For the first time in India, female faculty have outnumbered their male counterparts, as per the Unified District Information System for Education report for 2019-20. According to the report, the number of teachers in school education increased by 2.72 percent in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19. Out of the total 96.8 lakh teachers in India, 49.2 lakh are women.
An increase of female teachers since 2013
There were 35.8 lakh, female teachers, in 2012-13, which has gone up to 49.2 lakh in 2019-20. The number of male teachers increased from 42.4 lakh to 47.7 lakh in the same period.
Female teachers number their male counterparts only at the primary level. The report pointed out that from the upper primary level, the number of male teachers continues to be more than female teachers, nationally.
In primary classes, the number of female teachers is over 1 lakh, but there are only around 27,000 men. In primary grades, it’s 19.6 lakh, women and 15.7 lakh men. By the time it reaches the upper primary, the equation changes: men are 11.5 lakh and women 10.6 lakh.
From then on, the gap increases. In secondary schools, there are 6.3 lakh men and 5.2 lakh women. In higher secondary, it’s 3.7 lakh and 2.8 lakh.
It has been observed that in government and government-aided schools across India, the number of male teachers is higher. However, when it comes to private unaided schools, the number of female teachers is high.
The trend of male teachers outnumbering women in higher grades is seen in several states including Karnataka. However, there are states like Kerala, Delhi, Meghalaya, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu where women surpass men even in secondary and higher secondary classes.
Unlike other countries, there are differential salaries in India between primary and secondary school teachers, explains Maya Menon, founder-director of, Teacher Foundation. “And male Indian teachers prefer to teach in secondary school because they get paid more, especially with government scales. Private schools that have more male teachers tend to be the International schools where the pay is better than other private schools,” she added.
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