The decision of the state government to recruit teaching staff of all aided schools has not gone down well with many school managements. They have alleged that the move introduced to curb cases of corruption would instead, increase with government interference.
On Tuesday, the state cabinet passed a decision that only those who clear an online screening and aptitude test will be hired by schools as teachers.
Till 2015-16, schools directly hired teachers who had cleared DEd and BEd. According to the RTE Act, 2009, all states had to mandatorily conduct Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) for hiring teachers in all types of schools. However, there have been complaints about rampant corruption with school authorities asking for money from interested candidates.
“First give jobs to those who cleared TET following the state government’s directive, then talk of the new rule. This will be unfair for the thousands who have cleared TET and they will now be forced to take the so-called aptitude test. Does the government guarantee jobs to them?” said Prashant Redij, principal of Hilda-Castellina school at Kandivli.
A trustee of a private aided school in South Mumbai said: “The government interference in recruitment would mean that the schools will have to recruit those related and known to bureaucrats and ministers. If we recruit qualified candidates on our own, the education department will not approve the posts and pay their salary.”
Minister of School Education and Sports, Vinod Tawde, however, said: “In the past two decades, nearly 700 BEd and 500 DEd colleges have started. As a result, anyone can get admissions to these colleges. Candidates passing out from these colleges are recruited by the schools. Schools are not bothered whether these candidates are fit to teach or have the skills, they just consider the degrees before appointing them. The new test will ensure that the applicants can actually teach. The idea is to raise the standard of teachers.”
There are over one lakh aided schools across Maharashtra and the government spends over Rs 57,000 crore a year on education, of which 92 per cent is spent towards salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff, the minister said.