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School begs students for teachers' salary

As aided schools in the city still await the education department’s approval to appoint new teachers, Byculla’s Antonio De Souza High School has found a solution to the problem of lack of funds. During a parents’ meet conducted recently, the school asked Std VIII students to pay up Rs 100 for the year so that the school can utilise the money to appoint new teachers. Currently, the Byculla school has two vacant positions.

Antonio De Souza School
Teachers needed: Antonio De Souza School in Byculla has two vacant positions for teachers for middle school, that is, Stds V to VIII. File pic

Fr George Athaide, secretary of Archdiocesan Board of Education, said, “Antonio De Souza is an aided school and since the students don’t have to pay fees like other unaided schools, parents have agreed to pay Rs 100 for the year.”

The education department has said that they are yet to find jobs for the surplus teachers who were out of jobs after the Nanded ‘ghost’ students incident. In 2011, when the education department carried out a census to ascertain the number of students in all the schools in the district, they found that many schools had hiked the number on paper in order to get more funds from the government. Many schools had to be shut down, which created a surplus of teachers.

R Bhise, education officer for BMC who heads affairs of all primary schools in the city, said, “The appointment of teachers is going on. It is true that as per the Right to Education Act, there should be two teachers where there are more than 35 students.” According to RTE rules, one teacher should be appointed for a class of 30-35 students. Many schools in Mumbai have at least one vacant position. And the schools cannot appoint teachers without the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the deputy director of school education.

A principal of a south Mumbai school on condition of anonymity said, “I don’t have a teacher for Economics for Std XII students for the last six months. I have requested my management to provide a teacher on an interim basis.”

Many unaided schools in the city have taken this approach and have appointed interim teachers as the management can afford to do so, but the aided schools are finding it difficult to fill vacant positions due to paucity of funds. On an average, a teacher who is working on a permanent basis makes about Rs 20,000 per month, whereas temporary positions guarantees a salary of Rs 6,000-Rs 8,000 per month.

“Unless these surplus teachers are placed in state schools, Mumbai city schools will have to work with interim teachers. Because of this the schools are left with no option but to pay from the pocket of the management or the students,” the principal said.

The education department has categorically said that NOCs will be given only after they find positions for the surplus teachers who lost their jobs after the 2011 Nanded fiasco.

Athaide further added, “We cannot afford to run classrooms without teachers for the entire academic year. In most schools there are vacancies for teachers and they are still waiting for approval from the education department. Moreover these aided schools are waiting to get non-salary grants from the government which they can utilise for the maintenance of the school.”

Officials speak
“Yes, it is true that after the Nanded issue the state has stopped giving NOCs to schools to appoint teachers. The ban will continue till all the teachers in Nanded are recruited across the state. Talks are on and the ban will be revoked soon after which city schools can start appointing teachers again,” said N B Chauhan, deputy director of school education.

Rs 100
Amount to be collected from each student of Std VIII in Antonio De Souza School

Rs 20,000
Average monthly salary of a teacher working on a permanent basis  

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