Bengal: Move to appoint madarsa teachers via NGOs comes under fire
After civic police volunteers, the Mamata Banerjee government is now trying to appoint teachers through NGOs and self-help groups for an English-medium madarsa in North Dinajpur, a move that has been criticised by the Opposition in Bengal.
The notification issued by the office of the district magistrate of North Dinajpur, says, "Notice is hereby issued for selection of NGO/SHG for providing 12 nos. of teaching staff on purely contractual basis for a period of one year for Uttar Dinajpur Model Madrasah (English medium) at Panjipara, Goalpokhor-I, Islampur."
The selection process for the NGO or self-help groups will be held on March 23 at the District Minority Bhawan in Karnajora, North Dinajpur. The teacher requirement, as per the notification, is: two each in Arabic, English, Geography, Mathematics, Acience and History and one for Bengali.
“After civic police volunteers, the state government is recruiting civic teachers,” said BJP leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari.
CPM central committee member Sujan Chakraborty was also critical.
“This decision to appoint teachers through NGOs and self-help groups indicate that the Trinamul government has disowned its responsibility towards the education sector. They want to spend money on organising fairs and festivals. Every move of this government in the education sector is deep set in corruption," he said.
The Mamata government's decision comes at a time when the Calcutta High Court had early this month ordered a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in teacher recruitments in Bengal. To add to the state government' embarrassment, the high court has also ordered a CBI probe into recruitments of group-D and group-C staff in state-run schools.
The Calcutta High Court’s single judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had issued the CBI probe order into the recruitment case following a petition filed by one Md. Abdul Ghani Ansari, which the state government has challenged.
In both the recruitments of teachers and non-teaching staff, it was alleged that candidates with lower rankings were given appointments, as well as some whose names did not appear in the merit list.
In July 2021, the same judge had stayed the appointment of 14,500 teachers for upper primary schools in the state.
Since the Mamata Banerjee government came to power in 2011, recruitment of teachers at different levels of the school education system have been glared upon by the Calcutta High Court, forcing aspiring candidates to hit the streets. After 2016, the school education department has not issued any fresh notification for recruitment of teachers.
“We had filled the forms in 2014, the written test was held online on August 16, 2015. The results were declared a year later, and interviews held in 2019. Many of those who found placements were unqualified, they did not have B. Ed degrees,” said a candidate for the post of an upper primary school teacher, who has been waiting for the last eight years.
About 15,000 candidates who claimed they were deprived from livelihoods in 14,339 vacant seats and with 2,032 cases filed there still is no solution in sight despite repeated interventions by the high court.
During the Left Front rule, there were allegations that party-backed candidates were given preference in recruitments and placements, but none of the regulatory bodies ever had to face strictures from the court.
CPM central committee member Sujan Chakraborty dismissed any wrongdoings on appointment of teachers during the Left’s uninterrupted 34- year- rule.
“Teachers were recruited in primary, upper primary schools, colleges, but no question was ever raised,” said Chakraborty.