The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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No work, full pay for teachers

Malda, Dec. 10: Two teachers of a primary school here have not attended classes for two years, but that has not deterred them from drawing salary.

The primary school at Cooliepara in the town had mostly Hindi-speaking students and the teachers stopped coming to the institution on their own, apparently realising their incompetence in communicating in the national language.

The duo did not quit. Their salary was issued regularly by the assistant inspector of schools of the Englishbazar circle. For two years, the primary education department took no notice of the fact that money was going down the drain.

Guardians and residents of the area said the teachers could not communicate with the Hindi-speaking students. They did not try to muster the language either. Salary sitting at home was just fine.

Asked why no action was taken against the teachers, assistant inspector of schools Tapati Dey said: “I have nothing to say. You will have to ask the inspector of schools or the chairman of the district primary education council. Whatever I did was following the instructions of the council chairman.”

The school was a tiled-roof building where youths of the locality started taking classes in 1986. Five years later, the primary education council recognised the institution and appointed the two teachers. A new building came up with funds from the District Primary Education Project. There are 266 students now.

Since it received recognition, the school became entitled to ration for free meal. In the absence of the government teachers, a ration dealer has been drawing the foodgrain meant for the children. The local youths who take classes now are not entitled to draw the quota.

“The area is mostly inhabited by brick kiln workers from Bihar,” said Babul Singh, one of three founders of the school.

“When the government recognised this primary school, it built a new house but labelled it Bengali-medium. People here wanted a Hindi school. We have now asked the government to appoint Hindi-speaking teachers or wind up,” said Singh.

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