THE ISSUE of overstay of teachers on deputation in Chandigarh is again haunting the UT’s education department. The office of Principal Director of Audit (Central) has found that 224 teachers posted in city’s government schools have overstayed their deputation period, some even up to 32 years. There are a total of at least 4,000 teachers in Chandigarh government schools.
The audit team carried out an inspection of records of UT Directorate of School Education (DSE) for a period between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018. The audit department sent its report to DSE last week and has sought the department’s comments. DSE manages 115 government schools in Chandigarh. The audit department has now asked DSE to even provide “justification for overstay beyond the permissible period under the rules”.
The audit report was accessed by RTI activist R K Garg under the Right to Information Act. The report pointed out, “Audit scrutiny revealed that in Chandigarh’s schools, there are 529 teachers (276 Junior Basic Teachers and 253 Trained Graduate Teachers) from Punjab and Haryana cadres. These teachers include 224 teachers (71 Junior Basic teachers and 153 Trained Graduate teachers) whose deputation stay was more than five years. Maximum deputation stay ranged even up to 32 years.”
In 2015, too, the UT cadre employees had protested against the other cadre teachers overstaying on deputation in Chandigarh. The protesters also approached the union government and MHA had then asked the UT Administration to repatriate the teachers on deputation to their parent cadres. A large number of teachers who had exceeded their deputation limit of five years were then repatriated. However, a number of teachers yet survived and were not repatriated.
UT’s Education Secretary B L Sharma said, “There was opposition from Punjab and Haryana when we took up this issue of repatriating teachers. A meeting was also held with education secretaries of Punjab and Haryana. But there was a contention from both the states that no period should be specified for the teachers’ stay in Chandigarh.” Swaran Singh Kamboj, president of UT Cadre Educational Employees Union, said, “Most of the teachers who overstay on deputation are kin of influential people in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.”
“Several rules are being violated. A teacher must have served at least five years in his parent cadre before being deputed in Chandigarh. But there are cases where they have landed in Chandigarh even if they have barely served a few months in their parent cadre. While on deputation only, they are also getting promotions. Most of these teachers who have exceeded their deputation limit are posted in urban area schools of the city. None of them wants to be posted in village schools,” Kamboj told Newsline.
After protests by the UT cadre employees, the education department had drafted a deputation policy, which has not yet been finalised. “It awaits approval of Punjab and Haryana. After a meeting of UT Administrator with Chief Secretaries of both the states in July, the draft policy was sent to both the states. Their reply was still awaited,” a senior UT Administration officer told Newsline.