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CIMA Gallary

Hill school & teacher demand

Darjeeling, Jan. 30: The GTA Sabha has asked the state to regularise the jobs of ad hoc teachers and recognise the junior high schools in the hills set up by the erstwhile DGHC, before setting up a School Service Commission in the hills.

A school, after it is set up, must get itself recognised by the state school board. In the case of the hills, it is the SSC (hills). The SSC is also the body that recruits teachers into government schools. It has remained defunct in the hills since 2001.

The DGHC had set up 31 junior high schools and appointed 142 ad hoc teachers without the SSC’s sanction. The teachers were paid by the DGHC.

Even though the state government had created a separate commission for the hills, the SSC (hills) could only conduct examinations in 1998 and 2000, after which it remained defunct because of objections from the DGHC.

Roshan Giri, the GTA Sabha member in charge of education who met state education secretary Arnab Roy, the state education secretary in Calcutta yesterday, said: “We have told him that the government must find a one-time solution to the peculiar problems in the hills….” The GTA has demanded that 31 unrecognised junior high schools must be recognised as government-aided schools and the jobs of the 142 ad hoc teachers be regularised.

If that happens, the education department will fund the schools and pay the teachers.

Giri also raised the demand that voluntary teachers appointed by school managing committees be made para teachers. There are 388 voluntary teachers, who fill up shortage in school staff. They are “paid a nominal amount depending on the donations made by students and parents”, said a hill teacher. Para teachers, on the other hand, are recruited under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and given a consolidated amount by the government till the age of 60.