Contradictions galore Odisha's higher education scenario. The count of colleges/universities has gone up over the years in the State. But a syndrome of the falling count of the teaching staff is griping the higher educational institutes here acutely.
New School Of Thought?
As per the AISHE 2019-20, in the last 5-year period (2015-20), the total number of universities in Odisha increased to 32 from 21. The tally of State Public University has risen to 16 from 12. Similarly, the total colleges rose to 1087 in 2019-20 from 1076 in 2015-16.
The shocker here is the number of teachers in the higher edu institutes in the State had dropped by over 3.7k to touch 40,056 in 2019-20. Even, the visiting faculty number has also shrunk by over 55 per cent to touch 259 in 2019-20.
Recently, the State Higher Education Minister has admitted to the fact of staggering vacancies in the State Public Universities. Recently submitting a written statement in the Odisha Assembly, the Higher Edu Minister has said that a total of 1007 teaching faculty posts are lying vacant in 11 State-run universities.
As per the data tabled in State Assembly, Odisha's premier edu institute, Ravenshaw University, sits on the top in the vacancy table with a count of 188. It is followed by Utkal and Rajendra University (Bolangir) with a total of 126 each. The vacancies in the two universities - Utkal and Ramadevi - in State Capital stands at 227.
- The vacancies in the category of lecturers/Asst Prof in colleges and universities stand at 2072 in 2020.
- The vacancies at the level of demonstrator or tutor in the State stands at 460.
- Even the intake of contract teachers or, say, temporary teachers has tumbled down by 812.
Odisha Vs Other States
- Total teachers in colleges/universities in Odisha dropped to 40.05k in 2019-20 from 43.64k in 2015-16.
- Neighbouring Jharkhand saw the tally going up to 13.68k from 11.17k in 2015-16
- Total teaching faculty in Chhattisgarh moved up to touch 22.2k from 20.5k in 2015-16.
- In Assam, the total teacher count in colleges/universities has risen to 23.08k from 22.48k in 2015-16.
- In West Bengal, the total number of teaching staff in colleges took a jump to 65.5k in 2019-20 from 54.16k.
- In Delhi too, the count increased to 21.7k from 20.08k in 2015-16.
- The strength of teaching faculty in Gujarat rose to 60.38k in 2019-20 from 55.6k in 2015-16.
Outcome On 3Rs
There is a well known saying that 3Rs (Reading, WRiting and ARithmetic) dominate the education system. In order to see the Rs dominate, adequate teaching manpower is the pre-requisite necessity. And, exactly, this is where Odisha is lacking.
In such a scenario, the outcome has been the following.
- The students to teacher ratio in Odisha's universities/colleges increased to 33 in 2019-20 from 23 in 2015-16.
- The gross enrolment ratio (GER) in Odisha is lower at 21.7 vis-a-vis the national average of 27.1
- Despite raising the college count in Odisha, as per AISHE-2019-20, the State has only 24 colleges per lakh population as against 26 per lakh in Chhattisgarh.