GUWAHATI: Call it a gut response or an honest admission, State Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya told the Assembly on Wednesday that the ‘problem lies in the fact that sometimes officers don’t work the way they should’. He said this while responding to queries from the Opposition.
A large number of posts of teachers lying vacant in various schools in the State came up for discussion during the Question Hour. Siddhartha Bhattacharya said: “When a teacher retires the school or college authorities don’t inform the department of the retirement in advance. The department can fill up the vacancies when it gets a clear picture of vacant posts. Now we’re going to make it a rule for principals or headmasters to keep the department informed of the retirement of teachers six months in advance.”
AIUDF MLA Nurul Huda then said: “Inspectors of schools (ISs) and district education officers (DEOs) have information regarding the retirement of teachers. Instead of waiting for reports from headmasters/principals, ISs and DEOs can send such information to the department in advance.”
The Minister then instantly said: “There lies the problem. Sometimes officers don’t work the way they should. They don’t work properly. There’s nothing new in this practice. It’s going on over the years. Now we’re going to make it a rule for sending information regarding retirement of teachers six months before the actual date of superannuation. It takes time for the process of filling up vacant posts.”
Giving the statistics of vacant posts of teachers in the State, Bhattacharya said: “There are 12,100 vacant posts of teachers in lower primary schools, 8,065 in upper primary schools, 17,118 in HS schools and 480 in madrassas and Arabic colleges. Around 20,000 candidates have qualified TET (Teachers’ Eligibility Test) against these vacancies.”
The Minister further said that sometime the department has to face court cases while appointing teachers, and that lengthens the process. “The next step we’re going to take is the rationalization of teachers at the district level. The deputy commissioners are to head the committees meant for that.”
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