The Gujarat education department has opened the reserved seats of vidyasahayaks or teaching assistants for the general category candidates in government schools other than those of Gujarati medium.
The department has already invited online applications from the general category candidates.
The move is seen as an attempt to give another opportunity to the general category candidates who have have been complaining they are not selected for the job, despite clearing the teachers eligibility test (TET), due to decline in number of posts and a large number of seats being reserved for other categories. Ahmedabad and several other cities have witnessed either closing down or merger of several schools due to less enrolment.
However, this second opportunity to general category candidates comes with a clause. The department has opened the posts with a condition that when eligible candidates in reserved categories are available, the general category candidates appointed against these vacant seats will have to vacate their posts.
Nearly 1,000 posts in lower primary and upper primary government schools are lying vacant for over two years under the reserved categories. The majority of these posts are in Hindi medium schools, both in upper and lower primary government schools. This is followed by Marathi and Urdu medium upper primary government schools.
The reason cited by the department for not filling these seats is non-availability of eligible candidates in various reserved categories, including Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Physically Handicapped (PH) and Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC). Though in the case of Urdu medium schools, the department justified the move by claiming that there is no SC, ST in Muslims who generally apply for these posts, for the other mediums it claimed non-availability of eligible candidates.
“Since there was no candidate available for all these mediums in reserved categories, we decided to de-reserve 981 posts and allow general candidates instead. The online application process with the last date on December 17 was opened on Tuesday. By December 25 or 26 we are hopeful of giving them appointment letters as well,” said deputy director of primary education H N Chavda.
As per the education department records, position of vidyasahayaks are lying vacant in 35-40 lower primary schools and 250 upper primary schools.