A step towards achieving Pupil-Teacher Ratio through ICT
Mrs. Peeyush Kamal (UGC-Senior Research Fellow)
Dori Lal Chaudhary (Assistant Professor)
Department of TT&NFE (IASE),
Faculty of Education,
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi- 25
Sep 5, 2010, during a heated Rajya Sabha debate on teacher shortage in
schools, Members of Parliament took pot shots at Bihar. They blamed it for
India's skewed teacher-student ratio. Union human resources development
minister Kapil Sibal stepped in to put the problem in perspective. "Shortage
of teachers is a national issue."Sibal said that India is short of 1.2 million
teachers; 42 million children aged between 6 and 14 do not go to school;
roughly 16% of all villages do not have primary schooling facilities and 17%
schools have just one teacher. Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTR) is still quite high
in many districts in States like
Jharkhand (45:1) &
The recruitment deficit in states like Bihar (91657), MP (15898), WB
(46797), Rajasthan (28499) and UP (33718) is very considerable. Lack of
recruitment appears as a continuing problem in these states as can be noted
from the reports of previous Joint Review Meetings.
This is a matter of serious concern, therefore the Right to Education Bill makes
maintaining a PTR specified in the Bill in ‘each and every school’ mandatory.
The Act has regulated Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTR) to at most 30:1, and has said
that this ratio must be met within six months of the commencement of the Act. At
first glance, it appears that teacher shortages may be the biggest threat to the
implementation of the Act. The biggest challenge for India is however, the non-
availability of competent teachers to teach. We plan to pay more attention to the
process of encouraging, training, and mentoring teachers.
The UNESCO Institute of Statistics, in its report Teachers and Educational
Quality: Monitoring Global Needs for 2015 released in June 2010, estimates that
to meet the Millennium Development Goal of providing elementary education to
all children by 2015, India will need more than 20 lakh new teachers, the greatest
inflow of new teachers in the world. It is estimated that in addition to filling
existing vacancies, the government will need to appoint an additional 5.1 lakh
teachers to meet the 30:1 PTR norm. Accordingly, we expect that the incremental
human resource requirement for teachers and trainers would be about 5.8 million
teachers between 2008 and 2022 (IMaCS report with NSDC).
Attracting top rank holders in teaching profession.
To overcome the problem of teacher shortage and teacher
absenteeism the Para teacher scheme under the ‘Shiksha Karmi
Project’has been introduced in India (Rajasthan).
An ICT based teacher management system (web tools for
tracking attendance and other parameters), addressing
professional development, training, performance and
accountability would contribute substantially to planning
teacher development efforts. (MHRD has set a target of 90%
teacher attendance across the country).
Teachers equipped with ICT.
Government will need to filling existing vacancies on regular
Today the major challenges that India faces in the educational arena are:
The challenge of number
The challenge of credibility
The challenge of quality
The RtE in particular aim to ensure education for all children, particularly girls,
underprivileged children, and children from ethnic minorities, will have access to
and the opportunity to complete, free and compulsory, high quality primary
The RtE goals needs greater cooperation amongst the development community
and more resources alone will not be enough. New initiatives will also need to be
employed. One such initiative is to harness the potential of Information and
Communication Technologies (ICTs).
There are three major questions from the standpoint of Education for All.
◦ Can ICT increase interest in school?
◦ Can ICT sustain interest in school?
◦ Can ICT enrich learning and enhance performance?
ICT increase interest in School/Learning
ICT itself is attractive to children. If it is available and used in the school for
teaching and learning, School becomes attractive, interesting, and able to
increase enrollment, attendance and interest of students in school.
ICT sustain interest in school
The findings of Pradhan (2001) on various interventions for education of the
tribal children found immense implication for the use of ICTs. All new
technologies Ex satellite, cable television, Internet, computer, initially provoke
reactions ranging from apprehension, to caution, to curiosity, to excitement and
ICT enrich learning and enhance performance
Even a single computer in classroom can bring effective results has been
proved in the study of Scaplen (1999). The application of technology enhances
a child’s cognitive abilities according to Hougland & shade (1990).
