The Karnataka government’s education project of introducing English as a medium of instruction in a total of 1,000 government schools is greatly unlikely to witness progress in 2022 owing to the heavy teacher shortage highlighted by the education department.
Being one of the biggest hurdles to the project, this has stalled it for the second year in a row. The JD(S)-Congress government had initially announced in 2019 that English-medium sections will be started in 1,000 schools every year, following which schools were selected for the programme in 2019 and 2020. About 400 Urdu schools were among those selected that would get an English medium soon.
However, in 2021, no new schools had been added to existing list of two years. With the latest big obstacle, the department officials have said it is difficult for the project to expand further in 2022.
Vishal R, Commissioner of Public Instruction has said “human resource crunch” is a major issue.
Vishal R further highlighted that in several schools of north Karnataka, teachers are not given positions and are working as an ad-hoc deputation. During rationalisation, Vishal explained, they plan to shift teachers to places where there are comparatively more number of students. By doing so, “techaer posts will become available, followed by teachers.”
However, the state education department maintains that the demand for English medium has been continuing to go higher up. An official from the department has said that around 289 schools have placed demands for additional sections whereas 359 schools have asked for English medium. The official shared that currently there is a demand for “around 700 sections” and that they “get calls every day” for new sections. What stops them from giving permission for new sections in these schools is “because sustaining it will be a problem” as “classes are multiplying every year.”