Government teachers from the Doaba region,known for its love for the West,lead the pack of absentees who have settled abroad without informing authorities.
An official survey has found that the largest number of absentee teachers are from the Jalandhar district. They account for 284 out of the 1,186 teachers found missing so far. The adjoining Hoshiarpur district accounts for 83 while 58 are from Kapurthala. Ludhiana district also reported a substantial number of absentee teachers. The survey found 120 teachers from Ludhiana had not reported to duty for long.
Education department sources said that some of these teachers have settled in countries like USA,Canada,UK and Australia though there has been no official communication from them. Since these teachers were not taken off the rolls,no fresh recruitment could be done to find their replacements.
Three teachers of the Government Senior Secondary School,Maliankalan Surinder Bhatti (Fine Arts),Paramjit Kaur (English) and Jasbir Singh (Science) have been missing since 2008,2004 and 2008 respectively. Their colleagues say they have settled in USA and Canada. The schools principal Jaspaljit Kaur said these posts are still lying vacant. We have already dropped the Fine Arts group and hired a temporary teacher for Science. Now we have no one. We request other schools to send English teachers to take classes here. She admitted the school is battling a shortage of teachers.
A local parent in Maliankalan,Gurnam Singh,said: My daughter wants to study Fine Arts but that subject is no longer being taught here. There is no school nearby that offers the subject.
Maths lecturer in the Government Senior Secondary School,Alawalpur,Kavita Vasudev has been absent from her job since October 2009. Principal Yogesh Kumar said the number of students taking that subject has dwindled drastically in recent times. We take Maths teachers on deputation from other schools, he said.
Parent Baljit Singh said he paid a fortune on private tuitions for his children before shifting them to another school.
Her colleagues at the Government School Randhwa Bhatija said Social Studies teacher Manpreet Kaur went to Australia in 2002. District Education Officer (Secondary) Joginder Das said: She neither submitted her resignation nor has given any other reason for being absent for so long. We have recommended her case for action to the Director Public Instruction (DPI).
Hindi teacher Babita Rani of the Kala Baiyan government school left in 2007. Sources said she is in Australia. Balwinder Kaur,another Hindi teacher at Government Middle School Bara Yodh Singh,is missing since 2004 and was dismissed recently. Maninder Kaur of Domestic Science of the Bhargo Camp has been absent since 1997. she too has been dismissed from service.
Among others,Maths teacher Kavita Vasudev of the Government School,Alawalpur,has been absent since October 2009.
Satinder Kaur,who was missing since 1986 and was in USA,is reported to have died but the department does not have any official information.
Satnam Singh of Government School Madiala Camp in Mehatpur left in 2007 and his case has been recommended for action. Maths teacher Ashok Kumar of the Government School,Nihaluwal,has been missing since 1995.