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Clean record must for teacher body membership

Teachers of state-aided schools in the city and elsewhere will have to maintain a clean track record if they want to renew their annual membership of the state’s largest body of school teachers — All Bengal Teachers’ Association (ABTA).

The CPM-controlled association has decided to probe the credentials of all its members before granting renewal of their annual membership. The ABTA may reject the renewal appeal of a teacher if he/she is found involved in any “corrupt practice”.

“We are concerned about the rising number of complaints of corruption among teachers. From now on, we will renew their annual membership only after examining their service record,” said ABTA general secretary Amal Banerjee on Saturday.

The decision was taken after two teachers of a Hindi-medium school were recently arrested on charges of increasing the marks of two Higher Secondary (HS) examinees in exchange for money.

One of the arrested teachers is an ABTA member, said a source on Saturday. This had prompted the association to make the screening exercise more thorough in case of teachers of Hindi and Urdu-medium schools, he added.

Apart from corruption charges, membership renewal can run into rough weather on other grounds as well. Citing an example, ABTA sources said a teacher on invigilation duty once went home leaving a bundle of answer-scripts in the examination hall.

The association has resolved to refuse renewal of membership to all teachers who have been found guilty of similar lapses. Those found to have committed gross mistakes in evaluating Madhyamik or HS answer-scripts will also be refused membership renewal.

Woman dies on train

Shanti Devi, a 28-year-old pregnant woman, died on the Sealdah-bound Gangasagar Express on Saturday. Shanti Devi started bleeding an hour before the train was to reach Sealdah. Her relatives rushed her to BR Singh Hospital, where doctors declared her dead.

Flights diverted: Two Calcutta-bound flights — Air Sahara’s Delhi-Calcutta flight and Jet Airways’ Mumbai-Calcutta flight — were diverted to Bhubaneswar on Saturday night due to bad weather.

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