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Anomaly glare on 340 teachers

Jalpaiguri, Dec. 9: The school education department has temporarily stopped about 340 newly appointed primary school teachers in Jalpaiguri district from carrying on with their jobs after an inquiry team submitted a report that there were anomalies in their recruitment.

School education minister Partha De, when contacted in Calcutta, admitted that there had been anomalies in the recruitment process which surfaced during the inquiry conducted by department officials.

“We have temporarily stopped about 340 primary school teachers in Jalpaiguri district from working till the final inquiry report is submitted,” De said.

The minister also admitted that there were many deserving candidates who were not properly marked in the qualifying exams and were denied jobs.

“There is also the case where the answer scripts were not marked correctly. We have identified quite a few of these examiners and we will issue show-cause notices to them,” the minister added.

De said the suspension orders and show-cause notices would reach the district headquarters in Jalpaiguri by the end of this week.

Controversy arose on July 6 this year when a list of 1,091 names of selected primary teachers for 1,411 posts was put up. The Opposition parties alleged that there was widespread nepotism in the recruitment process and charged that many relatives of CPM leaders in the district were handed the jobs on a platter.

The hue and cry prompted the school education department to send a three-member inquiry team, headed by joint secretary, Tapan Kumar Adhikary, in August to look into the allegations. After a probe, the education department stalled the appointment of 15 candidates. The chairperson of the district primary school council, Mrinal Pal, was removed from his post, and the district inspector for primary schools, Kaushik Roy, was transferred to East Midnapore.

CPM district secretary Manik Sanyal has expressed displeasure over the manner in which these teachers were being stopped from working. “The school education department should spell out in detail its decision. Our party is not happy with the manner in which things are being done,” Sanyal said.

The district secretary of the CPM-dominated All Bengal Primary Teachers’ Association, Biren Sikdar, said it would not be good if in this melee, deserving candidates lost their jobs. “The government has to be very careful with what they are doing,” he said.

The secretary of a committee of newly appointed teachers, Partha Pratim Chakrabarty, said he was yet to get the names of those whose jobs were on the line.

“If we find that a deserving candidate has been sacked, we will have no other option but to take legal action against the school education department,” he said.

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