The district education office in Jamshedpur. Picture by Srinivas
Jamshedpur, Aug. 9: Around 8,000 untrained para-teachers selected by district village education committees in March will be left high and dry as the Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) issued guidelines on July 30 to only recruit trained para-teachers.
These new rules are the consequence of the right to education (RTE) Act which directed the appointment of only trained teachers in schools.
Following this directive, East Singhbhum district alone will have to turn down 500 para-teachers already selected by its village education committee, although the district urgently needs 700 para-teachers. As district superintendent of education Sushil Kumar said today, the administration would have to reject almost all selected applicants as very few are professionally trained.
Earlier, para-teachers were recruited first and trained by respective education offices. But the requirement now is to have trained aspirants, preferably with Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) or a diploma in teaching.
“Based on JEPC rules, we cannot induct them as we have found out that most are untrained. We will have to start the selection process again,” said Kumar.
“It is because of the rules that we stopped the existing selection process. We will now get teachers who know their jobs before joining,” said a senior official of JEPC.
But officials are also sceptical whether a trained para-teacher will care to join a job which pays so little. A para-teachers in the state currently earns Rs 5,500.
Qualified para-teachers also might not want remote postings, said others.
“Our priority is recruiting para-teachers for primary schools. Only then can we think of pay scale revision,” said an official.
“The education department will find it tough to get qualified para-teachers for remote areas. Training after recruitment was a better option,” said Suresh Hembrom, a para-teacher.