The Telegraph
Friday , January 22 , 2016

Delhi tapped on teachers

Jorhat, Jan. 21: Assam education minister Sarat Borkataky today said the state government had submitted a proposal to the Union human resource development ministry to fund appointments of additional teachers in all primary schools in the state.

Borkataky was speaking as the chief guest at a function organised at the Jorhat District Sports Association ground to distribute laptops and tablets to first-division holders and those who securedminimum 51 per cent marks in HSLC examination held last year.

The laptops were given under Anundoram Borooah awardand the tablets under chief minister's special award scheme.

Borkataky said a majority of the lower primary (LP) schools in the state, numbering about 30,000, have two teachers and some have even one, making them overburdened as they have to teach students in five classes.

According to him, to reduce the workload so that the quality of teaching improves, the government has proposed to appoint additional teachers in the LP schools. Then there will be five teachers to look after students up to Class V.

Borkataky said he had first spoken to the Union human resource development minister Smriti Iraniabout the idea during her visit to IIT Guwahati's convocation in June last yearin which he, too, was present. Irani told him to submit a formal proposal to her ministry.

He said over a month back his department had sent the proposal to the Union HRD ministry and he was waiting for a response. Borkataky said he was hopeful as Irani had reportedly told him that she would go through the proposal for consideration.

"I am hopeful as she (Irani) had agreed to my request to start a project by IIT Guwahati in association with the NCERT for imparting training to science and maths school teachers to upgrade their skills. The Union minister will consider this proposal too," he said.

Praising Irani, he said two batches of teachers had already undergone the training.

With Assembly elections round the corner, Borkataky, however, took theopportunityto lambast the Centre for stopping funds under several heads in the education department.

He said the Narendra Modi-led government has stopped funds for the UPA government's ambitious model school project under which a total of 82 schools were planned to be set up in Assam.

According to the minister, 14 such schools were set up in the first phase and the schools started functioning, but all of a sudden last year the Centre said it would not be able to release funds to run the schools. He said now the state government is bearing the entire expenditure of the schools.

Borkataky said the Centre had cut down its share in the annual funds (2015-16) for paying salaries to LP school teachers from the required Rs 480 crore to Rs 286 crore thereby burdening the state exchequer.

He said the government would distribute nearly 2 lakh bicyles to schoolgirls belonging to BPL families across the state in the coming days.

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