The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Curb on teacher test replays

Malda, Dec. 11: In a major policy decision, the state government will not allow the newly recruited teachers to sit for the school service commission examinations for three years.

The Left Front government will amend the School Service Commission Act in the winter session of the Assembly to this effect, school education minister Kanti Biswas said, addressing a seminar on “the responsibility of teachers in current situation”. The seminar was organised by the All-Bengal Teachers’ Association and the All-Bengal Primary Teachers’ Association at the Malda College auditorium last night.

Biswas said the government made the decision since a large number of teachers joining schools in rural areas were taking the examinations “again and again” to get posted in urban areas. As a result, he said, many teachers who got “better” schools on subsequent attempts, often quit, leaving the students in the lurch.

“This creates trouble for many schools, especially those in remote areas as they have to do without teachers,” Biswas said. He added that the worst sufferers were students.

He said the only way to stop the “practice” was through a change in the Act. He said the Left Front had already ratified the education department’s decision. “We are now preparing for the winter session of the Assembly, where we will amend the law to prevent the newly recruited teachers from taking the exams for three years,” he said.

Biswas said the education department was trying to “correct” the mistakes in history textbooks for Class VI students. He said a history professor from Delhi had brought the mistakes to his notice.

“I have already asked my department to look into this. We will make the corrections as soon as possible,” the minister said. He did not say what the mistakes were. Nor did he give the name of the history professor who had “phoned” him from Delhi.

Biswas admitted that the Left Front government had failed to build enough infrastructure for schools in the state in the last two-and-a-half decades it has been in power. “Compared to the manifold increase in the number of schools, students and teachers, we have not been able to build infrastructure required for dissemination of education in the last 25 years,” he said.

The minister said the government had, however, succeeded in “cutting off the middlemen” in the recruitment of teachers by creating the school service commission. “We have recruited 27,000 teachers through the commission in the last three years. Those recruited did not have to pay anybody to get their jobs.”

Biswas asked the teaching community to take on the “shirkers,” who did not teach properly at schools. “Though most teachers are responsible, some have not been discharging their duties properly. Only the teaching community can make these people work,” he said.

The minister asked the schoolteachers to stay away from tutoring the students privately. “They should spend more time in schools rather than at home giving private tuition.”

Biswas said the government had increased teachers’ salaries in a big way in the last 25 years despite opposition from its political rivals.

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