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Wednesday 22, January 2020
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Move to rationalise staff irks teachers

Tribune News Service

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, January 13

Starting the process of teacher rationalisation in about 12,850 primary schools in the state has stirred resentment among teachers after the School Education Department identified about 2,560 surplus teachers.

As the department has started the process of shifting the teachers to the schools where there is a shortage of staff, the teachers are condemning their shifting at a time when the final exams are just two month away.

In its transfer orders of December 23, the Education Department had demanded about 2,560 teachers, including 485 head teachers, to give their option for vacant places. On the basis of these options, the Education Department was to decide on transferring ‘surplus’ teachers on January 9. However, protesting the proposed transfer, many teachers knocked the door of High Court, alleging that transfers are in violation of the Teachers Transfer Policy of (June 25, 2019) read with the rationalization policy for primary schools (16.9.2019) of the state Education Department. On January 8, the High Court had stayed transfer orders till January 20.

The department claimed that the rationalisation process was being carried out as per the norms of the Right to Education (RTE) Act under which the pupil-teacher ratio of 30:1 wa to be maintained. However, the teachers alleged that the strength of students was to be considered as on August 31 every year and the rationalization of the posts of teacher was to be done every year from December 1 to December 31, as per the rationalisation policy. But, the present transfers were being made on the basis of the pupil-teacher ratio as on December 8.

The transfer policy provides that notification of actual vacancies will be done from January 1 to January 15 every year and the eligible teachers will submit their choice of schools online, from January 15 to February 15 every year. The transfer orders will be issued in the second week of March every year and the joining will be in the first week of April.

The teachers alleged that the cut-off date of August 31 had been wrongly changed to December 8 without any basis and posting orders were issued in mid-session, frustrating the whole purpose of the transfer policy.

The teachers demanded that their transfer should be done on the basis of the results of children and their performance must be assessed. Children would be affected as the transfers had been made halfway through the academic session. Government primary schools in Punjab have about 39,860 teachers.

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