The highest proportion of women among regular teachers is in Goa (77%), followed by Kerala (70%) and Chandigarh (71%). These states also have a high percentage of women among teachers employed on contract basis: Kerala and Goa have 82% each and Chandigarh 76%. The 2017-2018 data is sourced from a paper released by Azim Premji University — Contract Teachers in India-Current Trends, Issues and Challenges — last week.
The least representation of women in the teaching community (regular) is in Tripura (28%), Rajasthan (30%) and Jharkhand (31%). West Bengal, which has 32% women among regular appointees, has 67% women among contract teachers. The difference in WB is attributed to women over the age of 40 being hired to manage primary schools (Shishu Shiksha Karmasuchi) since 1999.
The report points out that contract teachers are appointed more as a convenient, low-cost solution to fill existing teacher vacancies. Around 30% of contract teachers don’t have the required educational qualifications. “The practice of hiring contract teachers has a deeply detrimental effect on the overall effectiveness of the public school education system. Therefore, it must end, to be replaced by a comprehensively designed teacher recruitment and tenure system for all teachers,” said the paper written by Vimala Ramachandran and Deepa Das.
As per 2018-19 data highlighted by the report, the country has 5.5 lakh teacher vacancies. Of these, over 2.1 lakh are in Bihar and 1.8 lakh in Uttar Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have over 70,000 each. Karnataka has 11,774 such vacancies. The data was cited by the report.
While many states have resorted to appointing contract teachers, Karnataka has only around 0.4% of its total teachers on contract. Around 6.3% schools in the country have only contract teachers. This includes 51 schools in Karnataka. Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh have over 50% teachers on contract.
Odisha and Sikkim with over 35% teachers on contract are followed by Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal – all with more than 20%.
Only 22.9% of contract teachers in the country have been provided with in-service training. Telangana is the only state where virtually all teachers on contract have received in-service training and almost all have the requisite professional qualifications.