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regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

Several government-aided schools in North 24-Parganas appeal for part-time teachers

Shortage in HS sections prompts schools to act

Subhankar Chowdhury Calcutta Published 19.05.24, 06:26 AM
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Several government-aided schools in North 24-Parganas have appealed to the district inspector of schools for part-time teachers to tide over the absence of permanent teachers in their higher secondary sections.

Many school heads said they might have to suspend classes in certain subjects in the semesterised system if they were not allowed to engage part-time teachers.

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Recruitment of permanent teachers has not happened over the past seven years following complaints of alleged irregularities in the appointment of teaching staff based on a selection test held in 2016.

The North 24-Parganas district inspector of schools on Friday notified the modalities for the appointment of part-time teachers.

The DI said in a circular: “It has been observed that the school authorities submitted the prayer for part-time teacher for HS section after the retirement of teacher for the particular subject in that HS section. Not only that, the school authority has engaged part-time teacher without prior permission from the Higher Authority.”

Spelling out the modalities, the circular says: “The school authority will place requisition for part-time teacher for one or maximum two subject teachers to the DI along with staff pattern, enrollment, biodata and consent letter of the teacher to be engaged.

“After receiving the application, the DI will approve the engagement of part-time teacher. Then the school authority will engage the part-time teacher for 180 days....”

The heads of the institutions have been told to submit their prayers to engage part-time teachers three months before the retirement of a teacher.

Krishnangshu Mishra, the headmaster of a school in North 24 Parganas, said an “acute crisis of teachers” prompted them to engage part-time teachers.

“Thousands of teachers have retired. But we have not got any fresh teachers in the vacant positions as the recruitment drive is on hold. Although engaging part-time teachers has been part of the scheme for many years, the schools are increasingly looking to engage such teachers because of the recruitment crisis over the past few years,” said Mishra.

Although the state government has allowed schools to engage part-time teachers, it has not said anything about who will pay the honorarium.

Schools don’t have funds for this, several headmasters said.

Chandan Maity, the secretary of the Advanced Society for Headmaster and Headmistress, said: “The state Higher Secondary Council has introduced five new subjects in recent times without bothering to check whether the schools have adequate teachers to hold classes. Schools have no option but to engage part-time teachers following the pause in the recruitment of permanent teachers. Engaging part-time teachers is a stop-gap arrangement. The school education department must start the recruitment of permanent teachers through the school service commission (SSC) at the earliest.”

The Telegraph reported on Thursday that the council has finalised a plan for neighbouring institutions to share teaching staff to tide over the scarcity of teachers at the plus-II level.

“Various models are being tried to surmount the challenges,” said a council official.

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