|Assam education and power minister Pradyut Bordoloi arrives at the Assembly for
the budget session on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Aug. 6: Assam education minister Pradyut Bordoloi told the Assembly today that a section of schoolteachers in the state was “outsourcing” their jobs instead of taking classes themselves.
The statement raised eyebrows in the House, as this kind of “outsourcing” has not been heard of before in the state.
Replying to a question raised by suspended AIUDF legislator Sherman Ali Ahmed, Bordoloi said it had come to the notice of the government that some schoolteachers, instead of coming to school and taking classes, were delegating their work to others for a commission.
These unscrupulous schoolteachers reportedly pay a part of their salary to the “outsourced teachers” as commission. “We have taken this matter very seriously and strong action will be taken against such teachers. Those found guilty will be dismissed with immediate effect,” the minister told the House.
On Ahmed’s suggestion that the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) should be held constituency-wise as candidates from urban areas selected through TET were reluctant to serve in the rural areas, the minister acknowledged the problem and announced that the state government was considering holding district-wise TET.
“There are certain problems in holding TET constituency-wise so we are considering holding the test district-wise,” he said.
Bordoloi said the government was according top priority to setting up of schools in the backward areas of the state like tea gardens and sars that lack educational facilities. “We have plans to set up 500-odd schools in the backward areas of the state,” he added.
On the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) in schools, Bordoloi said though it needed to improve in certain districts such as Barpeta and Dhubri, the overall ratio in the state was satisfactory.
He said according to the Right to Education Act (RTE), the pupil-teacher ratio in lower primary schools should be 30:1, which is 26:1 in Assam, while in upper primary schools it should be 35:1, which is 17:1 in the state.
He said to improve the ratio in districts like Barpeta and Dhubri, the process of rationalisation of teachers was under way.
Rationalisation of teachers is a process aimed at having the right balance of pupil-teacher ratio in schools by transferring teachers from schools that do not have adequate students to those facing a crunch of teachers.
“The education department has already identified high PTR and low PTR districts and the finance department has agreed on rationalisation of teachers to maintain a healthy PTR across the state,” the minister said.
Bordoloi said the government would fill up the vacant posts of sub-inspector of schools and for this his department had already issued advertisement and received applications too.
He told the House that 133 contractual teachers, who were appointed for schools in Baghbar and Jania Assembly constituencies in Barpeta district and were subsequently attached or transferred to schools outside the two constituencies, had been directed to join their original places of posting and action had been initiated against officials responsible for the unauthorised attachment or transfer of these teachers.