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
“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.
All 52 of the English medium schools run by PMC have been facing a severe shortage of teachers since 2012, when a Government Resolution (GR) was passed to ban any recruitment for government schools.
Mid-day’s report on August 28
While 3,000 new students enrolled in the schools this year, the school personnel was short by 100 teachers. Now that the recruitment process has to begin again, the students can expect a long wait, as the PMC has to jump several hoops before its recruitment drive can be approved and implemented.
The education board will first have to approach the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) to get a list of candidates who have cleared TET in the state. The recruitment proposal will also have to be approved by the state and the PMC’s various decision-making bodies.
There is also the possibility that the drive could get stuck once the model code of conduct comes into play for the upcoming state assembly polls. Maharashtra and Haryana are going to have assembly elections prior to Diwali, in October, and the model code of conduct usually comes into force three weeks prior to the elections.