a total of 10,361 posts in the 343 government secondary schools across the country are now lying vacant.Sources said the number of teachers at some schools is so few that they cannot manage the academic activities.
Government Girls’ High School in Hatiya town of Noakhali is an extreme example of such schools.
The sources said only two assistant teachers are running the school against 27 posts of teachers, including a principal and a vice-principal, to teach 250 students at the student.
The school has been facing acute shortage of teachers for the last two years.
Talking to the daily sun, Abul Faraha Mohammad Shamsuddin, acting principal of the school, said, “We are only two regular teachers at the school. We are totally helpless due to the shortage of teachers.”
Students cannot achieve good results due to the crisis of teachers, he said.The frustrated teacher has urged the government to solve the problem immediately.
Six posts out of 11 are vacant at Rokonuddin Government Girls’ High School in Charbhadrasan of Faridpur. The school is facing problems due to the lack of teachers.
Officials at the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) admitted that the government schools are facing an acute shortage of teachers across the country.
The schools under Rajshahi, Barisal, Khulna and Comilla education boards are less affected compared to that of other parts of the country.
They said the schools located mainly in rural areas and district towns are affected the most due to shortage of teachers. However, the schools in the capital are running well.
Several teachers told the daily sun that no teacher recruitments took place since 2012 to fill the vacancies in government schools.
They alleged that the vacancies were created in rural areas as many of the teachers managed to get posted in the schools in the capital and divisional cities.
The government should immediately recruit new teachers to fill the vacancies in the government schools it runs across the country, they said.
Education ministry officials said that it would not be possible to recruit new teachers for 343 government schools until the appointment rules are amended.
They said that the amendment of the recruitment rules became essential since the government upgraded the status of secondary school assistant teachers to class II in 2012.
Besides, they said, now only the Public Service Commission (PSC) is authorised to recruit secondary school teachers.
Admitting the teachers’ shortage, Prof Abdul Mannan, director (secondary) of DSHE, said the teachers’ crises also turned acute at a few schools. Teachers of those schools are struggling to run the institutions.
He said the problem is created as teacher recruitment process has remained stopped for long. Now the government is appointing qualified teachers from the candidates, who passed BCS examination, to fill up the vacant posts at schools.
It was learnt that in order to solve teachers’ crisis in the government secondary schools, PSC recommended 450 successful non-cadre candidates of the 34th BCS to appoint them as assistant teachers at the schools.
Of them, 289 non-cadres were appointed at the schools in the first phase. Besides, the process of recruitment of more than 700 job seekers from the non-cadre category to the schools is going on.
DSHE sources said that they sent a demand letter to the PSC last week, seeking 1,556 assistant teachers for the government secondary schools from the non-cadre category of BCS. Usually, PSC recommends recruitment of 50 percent of the demanded posts.
However, DSHE Director Prof Abdul Mannan said, “We are hopeful that PSC will allocate 100 percent of the demanded posts. Then, the teacher’s crisis at the schools will be solved.”