In a significant development, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has lifted its ban on creation of additional posts for government school teachers. Citing ‘fiscal’ problems, the MHA, in November last, had expressed its inability to allow creation of more posts.
So that the Right to Education (RTE) Act could be implemented in letter and spirit, the Chandigarh Administration had sent a proposal to the MHA demanding creation of more posts so that the mandatory teacher-pupil ratio of 1:30, under the said Act, could be met. The MHA had shot down the proposal in November and instead, ordered complete ban on ‘creation of plan and non-posts’ till further orders.
Lifting the ban, Centre has now asked the Administration to furnish clarification on the details of expenditure to be incurred on creation of posts for teachers. An official communication was received by the Administration on January 7 from Under Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
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Administration has been asked to ‘furnish clarification’ on the observations of Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance ‘for examining the proposal and seeking approval for requisite creation of posts’. The Ministry has sought clarification on ‘priority basis’.
The Ministry has informed the UT Administration that pursuant to clarification, the Ministry will consider proposals for creation of posts ‘subject to certain conditions’. During the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) in the high court concerning standards of education in government schools, the Administration had apprised the court about the ban imposed by the MHA.
In its letter, the MHA had submitted that the decision (ban on creation of posts) was taken keeping in view ‘economy measures and rationalisation of expenditure’. The Administration, last October, had sent a proposal to the Centre for sanction of creation of 3,472 posts for teachers in government schools.
In its fresh communication, Centre clarified that number of additional posts will depend on final approval of the Ministry. The high court, in the last hearing, directed MHA and Ministry of Finance to amicably resolve the dispute failing which Secretaries of the concerned Ministries will be summoned.
Displeased with the attitude of the MHA, Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, on the last hearing, remarked that an administrative order (by the MHA) ‘cannot put to naught’ the RTE Act.
The high court had made it clear that it cannot appreciate as to how an administrative order can put to halt an Act which has to be implementation in true letter and spirit.
Administration discusses teacher-pupil ratio
Chandigarh: In a recent meeting held by the top brass of the Administration, the issue of teacher-pupil ratio was discussed. It was brought to the notice of the Administration by the Education department that as against the teacher-pupil ration of 1:30, mandated under the RTE Act, the ratio in some government schools was 1:60. It was discussed that creating additional posts for teachers will bring down the ratio to 1:30.