Minister has said teachers should work in schools
The State government’s bid to recall teachers in government and aided schools who have gone on deputation to other departments or agencies for over five years has evoked mixed response.
Education Minister V. Sivankutty recently stated that the department was planning to prepare a list of such teachers and ask them to return, while adding that “teachers should work in schools”. While teachers’ unions have not opposed the move in public, it is believed to have annoyed some of their leaders who have made it a practice to be on “permanent deputation”.
According to sources, a large number of teachers, most of them leaders of unions, have been deployed in the Samagra Shiksha Keralam, State Council for Educational Research and Training, Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education or KITE, Campaign to Protect Public Education, State Council for Open and Lifelong Education – Kerala or SCOLE Kerala, State Institute of Educational Technology, and the Kerala State Literacy Mission. It has been reported that some others have even found a placement in the Kudumbashree Mission.
A State-level functionary of the pro-Left Kerala School Teachers Association, the biggest union representing school teachers, told The Hindu that there was nothing wrong in recalling them. He quoted provisions of the Right to Education Act to claim that “deployment of teachers for non-educational work” had been prohibited. It would affect only those who were on regular deputation, he added.
M. Salahuddeen, president of the Congress-affiliated Kerala Pradesh School Teachers’ Association, “expressed the hope” that the proposal would be implemented effectively.
Though they are sent on deputation initially for a year, it can go up to five years, and there are teachers who have been in some posts for 10 years or more. This helped some to focus on their organisational responsibilities and some others to be in their home town. Some teachers work on deputation for five years, come back to their parent department for a year, then again go back.
K.K. Sreejesh Kumar, general secretary, Kerala Aided Higher Secondary School Teachers Association, claimed that the current system of deputation was affecting the functioning of aided schools. “Those who go on deputation are not replaced and the academic prospects of students are hit. Also some teachers are appointed in key posts bypassing seniority and service,” he said.
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