The Congress in Purulia’s Bagmundi has called for a daylong strike on Monday citing concerns regarding government-school education in the area, which over the past year has seen a “brain drain” of sorts following an online transfer scheme of the state education department.
The Utsashree portal launched by the government last August was meant to expedite a manual process wherein teachers in government schools would get mutually transferred based on personal requirements, but has reportedly been met with an overload of applications using sham medical certificates in order for rural-based school teachers to move to the city.
“The fallout of this trend is very clear in rural areas. We have schools that have not had teachers for various disciplines for close to a year,” said a teacher at the Bagmundi Girls’ High School, where six out of eight teachers have taken transfers under Utsashree. The school has 1,100 students enrolled.
“We are calling a strike to bring attention to this problem, which threatens a collapse of rural education. It has also come to our knowledge that a large number of these transfers are on the back of false medical certificates. Such matters will obviously have to go to court,” said former Congress MLA Nepal Mahato.
Sources said the issue of mass transfers had caused a vacuum in schools across Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, South 24-Parganas and Jhargram.
Chandan Maiti, general secretary of the advanced society for headmasters and headmistresses, said the issue was a long-standing one.
“Over the past year we have repeatedly asked the education department to look into this brain drain. At least 30,000 teachers have moved towards the city, and rural schools are left with departments devoid of any faculty,” he said.