India is facing a shortage of over five lakh teachers while the deadline for regularisation of teachers under Right to Education Act is only days away.
RTE Forum, a network of 10,000 grassroot organisations working in 18 states, on Wednesday highlighted that an additional 6.6 lakh teachers need teacher-training.
"It's a crucial juncture as the nation stands at the threshold of the RTE Act's deadline 31st March, 2015. Unfortunately, only 10 percent schools in India presently comply with all the norms and standards of the RTE Act," Ambarish Rai, national convenor of the RTE Forum, said.
"We are facing a shortage of approximately 5 lakh teachers and an additional 6.6 lakh teachers need teacher-training. These statistics are particularly disappointing considering that March 31, 2015, marks the final deadline for teacher regularization and training," Rai said.
At a national convention held here, the activists said new challenges have emerged as over one lakh government schools have been shut in multiple states, including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttarakhand.
"What is concerning is that the state continues to violate provisions of the RTE Act, recruiting contractual and untrained teachers with less pay. The status of teacher-training and teacher- training institutes is equally poor; and there is no clear road-map to improve the situation and quality of education," Rai said.
The activist added that numerous low-cost private schools have emerged across the country, segregating the society furthermore on the basis of people's ability to pay.
"In such a scenario, it is the extremely marginalized children of the society who continue to remain deprived of their fundamental right to free and compulsory education," Rai said.