The West Bengal School Service Commission on Friday held counselling to recruit 65 teachers in government-aided secondary schools after at least 183 candidates were found to have got their jobs illegally.
The candidates who were counselled were from among the waitlisted ones. Some of them have been protesting off the Maidan over the past 663 days against alleged irregularities in the appointments made by the commission.
Siddhartha Majumder, chairperson of the commission, said they decided to hold the counselling after the school education department gave them a list of vacant posts.
The commission had in early December posted on its website a list of 183 candidates who did not qualify in the 2016 State Level Selection Test (SLST) but still had their names on the merit list and were appointed as teachers in government-aided secondary schools.
“We called 65 candidates for counselling who will be recommended for appointment. It emerged from the reports of district inspectors of schools that out of 183 candidates who had been recommended for appointments at secondary schools across the state, 102 did not join,” Majumder said.
“Sixty-five candidates were called for counselling for ‘rank-jumping but non-joining’ posts.”
What about the rest of the 102 posts? “We will soon announce a decision on this,” an official of the commission said.
Asked about the fate of the 80-odd candidates who had not qualified in the SLST but joined schools, Majumder told The Telegraph: “We are awaiting instructions from the court in this regard.”
The secondary education board had on December 30 released a list of schools where there were vacancies.
Friday’s counselling came a day after the services of 60 more teachers in government-aided primary schools, who got jobs after writing the 2014 Teachers’ Eligibility Test, were terminated by Calcutta High Court on the ground that their appointments were illegal.
The small queue of candidates in front of Acharya Sadan in Salt Lake, the headquarters of the commission, on Friday included those who have been protesting over the past two years.
Are they happy that finally they will get jobs.
“I am not entirely happy because a large number of candidates are still protesting. All of them should be recruited,” said a candidate.
“We went through a lot of pain. Finally, at the start of a new year, some of us see a ray of hope. But those who are still protesting at the base of the Gandhi statute (near the Maidan) should be called for counselling, too,” said another candidate.
An official in the school education department said they were looking forward to filling the vacant posts at the earliest transparently.
“There were irregularities in several appointments. The recruitment process got stalled amid the chaos triggered by complaints of irregularities. Finally, the recruitment process has resumed,” the official said.
The state primary education board had in December begun conducting interviews in phases for appointment of teachers in government-aided schools.