To regulate the recruitment of teachers and to end rampant corruption in the process, the state government will conduct special screening tests for appointing teachers. The decision, passed by the state cabinet on Tuesday, will ensure quality teachers in private and government-aided schools, claim officials.
Teachers will be hired based on their scores in a specials aptitude and entrance test that will be conducted online by the state school education department.
In the present set-up, schools directly hire teachers who have cleared DEd and BEd. This system has, however, been panned as there have been complaints about rampant corruption, with school authorities asking for money from interested candidates to hire them. As per the decision taken by the state cabinet on Tuesday, the state government will have total control over the appointment of teachers.
According to an official of the school education and sports department, a list of eligible teachers will be uploaded following the tests. Schools will have to hire teachers from this list. “If school managements hire teachers out of this list on their own, then the state government will not pay the salary to that teacher.”
The state government had restricted new appointment of school teachers since 2016. A circular was issued by the school education and sports department, dated January 14, 2016, that no new appointments of teachers are to be made by schools and it should also not be approved by the state commissioner and director of primary and secondary education. The government was keen on coming up with a central process of recruitment.
This had become a bone of contention between school managements and the school education department. “Thousands of teachers who cleared the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) that was made mandatory by the state government are still unemployed. Now, there is a new screening procedure. We will see what is the state government up to now,” said Prashant Redij, principal of Hilda-Castelina high school in Kandivali.
“There have been many cases where schools demand money for hiring teachers. The state government’s move to have a common standard process for recruitment will stop these corrupt practices. Only those teachers who have qualified these tests will have to be hired by school managements,” said Uday Nare, teacher, Hansraj Morarji school.
Meanwhile, Minister of School Education Vinod Tawde said, “The move is to keep malpractices and corruption in the teacher recruitment at bay. The issues had been brought to our notice time and again. We not only wanted to end corruption, but also wanted to ensure only quality teachers are hired. We want to set a benchmark of quality education across the state.” According to Tawde, the process will bring in the much-needed transparency in teachers’ recruitment. The decision will not be applicable to private unaided and self-financed schools in the state.