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State firm on teacher tussle
- RKM offered option to select from SSC panel

Calcutta, Sept. 5: A three-year battle between Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government and the Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) appears headed for a denouement with Writers’ Buildings holding its ground that the organisation would have to recruit teachers through the School Service Commission (SSC) if its schools accept government aid.

However, the government has made one concession. The SSC will select a panel of three teachers against each vacancy from which the RKM can choose one.

“We have thoroughly examined the demand of Ramakrishna Mission and have come to a conclusion that they cannot be permitted to recruit teachers on their own if they take financial assistance from the government,” school education minister Kanti Biswas said.

The RKM authorities had demanded that they be allowed to recruit their own teachers so as to maintain the high acedemic standards of their schools.

Keeping in mind the decent results the RKM schools churn out, the government decided not to totally ignore the monks’ plea. It has offered them a further privilege. The RKM will have the right to refuse a panel of selected candidates and demand constitution of another.

“We will set up a panel of three selected candidates against every single vacancy in the RKM-run schools. A representative from the school concerned will have the right to be present at the SSC office during the process of preparing the panel and they can pick and choose among those three candidates,” said an education department official.

If the representative does not find any of the three members of a particular panel suitable, a fresh panel may be formed.

For other state-aided secondary and higher secondary schools, the SSC recommends a single candidate against a vacancy and the schools have to accept the choice.

Officials at the RKM headquarters at Belur Math said they have not yet received a formal notice from the government. “We will be in a position to comment only after we get a formal intimation from the government,” an RKM spokesperson said.

“When the government implements its decision, the RKM-run schools will appoint teachers through the SSC for the first time this year,” said SSC chairman Arun Kiran Chakraborty.

About three years ago, a powerful lobby in the CPM pressured the government to have the RKM-run schools recruit teachers through the SSC as the institutions were accepting aid to pay teachers’ salaries. The RKM resisted and about 100 vacancies are pending in its schools.

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