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Primary teachers take BMC to court again

Almost 22 retired teachers, who won the 2010 case in the Bombay High Court against Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to get their pension, have to approach the court in 2012 again, to get their dues.

After their win, the BMC started paying them Rs 3,000 as pension but considered them ‘untrained’ because they have completed their Dip Ed course but not the D Ed one. The pension of a teacher who has completed D Ed should be above
Rs 10, 000. The retired teachers claim that the BMC never raised any questions about their qualification while they were still teaching.

The retired teachers approached the Bombay High Court again on September 22 2011 to get their full pension. The next hearing is due on July 17. After they won the first case, the court asked the BMC to pay them full pension and gratuity without any interest. The BMC initially agreed to pay the pension. However, it soon began paying them Rs 3000, claiming they are ‘untrained’.

Ranjana Deshmukh, a teacher at the North Bombay Welfare Society School, Ghatkopar, said, “I worked as a teacher for 35 years and my qualification was in line with the old SSC, that is, I sat for my board exams in the standard 11, studied in college for a year, and then did my Dip Ed. (In the new SSC board, teachers give their board exams in standard 10, study in college for two years and then go on to do their D Ed).

My school also made me headteacher and the BMC approved it. Now, after the retirement, the BMC claims that I am ‘untrained’ as my qualification is not D Ed. It also claims that it sent a circular to all schools in 1985 that every teacher must get a D Ed qualification. How did they approve me as headteacher if I was not qualified?

Sixty year-old Zarina Sheikh, primary teacher at the Little Star School at Ghatkopar, said, “I served for 29 years and retired in 2009. There are 199 teachers who have done their Dip.Ed. Why didn’t the BMC officers tell us this when they came for their regular inspections?”

Rahul Walia, lawyer of 22 retired teachers, said, “The BMC officials are now calling all these teachers for personal interviews.”

Despite several attempts, BMC officials remained unavailable for comment.  

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