GUWAHATI: A significant shortfall of 15,000 teaching positions at schools and another 1,300 at colleges and universities remain unoccupied in Assam, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu revealed in the ongoing Autumn session of the assembly, on Thursday.
Responding to a query by Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed, Pegu confirmed that 15,752 teaching roles across various schools in the state are yet to be filled. Additionally, a further 2,830 non-teaching posts in schools too are vacant.
He further informed that in provincialised high schools and higher secondary schools, there is an acute shortage in leadership roles, with 1,686 head teacher positions, 320 principal spots, and 499 vice-principal roles remaining unfilled.
While addressing a question posed by AIUDF’s Rafiqul Islam, Minister Pegu divulged these startling figures, highlighting the pressing need for recruitment in the educational domain.
When CPI(M) legislator Manoranjan Talukdar inquired about the higher education scenario, Pegu shared that 860 assistant professor positions across various colleges are lying vacant. The situation in the state’s universities is equally concerning, with 465 teaching posts remaining unoccupied across 12 institutions.
Compounding these challenges, the state has also recorded a declining Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the higher secondary level, especially when compared to the elementary level for the academic year 2021-22.
Pegu, while answering a question from Congress MLA Bharat Chandra Narah, cited the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2021-22 data, saying that the GER for elementary education stood at a commendable 109.9%. However, the figures for secondary education painted a different picture with a GER of 74.5%, plummeting further to 40.1% for higher secondary education.
Earlier, during the budget session in March, the Education Minister had made it clear that there have been no recent recommendations put forth for the state’s non-provincialised educational institutions. He had highlighted that there were no intentions to amend the existing legislation governing the provincialization of educational institutions.
Additionally, Pegu had asserted that there is no guarantee of any future changes to the law. Pegu indicated that moving forward, a state-level committee will be responsible for the selection of school teachers. Importantly, he clarified that not all previously advertised teaching positions will be affected by these adjustments.
Additionally, Pegu had also clarified that the affected colleges will retain the authority to make teacher appointments but are prohibited from publishing advertisements for the same.