The new online transfer policy for schoolteachers should prove to be a game-changer if it ushers in a culture of fair and transparent postings and shifting of the nearly 90,000 teachers on the Punjab Government rolls. After much jostling with the powers that be and vested interests, the state government has finally taken this much-needed step. Importantly, the policy will help this large section of its employees be free from their annual rite of seeking sifarish to either stop their transfer or get a fresh posting of their choice. As it should be, the merit-cum-seniority-based and performance-oriented online transfers provide a level playing field. The boost in job satisfaction derived from such a system is expected to enhance the staff’s performance immensely.
The state Education Minister faced opposition from a group seeing its clout and a tool to oblige slipping away, yet he creditably went ahead with the move. It will serve a twin purpose. One, the teachers will be better placed to concentrate on their crucial job of shaping pupils’ lives rather than spending time and energy on chasing — and even bribing — politicians and officials to escape unwanted redeployments. The heartburning felt by teachers receiving difficult postings for not being 'well-connected' and year-long agitations over this issue will thankfully become undesirables of the past. Two, to gain points in their favour, the educators will now have to show results, not links with the high-ups. With children thus directly standing to gain, this progressive and long overdue measure will hopefully pave a way for better results of schools.
Haryana teachers and pupils have been benefiting from such a policy for years. With due consideration given to staff with special needs — be it concerning young children or illnesses — the optimal distribution of human resources under the online transfer regime is designed to erase any chance of anyone being bestowed favours. The poor show by government schoolchildren in every education survey every year in Punjab and Haryana called for a drastic overhauling of the sector. A strong foundation in studies is the pre-requisite for preparing a generation equipped to build the nation.