Mumbai: Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde directed the Mumbai Suburban District Collector today, to probe alleged corruption in transferring 1,024 surplus aided classrooms from Mumbai's aided schools to unaided schools in suburban districts between 2009 and 2011.
Tawde said that Mumbai Suburban District Collector Shekhar Channe has been asked to submit his report in two months after a probe. "Based on the findings in his report the matter will be referred to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for investigation and action," Tawde told reporters here.
Terming it as a scam akin to the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) scams in the Urban Development and Housing departments, he refuted the contention that thousands of teachers would be rendered jobless and added that on the contrary, some more teachers would have to be recruited.
Tawde alleged that these surplus aided city school classrooms were illegally "sold" to unaided private schools. "In most cases, surplus teachers of aided classrooms stayed back in aided district schools in Mumbai city and did not go to unaided private schools.
However, they availed of salaries from unaided schools as well," he said. Tawde claimed that some teachers who contacted him revealed that the teachers' union had sought Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh as "monetary consideration" for giving them such jobs.
He said that some teachers and sources disclosed to him, the alleged involvement of some elected representatives in this scam. "In the process, some educational institutions in a suburban district recruited an additional teacher.
Instead of running two classrooms with a strength of 40 students, just one classroom of 70 students was run and the aid money meant for the additional aided classroom was pocketed," he said. Replying to queries, he assured that no teacher rendered surplus will be laid off.
"Around 8,000 to 11,000 school teachers are likely to be rendered surplus. However, at the same time, the government will need to recruit about 3,000 to 4,000 teachers," he said. Tawde said that neither students nor teachers will be affected in the process. "We are not against good teachers and good educational institutions, but against those who have illegally pocketed government money," Tawde said.