Darjeeling, Aug. 26: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today alleged malpractices in the ongoing recruitment of para teachers and midwives in the hills and demanded an immediate freeze on the processes till an interim set-up was put in place for the region.
Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of the Morcha, said: “It has come to our notice that there have been several anomalies in the recruitment of para-teachers and selection of ANM (Auxiliary Nursing Mid-wifery) candidates in the Darjeeling hills. Moreover, we had told the government that our party should also be consulted on all affairs, but this did not take place. We demand that the entire procedure be kept on hold until the interim set-up is put in place.”
He said applicants with only a couple of years’ teaching experience had been given preference over those with more than 10 years’ experience.
“Many people who were employed under the Integrated Child Development Scheme were selected as midwives. The selection was partial,” he said.
However DGHC officials said they had gone by the rules governing the recruitment and there had been no foul play in the process.
P.T. Sherpa, secretary of the council’s education department, said: “The appointment process is still in progress. We are following the norms laid down by the Sarva Siksha Mission to recruit teachers.” While 197 vacancies of para-teachers are in the primary schools (till Class IV), and 210 posts are to be filled in the upper primary section (from Class V to Class VIII).
Explaining the recruitment process, Sherpa said the onus of selecting teachers for the upper primary school lay with the managing committees of the respective institutions and village education committee in the case of primary schools.
“Selection is not done by the council. The candidates are vetted by managing committees and the village education committees. A panel then interviews them and the lists are again sent to these committees, which have appointment powers. The council merely sanctions the lists,” said Sherpa.
Primary schoolteachers receive a monthly remuneration of Rs 6.500, while those appointed in upper primary schools are entitled to Rs 7,500.
W. Zimba, secretary of the council’s health department, also said the selection of the ANM candidates had taken place according to the norms mentioned in advertisements.
Although a Morcha delegation today met the additional district magistrate of Darjeeling and requested him to stop the recruitment, he did not give any assurance as the decision had to be taken by the state government.