The second attempt at filling vacant posts for Mathematics and Science teachers for government primary schools turned out to be a futile exercise, as more than 1,200 positions are still lying vacant at the end of the recruitment process that completed this week.
The Gujarat Education Department had invited applications for filling 6,000 vacancies for Mathematics and Science teachers (vidyasahayaks) in the month of November last year. These posts were re-advertised after the Department failed to fill them within August that included recruitment of 8,800 vidyasahayaks. Despite repeated attempts to call in candidates from the waiting list for these subjects, these posts could not be filled.
This time, of the 6,000 posts, the Department failed to fill nearly 20 per cent, amounting to 1,218 vidyasahayaks across the state.
“At present, the department is not sure how to fill these posts that have again fallen vacant for the second time. Whether there will be re-advertisement or these vacant posts will be carried forward to the next recruitment drive is uncertain at the moment,” stated a senior official.
After the implementation of Right to Education Act in 2010 in Gujarat, the Education Department went on a drive to create and fill posts for primary government teachers. The recruitment of 6,000 posts was the third round of appointments of vidyasahayaks in the past two years, majority of which was in the three subjects of Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
While some are presuming that the choice of districts offered to the candidates against their merit list is one of the reasons for these posts lying vacant despite repeated attempts, others are contemplating the tough stand taken by the Department against Mathematics and Science teachers.
“There are a few factors attributing to this issue. One could be that the number of candidates with the eligibility criteria of combination of B Sc (Maths/Science) and B Ed who have also cleared the Teachers’ Aptitude Test (TAT) is not much. Not many candidates with a B Sc degree want to pursue teaching as a profession,” said Gujarat Primary Teachers Association president Chandu Joshi.
Elaborating on other issues, Joshi added, “Most of the applicants are already teaching at a government or private school and don’t want to change the district. If they are offered posting in a different district, they usually opt out. Moreover, they are also offered better pay packages by private schools, which again keeps them from accepting the posting.”