Darjeeling, March 1: The GTA Sabha has started issuing appointment letters to 570 primary school teachers who had cleared entrance tests and interviews in 2002.
More than 4,000 candidates had applied for the vacancies, the tests and interviews for which were conducted by the district school board in 2002. Even though 570 of them got through the process, the DGHC that was ruling the hills then didn’t appoint them for reasons never explained.
The 570 are the first lot of primary school teachers to be recruited in the hills since 1997. The appointment has come at a time when 33 of the 774 primary schools in the hills are running without even a single permanent teacher. The 33 schools have only casual and voluntary teachers who were appointed by the DGHC.
Roshan Giri, the GTA executive member in charge of school education, said: “The interviews for these posts were held in 2002 but the DGHC never issued appointment letters for some reasons. We have started releasing appointment letters to 570 primary school teachers.”
He said the GTA would appoint another 267 primary school teachers soon. “For this, a fresh interview will be conducted,” added Giri.
Members of the Gorkha Primary Teachers’ Organisation , an affiliate of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said more teachers needed to be recruited. “Since the last appointment in 1997, there have been vacancies of 4,000 posts and they have to be filled up. However, we are happy that the recruitment process has been revived,” said a GPTO leader who didn’t want to be named.
According to sources, in the 774 primary schools in the GTA area, there are 2,140 permanent teachers, 868 casual teachers and 407 voluntary teachers at present.