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CAG blames poor results on untrained teachers

Shillong, Dec. 11: Schools in Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills district are plagued with a huge pool of untrained teachers, which is severely impacting the quality of education.

The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) in its report for the year ended March 31, 2011 has revealed that the high number of untrained teachers has impacted the quality of education, which has been reflected by the poor examination results.

The report pointed out that there was no shortage of teachers in higher secondary schools during 2006-11 and the teacher shortage in secondary schools had been wiped out gradually. (SEE CHART)

But although the percentage of untrained secondary school teachers had come down from 81 per cent in 2006-07 to 75 per cent in 2010-11, the number of untrained teachers had gone up to 1,102 untrained teachers in 2010-11, compared to 740 in 2006-07.

The report also stated that the number of untrained higher secondary schoolteachers came down from 157 (65 per cent) in 2008-09 to 152 (63 per cent) in 2010-11, indicating that there was little improvement on this count.

“The fact that as many as 75 and 63 per cent of secondary and higher secondary school teachers, respectively, in 2010-11 were untrained, indicates the government’s apathy in addressing this issue,” the CAG report, which was tabled in the Assembly on the first day of the winter session today, added.

The report also linked the dismal performance of students at the secondary and higher secondary examinations to this large pool of untrained teachers.

During the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations in 2010-11, West Garo Hills ranked fifth from among all districts. It secured the last position in the 2010-11 Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) examinations.

“This situation can partly be attributed to the high percentage of untrained teachers both at the secondary and higher secondary levels in the district,” the report stated.

Untrained teachers are also teaching in lower primary and upper primary schools. The percentage of untrained lower primary teachers had marginally come down from 67 per cent in 2006-07 to 63 per cent in 2010-11, but, again, their number had increased from 2,028 in 2006-07 to 2,249 in 2010-11, the report said.

According to the report, the percentage of untrained upper primary teachers was almost static during the five-year-period between 2006-11 — 79 per cent in 2006-07 and 78 per cent in 2010-11. But in this case too, the number of untrained upper primary teachers had gone up from 1,422 in 2006-07 to 1,996 in 2010-11.

The state government admitted that having a large number of untrained teachers was a matter of concern, the report said.

The reason for having so many untrained teachers was owing to the limited number of training institutes in the district. The education department had tied up with the Indira Gandhi National Institute of Open University to impart in-service training to the untrained teachers of the district, the report added.