The school education department has issued notices to 62 education officers over the allegedly illegal appointment of 7,228 teachers in private and government-aided schools across the state between 2013 and 2016. These appointments were allegedly made in the period when the government had restricted fresh appointment of teachers.
In 2012, the then Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had ordered a statewide survey, which found that around 20,70,520 enrollments of the total 2.16 crore students in state schools were bogus. After these names were struck off, there was a surplus of teachers in the schools. The state government then, in May 2012, banned recruitment of teachers in primary, secondary and higher secondary schools till the excess teachers were absorbed in service.
Despite this, 7,228 teachers were recruited in districts such as Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Latur, Aurangabad and Nagpur between 2013-2016, officials from the education department said. There are over 1 lakh aided schools in Maharashtra and the government spends over Rs 57,000 crore a year on education, of which 92% is spent towards salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff.
In 2014, MLC, teachers’ constituency, Ramnath Mote, moved the high court against the state government’s policy to restrict new appointments.
“They were neither making new appointments nor absorbing surplus teachers on vacant posts. This had led to over 14,000 teachers posts across the state lying vacant. Hence, we had to move court against the government,” Mote said.
Deputy Director of school education, Mumbai, B B Chavan said, “The court then directed the state school education department to fill up the vacant posts by April 2015. However, no notification was issued in the matter by the state government, since the department was keen on implementing a central recruitment process for teachers. The officials of regions where these appointments were made have been issued notices. The matter of these 7,228 appointment is being investigated by the commissioner of education, Maharashtra.”
Despite repeated attempts, commissioner of Education Dr Vipin Sharma could not be reached for comments. The state cabinet on May 30 approved conducting a special eligibility and aptitude test for appointing teachers.
This the minister of school education Vinod Tawde said would play a significant role in bringing transparency and ending corruption in the process of hiring teachers. Earlier, school managements appointed teachers and got the post approved by the state government.