The West Bengal government is mulling to appoint retired teachers as guest teachers as a “stop-gap measure” to fill up a large number of vacant posts at primary and secondary schools in the state.
Replying to a call attention motion moved by Congress MLA Nepal Mahato in the Assembly regarding the paucity of school teachers, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee Wednesday said: “We are looking into the issue. For those schools with problems of teachers, we will contact the former teachers of those schools of those in the vicinity and see if they can be appointed as guest teachers to those schools.”
Talking to reporters after the day’s session, he said the state government is looking into the issue of appointing teachers with “extreme urgency”, while accusing the Centre of not responding to the state’s requests to announce results of teachers’ recruitment examinations for the primary and secondary level “immediately”.
“We have written to the Centre twice to let us announce the result immediately. We have got no response from them so far,” he said, adding that the principal secretary would visit New Delhi next week to look in to the matter.
Those without BEd degree were also allowed to appear in exams for appointment of teachers and the last date for such relaxation was fixed for March 31 this year. The state’s decision of allowing non-BEd applicants to take the exams was was challenged in the court and as a result the appointment process got stuck, he said.
“Then the Model Code of Conduct was implemented due to the Assembly elections due to which we could not complete the process (of teachers’ appointment),” the minister said, adding that over 35 lakh people had appeared for the test and around 70,000 vacancies were to be filled up.
“Once we get a green singal, the entire process could be completed by December… A large number of aspirants are waiting eagerly for the results,” he said.
Chatterjee, however, said the appointment of guest teachers would be a “temporary stop gap solution” and assured that it would be done in a “rationalistic” manner.
“The governing bodies of the schools will decide whether they require teachers. Depending on that, they will send us a list of requirements from these schools for appointing guest teachers. If a school has excess number of teachers and another school in the vicinity has more vacancies, the teachers from that school would be transferred to that school where the number is inadequate,” he said.