The issue of surplus teachers has been one of the main issues between various principals and teachers’ organisations and the state government. After the state government changed the student-teacher ratio last year, the Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad (MRSP), a teachers union, claimed that thousands of assistant teachers from schools across the state would lose their jobs.
The association had even written to the school education minister three months ago, asking him to resolve the issue, however, no action was taken. Members of MRSP and MLC from teachers’ constituency Ramnath Mote have threatened to take to the streets to protest this.
As per the government resolution issued on November 20, 2013, the students and teachers ratio for class V is 30:1, from classes VI to VIII it is 35:1 and for classes IX and X it is 35:1.5.
The student-teacher ratio earlier was 25:1.3 for classes V to VII and 25:1.5 for classes VIII to X. “As a result of this, schools have surplus teachers. Senior teachers, whose posts are approved, can be transferred to other schools where there is a vacancy, but the assistant teachers, who are on probation, lose their job as the state government has refused to transfer them to other schools,” said Anil Bornare, president of MRSP.
The MRSP has been agitating against this “ploy” of the government as surplus teaching and non-teaching staff, who are on probation are being laid off. “We have always been ready to cooperate with the government. However, every time we agitate, the government gives false promises and goes back on its word, leaving us high and dry,” said Bornare. He added they would start a non-cooperation agitation as the government was trying to shirk its responsibilities and do away with excess teachers.
“The government has shown no inclination to help the surplus assistant teachers who are losing their jobs. Now that the President’s rule has been imposed, no decision will be taken in this matter and the teachers will be left in the lurch,” said Mote.
An official from the school education department said, “We are open to suggestions and presentations. These organisations can approach the three-member committee set up to review the new rule. If they have a genuine issue we will definitely look into it and address it immediately.”