New Delhi: Education without teachers is unimaginable like existence of an individual in an atmosphere without oxygen, the Supreme Court has said while voicing displeasure over lack of teachers in Telangana.
"We are of the sanguine view that school education would become extinct without teachers and giving temptation to the students to come to school to play is nothing but an unacceptable apology for education.
"We say so as imparting of education without teachers is absolutely inconceivable like existence in an atmosphere sans oxygen is unthinkable," a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant said after perusing an affidavit filed by the Telangana government.
The affidavit filed by the Telangana chief secretary said some of the schools in the state were functioning without teachers as educators were opting only for urban areas and better connected villages.
"Keeping in view the said situation, instructions have been issued that while transferring any teacher, if any school is left without any teacher, the district educational officer shall issue necessary orders to the effect that the junior most teacher will come back and work in the school from where he/she was relieved until alternate arrangements are made," the affidavit said.
It also said the state government after going through latest student enrolment figures has decided to fill 7,974 vacancies by engaging vidya volunteers or academic instructors to overcome the problem of shortage of teachers which has been completed in all the schools.
To this the bench said, "We do not intend to say that we are really perplexed about the assertions made, but we cannot refrain ourselves from saying that it is quite surprising that a state is thinking of imparting education with such adhocism by engaging vidya volunteers/academic instructors.
"We have been also apprised that they have been engaged for a period of six months. This is a state of absolute adhocism which can never be appreciated," the court said.
Noting the state of affairs, the apex court directed the state government to commence the process of appointment of teachers in primary schools within three weeks.
The bench also ordered the Secretary (Primary Education) of Telangana to file an affidavit regarding progress in the commencement of appointment process and also indicate as to how long it will take to fill up the vacant posts of teachers.
The observation came while the court was hearing a petition filed by J K Raju, seeking a direction for providing toilet and drinking water facilities in the states' schools.