Though Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal and many other SAD MLAs had openly criticised the policy of transferring teachers from boys and girls schools, Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka has not yet reverted the transfers and even the list of 822 teachers (411 male and 411 female) has been posted on the website of the department.
These teachers comprise 35% of the total teachers to be transferred. The rest were spared after protests by the teachers from across the state.
The teachers were transferred by the Education Minister, stating that boys’ schools would have male teachers and girls’ schools would have female teachers. The decision was taken following a select cases of sexual harassment.
Interestingly, out of the transferred male teachers, a few have won awards for their contribution to girl education. They are Shakti Kumar, an English lecturer at Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana; Gurpreet Singh, a physics lecturer at Girls Senior Secondary School at Phillaur; and Jaswinder Kumar, a chemistry lecturer at a girls’ school at Phillaur. These teachers were honoured for bringing 100% results in their subjects for the past five years and contributing to girls’ education. They were honoured with the ‘outstanding teacher’ award along with Rs 1 lakh prize, a medal and a certificate.
Apart from this, a number of teachers had been sent abroad by the government to represent the state in conferences. However, now the teachers are feeling humiliated as after honouring them, they are being transferred from girls’ schools to boys’ schools with a plea that a few sexual harassment cases had been reported.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had said he would talk to the Education Minister and even Harsimrat had called this order discriminating.
However, teachers so far have not been given a positive response by the Education Minister. Calling it more a ‘pick and choose’ policy to harass them, they said stern action should be taken against the culprit rather than implementing this order.