The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pulled up the School Education and Sports Department, Pune for failure to utilise services of surplus teachers, resulting in an expenditure of Rs 10.34 crore. The case is of 42 teachers from Mumbai, not transferred to fill vacant posts resulting in the department having to give them salaries with retrospective effect from 2008 to 2013 though colleges they were originally working were closed for the period in question.
The problem began when Laxmi Education Society, Mumbai submitted a proposal to close down two government-aided junior colleges and the deputy director of education (DDE) office turned down the proposal. The reason given by the management for closing down the college was financial crunch and a reduction in workload but in the interest of students and teachers, DDE rejected the proposal. Despite this, the management gave the 42 teachers termination notice in June 2007.
Aggrieved teachers approached the School Tribunal, which asked the department in 2008 to absorb 42 teachers in other colleges where there were vacancies, which in turn didn’t happen for the next 5 years. A writ petition was filed in High Court after which the HC directed the Directorate of Education (DE), Pune to conduct a hearing of all parties. The hearing concluded in July 2008 and it was decided the decision of the management to close the colleges was not appropriate. The management went to court against the DE order.
The “department did not take any action to utilise services of the 42 teachers in any junior college pending finalisation of High Court orders. The Department directed (May 2009 and June 2009) the DE to disburse salaries to all 42 teachers.
Accordingly, DDE, through the Education Inspector started (June 2009) disbursing salaries with retrospective effect from March 2008. As of October 2013, an amount of 10.34 crore was paid to surplus teachers towards salaries,” said the audit report.
What was worse is that from 2008-09 to 2011-12, 246 new teachers were recruited in Mumbai region alone. As per the report, even in March 2012, there were 22 vacancies. Despite this, services of none of the teachers were utilised against vacancies during 2008-12,” and they were paid salaries.
Of the 32 teachers, 17 were given new posts in 2013. Of the remaining 15, three retired in January, April and June 2013. B D Phadtare, deputy director, Mumbai division, said, “The rest of the teachers have been transferred to places where there are vacancies….”