In the “larger interest of students and functioning of schools”, the Delhi government has decided to give powers to principals to recommend transfers of teachers. The order has teachers worried as a transfer recommended by the head will not be considered on “administrative grounds”.
As per the government, the move is to empower principals and act as a deterrent against those who obstruct the functioning of schools. Teachers, however, can still ask for a transfer at the beginning of the academic session on medical grounds or any other reason.
“It is hereby ordered that the principal/vice-principal/head of school may recommend the transfer of three teachers in an academic session out of their school,” stated the notification issued by the Directorate of Education on June 23.
“This was a routine transfer which used to take place. Now, the government has given the HoS special powers… it is for cases when the head finds that the teacher is not cooperating with the administration… This additional power is given so that there is no obstruction in the smooth functioning of the school,” said B K Sharma, principal of Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Lajpat Nagar.
Atishi Marlena, advisor to Education Minister Manish Sisodia, said, “Any school is as good as their leader so this is another way to empower heads of schools. We have already given them a lot of administrative and financial power and this is another step. We had also been receiving complaints in the past few years about some teachers… refusing to accept the leadership of the HoS. Since this was a long pending demand, we are finally implementing it.”
Teachers, however, are worried that the order would be used to target them even if they have a minor difference of opinion with the head of the school. “This is against the system of natural justice. There are high chances that this will be misused by principals. The other thing of great concern is that… the transfer will not be an administrative one. So who decides the ground for the transfer?” said Ajay Veer Yadav, general secretary, Government School Teachers Association.
Some teachers questioned how a transfer could be decided by the principal in the “interest of children”. “Children are used to a certain way of teaching. So transferring teachers mid-session will cause problems,” a teacher at the Government Boys Senior Secondary School in Sonia Vihar said.