Teacher shortage and digitization of schools

The news of acute teacher shortage making rounds in various news circles is indeed an issue of concern not only to the affected school and institutions, but seems to shake the very foundations of our vision to impart the best in our children and hence ensure a competent future citizenry.

While the problem is not new, it seems to be becoming graver every year as more teachers are resigning in search for better economic avenues elsewhere. The plight a majority of teachers who are deployed in schools across remote villages doesn’t seem to help either as the dreams for better and comfortable work places still weigh high. 

As per the latest data from the government, from a period of January 2022 to October end 2022 a total of 1,704 civil servants have separated from the civil service of which 1,033 have voluntarily resigned.

And, of the 1,704 who separated from the service, the largest groups are made of teachers at 414 of them resigning in the same period. To add to the long list of teachers resigning, another 179 teachers have taken Extraordinary Leave (EOL) meaning a total of 593 teachers are not in the education system currently due to resignations and EOL.

There is a huge paradox here. While schools across the nation are reeling of acute teacher shortages, a sizeable number of our youth and graduates, which number in the thousands, remain unemployed. And given the present scenario, of youth leaving in droves to foreign soils in search for better economic opportunities, the problem will only persist and become a major concern over the years.

One of the most viable and doable solution to this impending problem is by stressing more on digitization of our schools. Our government should focus more on moving to the digitization of our classrooms rather than the age-old textbook rooted approach.

Many schools across the world are now slowly replacing the books with tablets while the blackboard is gradually making way for computer screen and monitors. This bold move to digitize our schools will not only help solve the teacher shortage crunch, but ensure that our children, no matter how remote they are, can have access to modern education tools and mold and equip them into more competent citizens.

While we still have a long way to transit into this era, we are particularly not behind as our smallness ensures that we can achieve this dream in shorter period of time. Our planners should work at replacing conventional notebooks and textbooks with modern tablets because the varying expense on each child, if viewed from a longer perspective lens, should not be that exorbitant.

The digitization of our classrooms will not only ensure that our children are receiving the best of modern education, it will be the most viable long-term solution to our ever nagging teacher-shortage issue as fewer teachers can reach to a larger student population through the medium. 

The cost of educating our children, however high, must be met because it is the most viable and valuable resource we can bank on for generations to come.