Ahead of reopening, schools stare at teacher shortage

Ahead of reopening, schools stare at teacher shortage

Some teachers who teach online see resistance from family members are not inclined to return to schools

Students have been attending online classes following the outbreak of Covid pandemic. DH File Photo

Apart from the risk of Covid-19 infection, the government is likely to face shortage of teachers in its efforts to reopen school, especially in private schools. 

According to private school management representatives, many of the teachers have changed their profession due to uncertainty over reopening of schools, while many of those conducting online classes are not prepared to attend physical classes as their family members are not ready to send them back to work. 

“When we tried contacting our teachers for consultation once a week, they refused to come. Some even communicated to us saying they will not be able to come to school to take physical classes,” said a management representative of a private unaided school in Bengaluru. 

A majority of the teachers working with budget private schools have shifted to other professions as they were not paid for the last eight months.

“In the beginning, we thought the job shifting was temporary. But now, we are scared that we will experience scarcity of teachers,” said the representative of another school management. 

D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said, “We will definitely face shortage of teachers as a majority of them have relocated to their native places during the lockdown and found alternative means of earning.”

Another set of teachers currently engaged in online classes are not ready to come back as their family members are resisting.

“Especially, women teachers have an issue from their families due to the Covid fear. They are saying they will not attend school till there is a vaccine for Covid-19,” Kumar said.

“I shifted to a new job on a temporary basis. It’s been eight months and I am finding it better than teaching. I don’t think I will go back to teaching,” said a teacher who quit his job after his school failed to pay him during lockdown.

As per the analysis by the private schools managements, at least 40% of the teachers will be unavailable, leading to unprecedented shortage when schools reopen for physical teaching.