Amidst the coronavirus pandemic crisis when thousands have lost their jobs with more and more companies laying off their employees, Dr Asgar Samoon Hassan, an IAS officer, who is currently posted in Jammu and Kashmir as Principal Secretary; School education and Transport, posted a tweet highlighting the Pupil to Teacher Ratio in the state. He has pointed towards a rather shocking scenario of some schools being overstaffed with just a handful of students to teach.

In the tweet, he said that, "Shocked to know that Middle School Monghal Ang has 15 teachers and 13 students; those who don't teach don't deserve mercy; Directors to explain why teacher deployments have not been rationalised despite directions of HLG; CEO Ang being placed under suspension for others to follow or face action."

Dr Hassan
Dr Hassan from Jammu and Kashmir administration

Replying to his tweet, a user stated that similar is the case with Kishtwar school commonly known as Dal School, which is situated just adjacent to Chowgan ground, near Sheep Husbandry building, where around 25-30 teachers have been appointed for around 40 students. Schools in Kishtwar town have several teachers and very fewer students.

Some people over social media even stated the reason for this situation saying that rationalization is 100 per cent necessary as this ratio has taken place because people want choice posting, pension, and other perks that yield no result as thousands of schools are overstaffed in the state.

While people stated that there were many schools that were overstaffed, some stated the contrary. A Twitter user while replying to Dr Hassan's tweet said that in most of the higher secondary schools one lecturer teaches more than 600 students a day, especially English subjects.

Last year it was reported that rationalisation of teaching staff and Pupil Teacher Ratio are the most hotly debated topics as far as reforms in the educational system are concerned. The inappropriate rationalisation issue in the J&K public education sector has been reported several times with little or no reform.

A tweet in response to Dr Hassan's tweet

Another report in 2019 stated that six highly qualified teachers were deployed to teach one student of Class VIII at a government school in Samba district. Ironically, the student for whom the six teachers were appointed could not even spell his name properly.

This calls for the Government to look into the matter and concentrate more on quality and not quantity.