STRESSING ON the importance of art education as an integral part of schooling, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has directed the Department of Education to ensure art teachers are appointed in every school from classes 5 to 7, as stipulated by government resolutions between 1979 and 1985. The court observed, “It is the creative individuals who are proving to be successful in this world today. There are tremendous avenues and opportunities available to those individuals who are trying to be creative and innovative.” Justice Ravindra V Ghuge was hearing a writ petition filed by a Jalgaon-based school against the school tribunal after it reinstated an art teacher in the school, despite the education department not approving of it. Mohammad Wahab was appointed as a shiskhan sevak in the Jalgaon school in 2009. After completion of three years, the school sent an application to regularise his appointment as an art teacher.
However, the education department did not oblige, saying that there was no sanctioned post for an art teacher by the government after which he was orally terminated by the school.
Wahab then approached the school tribunal, which directed the management to cancel his termination of service and reinstate him. He was reinstated and his back wages, for the period of termination, were also paid to him by the school.
As there was no sanctioned post of an art teacher, he was working as an assistant teacher on an ad hoc basis. Therefore, the school approached the HC, stating that Wahab’s appointment was unapproved as there was no sanctioned post and that they were being burdened with an additional employee.
The court, after perusing the documents and reports concerned, upheld the tribunal’s assessment.
The court also perused various government resolutions and letters and held that, as per Government Resolutions of 1979, 1980 and 1985, there should be compulsory appointment of an art teacher in every school between classes 5 and 7. It added that these norms were being openly violated across educational institutes.
Directing the education department to sanction the post and appoint Wahab as an art teacher, the court also said, “Taking into account the overall pathetic situation with regard to the appointment of Art Teachers and significance of art education, I deem it proper to direct the Department of Education, State of Maharashtra, to implement the Government Resolution dated 21.05.1979, the Government Resolution dated 30.07.1980, the letter of the Director of Education dated 06.09.1985, the letter of the Arts Director dated 06.09.1985 and the State Policy, to ensure appointment of an Art Teacher in every school imparting education from the V to VII standards. It needs to be ensured that such art teachers are engaged in such schools as expeditiously as possible and preferably till the time of the commencement of academic year 2017-2018.”
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