Teacher recruitment in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) area has come under the scanner with the district inspector of schools seeking details of all teachers appointed in GTA schools since 2012.
The scrutiny comes at a time when Calcutta High Court is hearing a bunch of petitions by volunteer teachers aggrieved that they were not regularised recently when more than 300 other volunteer teachers were.
The petitions can be broadly divided into Suman Gurung and 16 others versus the state government and Jashimuddin Mondal and others versus the state government. These cases were last heard on September 13.
The office of the district inspector of schools in the GTA sought written submission regarding the details of teachers appointed since 2012, two days after the court hearing.
“Schools heads are being called in batches. Notices were issued on Friday. The first batch was asked to submit their details on Saturday,” said a source.
The notice clearly states that the scrutiny is being done in reference to the two sets of petitions before the high court cases.
Sources said that the format that the heads of the institutions have been asked to fill has a set of 17 queries.
“Apart from teachers’ personal details like phone number, address and qualification, the format seeks details of the year of appointment, whether the post was sanctioned, and if yes, the reference number of the sanction,” said a source.
Details like whether the post was vacant, the procedure of engagement and the authority that regularised the services of voluntary teachers along with a resolution of the managing committee are to be submitted in writing, sources said.
Sources said that the 17 voluntary teachers approached the court in 2022 when they were not regularised when more than 300-odd voluntary teachers were recently regularised in the GTA area.
Anand Bhandari, counsel for Suman Gurung and 16 others, speaking to The Telegraph over the phone from Calcutta, said: “The petitioners want their services to be regularised in a similar manner as it was done in the past. The petitioners' contention is that if their regularisation is not possible then all previous regularisations should be cancelled and a CBI inquiry be initiated.”
Voluntary teachers, who are unique to the GTA areas because of the absence of the School Service Commission (SSC), are those who are appointed by the managing committee and are either not paid or paid a small honorarium.
These teachers were regularised by the state government but had no formal written or oral interviews before regularisation. The lack of a proper procedure to regularise the volunteer teachers has been challenged before the high court. Some allegations of foul play and nepotism have also surfaced.
Sources said district inspectors have asked the hill schools to be ready with details of teachers’ appointments since 2003. At the moment, schools are being asked for details of appointments since 2012 only.
More than 1,000 teachers have been appointed in the GTA area since 2003.
The case pertaining to Suman Gurung and others will be heard by the high court on September 27, said Bhandari.