It recognizes that, ‘these technologies have great potential for
knowledge dissemination, effective learning and the development of
more efficient education services’, and identifies a need to tap the
potential of ICTs to;
1. Support teaching- learning processes effectively to compensate PTR.
2. Increasing the supply of teachers through ICT based distance education.
3. Virtual or intelligent classroom concept (research consideration under the
topic of artificial intelligence).
4. Enabling greater access to education for all, which will strengthen the
knowledge equity on technology.
5. It can enhance the quality of education across the board at primary,
secondary and tertiary level
6. Support the professional development of teachers and teacher training
7. Improve access to education by remote and disadvantaged communities;
8. Provide opportunities to communicate across classrooms and cultures; and,
9. Strengthen management and administration procedures from the central
ministries through sub-national levels to the schools.
10. An ICT based teacher management system, addressing professional
development, training, performance and accountability (web tools for
tracking attendance and other parameters) would contribute substantially to
planning teacher development efforts. This could also become a transparent
tool for developing teacher accountability indicators and their use, as
presently, teacher accountability systems appear to be still in the process of
While this indicates the importance of ICT for education, when examining the
integration of ICT in support of achieving educational objectives, it can be said
that, after almost one decade of using ICT to stimulate development, it is still
not fully integrated in development activities. Greater awareness-raising is
Finally, ICTs contribute to a more conducive environment
through the application of ICT in Education sector.
ICT can take the burden of teacher and by using it PTR can be
extended 1:30 to 1:40/50.
Enhance the quality of teachers and instructors;
Improve the learning process by provision of more interactive
Improve management and administration;
Improve young people’s learning skills;
Develop a critical mass of knowledge workers;
Provide access to ICT in schools.
ICT helped to develop and support, educational content has been
created and enriched, schools have been provided with an ICT
infrastructure, and students have become computer-literate and
have received sufficient training to be able to train others to
select, install, maintain and repair hardware and software.
The world over, successful education systems are those that have been
able to uphold the status of the teaching profession, attracting the best
talent and providing pay and professional development opportunities
comparable to other professions needing similar levels of qualification
and training. The RtE Act has set high benchmarks and expectations for
the future of education in our country. However, a failure to understand
the complexity of this system, and an overemphasis on the hyperbole of
teacher shortage will mean that the deeper issues that are the actual
disease will get overshadowed by the symptom of teacher shortage. We
will rush to hire and train teachers. We should also equip our teachers,
teacher training institutes and off course schools with ICT in the next
five years to compensate teacher shortage (PTR), and end up treating
the symptom, while the disease will continue to fester, ultimately
resulting in a failure of the RtE. The fear is that there are already
enough vested interests waiting for this failure to happen, and once this
happens they will grab the opportunity to label it as a failure of
education itself. We will have defeated ourselves and our aims of
education, and should then stand prepared to be corrected by a market
that will take education into its own hands, privileging education only
as a vehicle to superpowerdom in the newly booming knowledge
economy of the world. Nothing more and certainly nothing less…..
1. Providing access to ICT in schools, ICT should be made teacher
friendly and then school and classroom environment.
2. Increasing the supply of teachers through ICT based distance
education and by organizing time to time online in-service
programmes for quality improvement.
3. Creation of infrastructure, development of e- innovative teaching
learning material and formulation of scheme for making available
4. An ICT based teacher management system, addressing professional
development, training, performance and accountability.
5. Networking of institutions in the form of school complexes with
help in promoting the sharing of infrastructure and expertise.
6. Establishing cells in SCERTs for defining the curriculum for
computer education, teacher training and ensuring quality besides
up-gradation of computer facility with computer literacy in DIETs
and teacher training institutes.