Teacher recruitment and retention scenario in India

By Priya Chetty on September 27, 2011

The survey conducted by March Consulting and Research shows the challenges involving faculty recruitment and retention in India. Recruiting and retaining talent is a major challenge for every institution in India at present. India has high quality educational institutions but there is severe shortage of quality teaching staff in the universities. A large number of faculties are required by those institutes for curriculum development. Majority of the candidates prefer working for corporate sectors in the present times because of the attractive growth opportunities therein.

Authorities failed in developing recruitment strategies

At the time of globalization recruitment and retention strategy to increase the number of faculties is the urgent need of the hour. Though government lays stress on higher education and favors universities and colleges by allocating funds but the situation in schools is getting worse. The progress as reviewed on 21 February 2005 of the elementary education sector by the Prime Minister of India reveals certain bitter facts. (The Hindu, New Delhi Print Edition, 22 February 2005). This was not the first time in India that teachers and local authorities had been blamed for the poor performance in elementary education. Many civil societies and the media have been highlighting these issues for over twenty years or more. We have seen an increased awareness among the people through news and other mediums about this issue. In the last three to four years political leaders and administrators have started admitting their fault and have agreeed to the fact that there is a lack of motivation and accountability among school teachers and administrators. Despite of large number of enrollments, most of the children leave primary school without learning the basic skills of reading and writing.

Number of schools increased but not teachers

The reason behind the lack of accountability and poor motivation among teachers and local administrators lies in the fact that there is a problem in the education system. In the early 1950’s, education was a privilege for the few who could afford it. With democracy education became accessible to all. More children started enrolling themselves in schools. Thus in 1960’s we witnessed a sharp increase in the number of schools – both in the government and private sector. This was the period when relatively well to do families shifted their children from government schools to private schools as it provided better education. The perception gained a momentum that government primary schools were ‘schools for the poor’. In 1980’s and 1990’s, the government directed all its energies to enroll the children into schools through social mobilization and various enrollment schemes. Enrollment data became the principle tool for monitoring progress and teachers were expected to show an increase in the enrollment number every year.

Retaining children in schools

This was also a period when the government introduced the no-detention policy in order to prevent children from dropping out from schools. Teachers were given orders to retain children in schools and promote them from one grade to the next. The implications of the policy made the situation even worse. The system ignored the fact that whether the students are learning in the classrooms or not rather the policy be stressed on retaining them inside the classrooms. Teachers and the administration were impressed with the increase in enrollment figures and data. The percentage of children who cleared terminal examinations was satisfactory.

Deteriorating education system

The education system started getting affected by the growing political polarization. State governments gave preferences to religious communities and appointed candidates on the basis of their community and caste (Ramchandran V., Pal M., Jain S., Shekhar S., Sharma J., 2005). The survey shows the scenario of India in the 21st century knowledge race. Globalization has cast its effects on education as well thereby bringing rapid growth in technology. There is need for dexterous workers who possess in-depth knowledge of languages, cultures and business methods from all over the world. It is only education through which a country can achieve sustainable economic development with substantial investment in human capital.


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