Almost half of all the government schools in Karnataka lack headmasters 

49 per cent of government schools in the state do not have a headmaster. This amounts to more than 23,600 of the schools in the state in the primary and high school level
Image for representational purpose
Image for representational purpose

The MHRD’s ShaGun Portal (State-fed indicators) for the year 2015-16 and 2016-17 revealed that the percentage of schools with headmasters and principals hovered around 51 per cent in the two years assessed.

A report by the School Education Quality Index (SEQI) index developed by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) made this public. The picture gets grimmer as 3315 schools are running with just a single teacher.

"Headmasters/headmistresses play an important role in the governance of school - drawing a salary, school administration, taking up classes for some subjects, while also being a key player in implementing technology in education," said a former government school teacher.

However, headmasters' recruitments have frozen since 2012 - said source in the education department - pointing this as a major reason for the dismal representation.

A former principal told TNIE that KPSC appointment, which is the direct method of being recruited a principal, is laborious and time-consuming. This perhaps has put off the administration from the recruitment process. "Between the examination results and the appointment orders by the government, is a process of document verification, which is, till date done manually. Tahsildars have to go to the applicant's house and then give a report to the government about the veracity of the documents. Certificates to avail various quotas are also checked," said the government school head.

Digi-Locker too has its limitation here and cannot be used for document verification. "This, as SSLC marks cards are only uploaded by the SSLC department from the 2014 batch, and universities are yet to follow suit," the head added.

A top official from the department, on condition of anonymity, told us that promoting teachers to the post of principals has been replacing direct appointments. "This phase-wise process takes time. Promotions are underway for Belgaum, Gulbarga, Bengaluru and Mysuru," the official added.

Mani, director of secondary education in the State said that the process of promotions was yet to begin and said teachers transfers process must first conclude for that to happen.

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