Despite receiving a notice from the State for flouting RTE norms, the PMC Education Board Chief denies breaching the RTE, and is keen to continue with the drive
If the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) education board has its way, 100 teachers could soon be hired to resolve the severe dearth of teaching staff across the 52 English medium schools run by the Corporation.
PMC Education Board Chief Shivaji Daundkar, whose office is at Shivaji Nagar (Above), denies having flouted the RTE, and says RTE norms apply solely to long-term recruitments. File pic
Even receiving a show cause notice from the state — for having flouted the terms of the Right To Education (RTE) Act during the recruitment process — has not put the board off its plans.
Mid-day’s report on August 26
Two days ago, mid-day had reported that the state Education Commissioner, S Chockalingam had instructed state Education Director (primary) Mahaveer Mane to serve a show cause notice to the PMC for violating the RTE by recruiting teachers who had not cleared the Teachers’ Eligibility Test or the TET (State to serve notice to PMC for breaching RTE recruitment norms, August 26).
On Tuesday, Mane slapped the PMC Education Board Chief Shivaji Daundkar with a show cause notice, along with a firm warning to suspend the recruitment process till the department had furnished a detailed explanation in writing.
Chockalingam made it amply clear on Monday that under any circumstances, the PMC should not go ahead with primary teacher appointments if the candidates have not cleared the TET, as it is clear violation of the RTE.
Despite this, Daundkar has no qualms whatsoever about continuing the recruitment drive. “If we wait to recruit teachers who have passed the TET, the whole recruitment procedure will take another three months, as it will get stuck once the model code of conduct comes into play for the upcoming state assembly elections.
Hence we are appointing teachers for a temporary period of six months. The norm of appointing TET-qualified teachers is applicable for long tenure appointments,” he said.
His argument however, is baseless, as clearing the TET is a mandatory requirement under the RTE Act for any teacher to be hired. Daundkar even admits that their proposal had been approved by the state on the condition that it would follow all the rules.
“We had sent a proposal for these recruitments to Mantralaya and received their approval on August 1. The state school education department in its reply asked us to go ahead with recruitments while abiding the rules of recruitment,” he said.
As an explanation for his decision to go ahead, he said, “Anyway, we are filling the posts using PMC funds without taking any salary aid from the government.”
PMC Commissioner Kunal Kumar however, took a more cautious approach to the stand off. Kumar, who took charge of the PMC’s reins last week, discussed the issue with Chockalingam recently.
“The primary teacher recruitments are still under consideration and we have not yet taken any final decision on it. I have to check the file, as the topic is new for me and the recruitment procedure was initiated before I took charge here. After an overview of the situation I would able to comment on it,” he said to mid-day.
100 Number of teaching positions available for six months
450 Number of candidates interviewed by PMC on August 19