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Delhi guest teacher recruitment issue: Between L-G and government, it’s all about passing the buck

In Delhi, which boasts of best infrastructure, the student-teacher ratio stands at an alarming 1:47 while for MCD primary schools, it is 1:45. In Finland, recognised for its good education, it is at 1:13.

dsssb, manish sisodia, dsssb recruitment Delhi L-G Anil Baijal and Education Minister Manish Sisodia

Varun Sharma has to run from pillar to post to get his 13-year-old son admitted in a Delhi government school. But within a few days, he was regretting his decision as his son learnt far less than students of other schools. He has recently got his son transferred to a public school that at least guarantee regular classes, if not quality education.

Sharma is not alone in the city. Many parents have to shell out extra money to provide proper education to their wards.

In Delhi, which boasts of best infrastructure, the student-teacher ratio stands at an alarming 1:47 while for MCD primary schools, it is 1:45 (figures taken from Delhi government’s official website). In Finland, recognised for its good education, it is at 1:13.

The Capital has been facing a shortage of teachers for nearly two decades. The Delhi government has recently decided to regularise all guest teachers appointed since 2010. In this regard, a recruitment notification was released in August which was put on hold after it was informed that the authorities have not complied with the high court’s 2001 order.

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What does 2001 HC order say?
The Delhi High Court clearly directed the Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) to ensure zero vacancies of teachers in the government schools in the beginning of each academic year. However, for the past 8-10 years, the government resorted to hiring teachers on contractual-basis who are paid almost half of permanent teachers’ salary.

Plight of guest teachers
Delhi government schools have three categories of teachers – permanent, guest teachers who fill vacant sanctioned posts and contract teachers (under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) who are placed in schools but don’t occupy sanctioned posts.

The guest teachers, unlike the permanent one, are employed on a daily wage basis and get no benefits like CL etc. At certain schools, they are made to take 8 classes a day while 5-6 are considered normal. Even then, their salary is too less to survive; many have to opt for part-time jobs to make both ends meet.

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AAP government take on the issue
Before coming to power, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promised the regularisation of guest teachers. In previous year’s budget, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced that the appointment of 5,500 teachers is under process while in the financial year 2016-17, 9,623 new teachers’ posts will be sanctioned. However, the ground reality is different as like many other bills, this teacher recruitment issue has become a bone of contention between the L-G and the government.

DSSSB released a notification in August for the recruitment of nearly 9000 TGT, PGT and assistant teacher posts. But just a day before the start of the application process (August 25), it was put on hold by Lt Governor Anil Baijal following the AAP government’s insistence. The advertisement was released without the knowledge of the government.

While ‘one-time’ age-relaxation has already been given to guest and contractual teachers, the AAP government demands ‘additional weight’ for teaching experience.

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Tussle between the L-G and the government
Back in 2016, the government had passed a Cabinet proposal on regularisation of guest teachers. It was sent to the then Lt Governor Najeeb Jung for his approval but he disapproved it.

This year again (October 4, 2017), the Delhi Assembly passed a Bill to make the guest teachers permanent. It will be sent to Lt Governor Anil Baijal for his approval where it is expected to face resistance.

Baijal had already told Arvind Kejriwal to reconsider the bill as regularisation of guest teachers was “beyond the legislative competence” of the Assembly. The subject of services come under the jurisdiction of the Lt Governor.

Delhi’s schools require 61,674 permanent teachers while only 34,681 positions are filled. There are 17,000 guest teachers currently working in the schools but the Bill covers about 15,000 who have been engaged for a period of 120 days after April 1, 2016. With both authorities passing the buck on each other, the recruitment issue is not going to settle in the coming days.

First published on: 07-10-2017 at 12:38:38 pm
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