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India faces acute shortage of teachers: Unesco report

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India lacks enough teachers and struggles from poor student-teacher ratio, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) said in its annual State of the Education Report. Around 1.1 lakh schools in India are single-teacher entities. “The national PTR (pupil-teacher ratio) average for all schools was 26:1 in 2018/19 (UDISE), and ranged from 23:1 for elementary schools to 28:1 in composite schools. These PTRs look well within the norm suggested by the RTE (Right to Education) Act at the country level, but does not indicate if the PTR is met at the school level. Among primary-only schools, 22% of them have PTRs greater than 30:1. On the whole, secondary and senior secondary schools have PTRs between 43:1 and 47:1,” the report said.

The report added, “The use of technology in education for the purpose of teaching and learning has emerged as important, but this has also exposed a range of issues – lack of devices and Internet bandwidth for a significant proportion of students, lack of preparedness of teachers in the use of technology, and lack of resources in Indian languages.”

“In about 15 years, 27 per cent of the current workforce will need to be replaced. The workforce has a deficit of over 1 million teachers (at current student strength), and is likely to need to grow overall given the shortages of teachers in certain education levels and subjects such as early childhood education, special education, physical education, music, arts, and curricular streams of vocational education,” the report said.

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