A week after the state slapped the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) with a show-cause notice to explain why it was flouting the Right To Education (RTE) Act by recruiting teachers who had not cleared the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET), the Corporation has at last scrapped its recruitment drive.

52 English-medium schools run by PMC have been facing a severe shortage of teachers since 2012
52 English-medium schools run by PMC have been facing a severe shortage of teachers since 2012

“As no one ensured that only TET-qualified candidates were called for interviews during the ongoing recruitment process of primary teachers, we are terminating the whole process. Soon we will initiate a fresh procedure to recruit 100 teachers with proper qualifications as per the guidelines of RTE,” said PMC Commissioner, Kunal Kumar.

Following the dispute since it first began on August 24, with MNS’ city vice-president, Ajay Shinde pointing out the lapse, mid-day had reported last week that state Education Director (primary) Mahaveer Mane had asked the PMC to suspend its drive, but Shivaji Daundkar, PMC’s education board chief was still keen on continuing with the process. (Notice from state fails to deter PMC’s recruitment drive, August 28) Interestingly, Daundkar’s role as the acting head of the education board also came to an end two days ago, with B K Dahiphale taking over as the new chief.

“On my first day itself, I made it clear that the appointment of primary teachers could not be made as the candidates called for interviews had not cleared the TET. I had also interacted with the Commissioner about the issue, and the corporation will now initiate a fresh drive,” Dahiphale said.

The drive was to help the PMC recruit 100 teachers for a temporary period of six months, to resolve the acute shortage of teaching staff at its 52 English medium schools. “My first priority is to see how we provide teachers for the students,” said Commissioner Kumar, while refusing to comment on whether the PMC would launch a probe into the matter.