Burdwan, Sept. 24: Desperate to avoid being arrested on charges of giving private tuition, at least 40 teachers of government-aided secondary schools today sought anticipatory bail in the district session judge’s court.
The bail petitions follow a case against 43 teachers who had earlier given undertakings that they would refrain from private tuitions as per government policy. The teachers were accused of giving tuitions despite pledging that they would not do so.
Munshi Rafikul Islam and 20 other educated, unemployed youths had filed a case against the teachers in the chief judicial magistrate’s court on September 17, alleging that the teachers were running private coaching classes violating service rules.
The petitioners urged the court to direct police to arrest the teachers on charges of cheating the government by accepting salary from schools and at the same time taking money from students in private.
The court had asked the police to inquire into the allegations and submit a report by October 5. The police were directed not to arrest the teachers till the court examined the inquiry report. Burdwan district magistrate Manoj Agarwala said his office had approached the district inspector of secondary education for a detailed report about the teachers still taking private classes. “We shall take administrative action against the teachers if they are found guilty in the report,” Agarwala said.
District inspector of schools Subhas Samanta confirmed that all the accused teachers were appointed by managing committees of government-aided schools and they had to abide by the service rules. “The government pays the salary to the teachers and not the school managing committees. If the teachers do not refrain from private tuitions, we will stop their salaries,” he said.
Mohammad Yunus, district secretary of the CPM-controlled All Bengal Teachers’ Association (ABTA), said they would not back the teachers who are still giving private tuitions.
“The government has made it mandatory for the teachers not to impart private tuitions. We are requesting them to abide by the rules. If any teacher continues with private tuition, it is the person’s headache to defend the case,” he said.
State secretary of the CPM’s students’ wing Apurba Chatterjee said the SFI would soon launch a statewide agitation against private tuitions.
Varsity under fire
At a time when the school examination system is under scrutiny for irregularities in the evaluation system, the Burdwan University has come under flak from the SFI for dismal results in BCom and BSc examinations.
An SFI delegation met vice-chancellor Amit Mullick after the percentage of successful candidates in the final year BCom examination fell from 86 last year to 47 per cent.
“In the BSc finals, 1,900 students had secured first-class last year. This year, only 500 have got first class. Success rates in the Part I examinations have also dropped,” Chatterjee said.