Srinagar, Feb 10: In a strong rebuttal to recent media reports highlighting a severe shortage of subject-specific teachers in schools, the School Education Department of Jammu and Kashmir has refuted the claims, asserting comprehensive data and measures taken to address educational needs across the Union Territory.
According to official figures released by the department, there are 18,723 government schools in Jammu and Kashmir, with a total of 97,116 teachers deployed from pre-primary to senior secondary levels. Clarifying recruitment procedures, the department stated that while subject-specific teachers have not been separately recruited, general-line teachers are proficient in teaching multiple subjects including Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Languages.
The department emphasized efforts to maintain an adequate pupil-teacher ratio (PTR), with ratios of 1:13 in primary schools, 1:9 in upper primary schools, 1:14 in secondary schools, and 1:30 in higher secondary schools, outperforming national PTR averages. Measures such as the implementation of the School Complex System policy and the deployment of 1,496 Cluster Resource Coordinators have been undertaken to ensure equitable distribution of teachers and eliminate single-teacher schools.
Addressing concerns about infrastructure, the department highlighted ongoing initiatives to construct concrete ramps in schools lacking accessibility features and to develop playground facilities. Moreover, efforts to enhance sports facilities, including the establishment of playfields in every Panchayat and the development of 100 Model Playgrounds, underscore the government's commitment to holistic student development.
Regarding teacher management, the department conducted a transparent Annual Transfer Drive, transferring over 13,000 teachers based on zoning and enrollment considerations. Emphasizing teacher training and capacity building, more than 40,000 teachers participated in orientation and training programs aimed at improving learning outcomes.
The department attributed a 17% increase in enrollment in 2022-23 to improved school amenities and reiterated the government's commitment to revamping the education system. With substantial investments approved for the holistic development of children, including infrastructure enhancements and educational programs, the department aims to ensure quality education for all students in Jammu and Kashmir.