About 1,200 posts of headmasters in schools in Calcutta and the districts, lying vacant for more than five years, will soon be filled up by the state government.
There are about 7,500 secondary and higher secondary schools in the state, of which more than 1,500 are currently functioning without headmasters.
West Bengal School Service Commission chairman Arun Kiran Chakraborty said on Sunday that the Commission will issue advertisements next week, inviting applications for the vacant posts.
Application forms will also be available from some nationalised banks, he added. The cost of each form is Rs 550. Candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes will have to pay Rs 145.
Sources in the school education department said that about 37,000 posts of assistant teachers in secondary and higher secondary schools were lying vacant for the past three years.
In addition, 26,000 posts of teachers in primary schools are also lying vacant in the state, the officials said. According to them, nearly 1,900 schools in the state, including 250 in the city proper and Howrah, have already been closed down following the government’s inability to recruit teachers for the institutions. As a result, the number of students studying in city primary schools is much lower.
Chakraborty explained that the school service commission has no control over primary schools, since the district primary education council generally recruits teachers there. The Commission is authorised to recruit teachers for secondary and higher secondary schools only.
Chakraborty said that the Commission had so far recommended recruitment of about 40,000 teachers in secondary and higher secondary schools in the state since 1998, when it had conducted the recruitment examination for the first time. Between 1998 and 2002, the Commission recommended the names of about 3,000 teachers for the vacant posts of headmasters.
It is learnt that the government is focussing on the recruitment of teachers through panchayats, for the newly-set-up child education centres under the control of the rural bodies, in order to save on the costs.
Teachers for the child education centres recruited through the panchayats will not get provident fund and other facilities enjoyed by the teachers recruited by the state government for the primary schools. They will be recruited on contract and the government will not have to bear the additional financial liabilities for them.
Sources in the school service commission, however, said that they would conduct examinations to recruit teachers in secondary and higher secondary schools immediately after receiving the total number of vacant posts.