1.2 Lakh Single-Teacher Schools In India, 89% Of Them In Rural Areas

This was revealed in a UNESCO report which indicated a huge rural-urban divide in Indian schools.

Update: 2021-10-07 14:25 GMT

Indicating a massive rural-urban divide in schools, a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released on Tuesday, has revealed that India has nearly 1.2 lakh schools that run with just one teacher each. 89% of these single-teacher schools are in rural areas. The '2021 State of the Education Report for India: No Teachers, No Class' notes 11.16 lakh teaching positions in schools lie vacant. 

The report was prepared by a team of experts from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, led by Prof Padma M Sarangapani in collaboration with UNESCO.

Here are some of the highlights from the UNESCO report:

 With 97 lakh teachers across primary and secondary schools, India has one of the highest teaching force in the world, the report quoted a recent study by the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+). Elementary schools employ 52% of teachers, while 24% work in middle to secondary schools and 24% in composite schools.

India has 24.8 crore students enrolled from Class 1 to 12 in 15 lakh schools, according to the report by UNESCO. Of these schools, 69% are government-managed and employ about 51% of the teachers. "22% of schools are privately managed and funded primarily through student fee and employ 37 per cent of teachers," the report states. It says that even though the teacher availability has improved, the teacher-pupil ratios are 'adverse' in secondary schools.

"In the school year 2018-19, about three-quarters of all teachers in India were working in schools located in rural areas. Among them, 60 per cent were government school teachers, 26 per cent worked in private schools, and about 7 per cent worked in private-aided schools," the report says. However, urban areas have a higher number of teachers working in private schools at 57%, 25% of work in government schools, while 12% work in private-aided schools.

Interestingly, women constitute an equal proportion in the teaching workforce, even though the rural-urban disparity is visible here as well. They comprise 63% teaching force in urban areas, as compared to 28% in rural areas. "However, early childhood education teachers are predominantly women, and 88 per cent of them are in rural areas. At the secondary school level, 24 per cent teachers in rural areas are women, versus 53 per cent in urban locations," the report says.

Chandigarh has the highest number of women teachers (82%), followed by Goa (80%),Kerala (78%), Tamil Nadu (75%) and Delhi (74%). On the other hand, Tripura has the lowest number of women teachers at 32%, followed by Assam, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, 39% each.

With regard to salary, private school teachers earn only about 43% of what a government school teacher does at the primary and general secondary school levels, the report says.The average salary of private school teachers is Rs 13,564, while rural private school teachers earn Rs 11,584. For women teachers in rural private schools is even lower at an average of Rs 8,212. The report also notes that 69% of the teachers are working without job contracts.

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