HS teacher crisis prompts cluster plan, institutions suffer lack of proper teaching

Subhankar Chowdhury
Subhankar Chowdhury
Posted on 11 May 2024
06:34 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image


The president of the state higher secondary council said there is a shortage of subject-specific teachers at the plus-II level in government-aided schools, for which many institutions are struggling to hold classes.

The crisis has intensified because the council has started five more courses at the plus-II level over the past two years. The schools have not got any new teachers for the new courses, council officials said.

On Friday, council president Chiranjeeb Bhattacharya said they had proposed the cluster school concept to tide over the crisis. Under this model, a school that does not have a subject-specific teacher will engage a teacher of the subject from another school nearby.


“I will soon speak to the education secretary (Manish Jain) regarding the implementation of the model. If we get the approval, the council will issue a notification,” Bhattacharya told Metro.

“There is no denying that there is a substantial shortage of teachers at the level of Class XI and Class XII as teachers could not be recruited over the years because of legal issues,” he said.

The council has introduced courses in data science, artificial intelligence, cyber security, science of well-being and application of artificial intelligence in recent times to make the plus-II curriculum up to date.

The council now offers courses in as many as 60 subjects but the shortage of teachers has posed a challenge, said a council official.

A council official said that although hundreds of schoolteachers have retired, new teachers have not been appointed after 2016. Even those who were appointed based on the 2016 selection test face an uncertain future.

Calcutta High Court had on April 22 cancelled the appointment of over 25,700 teachers and non-teaching employees at government-aided schools who had been recruited through the 2016 test. Among them are 4,000-odd teachers at the plus-II

The Supreme Court stayed the high court order on Tuesday and posted the matter for further hearing on July 16.

“Several school heads have told us that they are struggling to hold classes in the absence of enough teachers. The introduction of new courses has only compounded the crisis. So the council has now come up with this cluster school model to address the issue,” the official said.

The council has decided to start the semester system from 2024-25 academic year.

Swapan Mandal, of the Bengal Teachers’ and Employees’ Association, said: “When the schools are struggling to hold classes for the existing subjects owing to the inadequacy of teachers, the council should have checked the availability of teaching staff before deciding to open new-age courses. Students who will opt for these courses, must not

The council president said: “We need subject-specific teachers at the earliest. I hope the government will make arrangements for fresh recruitments."

Last updated on 11 May 2024
06:36 AM
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