There was a time in November last year when permanent teachers in Delhi government schools were doing double shifts — teaching a few days a week in one school, and the rest in another. This, the Delhi government said, was because it was not being able to appoint guest teachers due to a slugfest with the Lieutenant Governor.
On Wednesday, as the Supreme Court gave its verdict, and the elected government expressed hope to fast-track recruitment and promotions, teachers in government schools and parents said there seemed to be hope on the horizon.
Of the sanctioned strength of 66,736 teachers in Delhi government schools, only 38,926, or 58.3%, are filled at the moment. Of the occupied posts, 21,926 are regular teachers and 17,000 guest teachers. Since 2010, there has been no advertisement for permanent recruitment, and it was only in the last few months that things had moved, with the intervention of the High Court.
“Recruitment of guest teachers, promotion of principals was stuck as orders of the elected government were not complied with. We were repeatedly told service does not come under us. With this verdict, we will be able to speed up the process,” said Atishi Marlena, ex-advisor to Education Minister Manish Sisodia. The biggest relief is for guest teachers, who were promised regularisation when the government came to power in 2014.
Recently, the government had also introduced a Bill in the Assembly for regularisation of guest teachers, and contractual teachers working under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. This was turned down by L-G Anil Baijal, saying there is no constitutional provision to do so.
“We are now hopeful that the long-pending promise by the government will be fulfilled,” said Anjali, a guest teacher at a government school for 15 years. Permanent teachers hoped promotions will be sped up. “Our pay fixation under the sixth pay commission has been stuck; we are hopeful this will change too,” said Ajay Veer Yadav, general secretary of the Government School Teachers’ Association.
Marlena pointed out that the issue of clerical staff vacancies will also be addressed. “Now we can ask the DSSSB to expedite the process of recruitment of clerical staff,” said Marlena. A woman whose child studies in Yamuna Vihar had a different reason to cheer: “There were no English and physics teachers in my child’s school. I hope the quality of education improves now.”
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