Hill plea on teacher policy

The Telegraph
RAJEEV RAVIDAS

Kalimpong, March 23: The Janamukti Secondary Teachers’ Organisation (JSTO) has called for framing a new recruitment policy for absorbing all contractual teachers against existing vacancies in the hill schools.

In a letter to acting DGHC administrator B.L. Meena, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated JSTO said: “According to our estimate, about 600 posts are vacant in the 129 government-recognised schools in the hills.” Given the huge backlog of vacancies, there was even room for absorbing School Service Commission-empanelled candidates, said Bisan Roka, the JSTO’s Kalimpong unit spokesperson.

The backlog was created because of the non-recruitment of permanent teachers since 1997. “In view of the freeze on recruitment of permanent teachers, the schools had to make do with contractual teachers, who have kept alight the flames of education despite drawing paltry salary,” said Roka.

The JSTO said Calcutta High Court had passed orders from time to time to regularise the services of contractual teachers.

“The court in an order in 2007 had directed the state administration to accord approval to all casual teachers in government schools. Subsequent orders were also passed on similar lines,” said Roka.

Till such time they are absorbed in service as permanent employees, the contractual teachers should be given a hike of at least 50 per cent in their salaries, the JTSO said. A contractual teacher in the hills draws a consolidated monthly salary of Rs 5,000.

When contacted, Meena said on March 17 the chief secretary had asked a delegation of the DGHC’s contractual employees to wait till the elections were over. “When the chief secretary has already spoken, I can’t add more to it,” he told The Telegraph over the phone.

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