A whopping 1,500 files have been found inside the cupboards that were sealed at the office of the deputy director of education (DyDe) on orders of the state education commissioner. Besides, another 100 papers pertaining to suggestions and complaints filed by parents, educationists and teachers, besides other persons, were found lying loose in a careless manner, said Commissioner Purshottam Bhapkar.
The commissioner, who has instituted a committee of senior education officers to look into alleged irregularities at the DyDe office, said the establishment department was the worst offender. “It is a serious issue since this is the department that receives all the complaints from people and is supposed to ensure that the file is put up within a week. Here, if we see loose papers lying around, it puts a question mark on the seriousness given to people’s complaints, which is not done in a government office. Though I was expecting to get the inquiry report by Wednesday itself and take an appropriate decision, due to the sheer volume of file work, it is taking longer. By Friday, I will get the report and take a decision, which could be some serious disciplinary action which I had indicated earlier,” said Bhapkar.
Asked why he had asked the cupboards to be sealed a day prior, Bhapkar said he suspected foul play could have occurred. “There were hundreds of loose papers of requests that had come and I was afraid that because the officers don’t wish to show a heavy pendency which might reflect badly on them, they might try to destroy some papers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ramchandra Jadhav, deputy director of education, dismissed the episode, saying cupboards were sealed only for a day. “They haven’t found any foul play yet and it is only that records haven’t been maintained, for which I have already issued instructions,” he said.
Even as the commissioner appeared to be in a combative mode, he did have to face the ire of a few teachers’ organisations, which went to register their protest over the manner in which the surprise raid was conducted at DyDe office on Tuesday, accusing the commissioner of demoralising staff by holding a trial before media since press persons were invited.
At the deputy director’s office now, files were being moved to an Urdu-medium college. “We didn’t have any space to keep these files and that’s why even after being completed, they were lying here which gave the impression it’s pending work. It’s not as if we weren’t doing anything. It wasn’t right for the commissioner to come here and judge everyone by the same standard,” said an officer.