While entire Punjab is under curfew, the transfers of officials within the state’s Education Department are going on as a matter of routine. Over the past few days, transfer orders have been issued for 86 school principals and 18 District Education Officers. Also, online transfers of teachers are also to begin soon.
The transferred officials are in dilemma about joining new places during the lockdown.
“The department has transferred a school principal in my place while I am not transferred anywhere,” said a DEO, adding that as per the norms he cannot be transferred to any other place because his retirement is close. “Now how can a new person join in my place before I vacate that post,” he said.
Another principal from Nawanshahr district said that she has been shifted to Ropar district. “I have been posted to a place where a person, whose retirement is due in the month of September, is already working. He has not been posted out yet,” she said.
A school principal alleged that majority of these transfers were being made under political pressure by the department. Education Secretary could not be contacted for his comments.
Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla, however, said that they have made these transfers to fill 15 posts of DEOs as some of them retired on March 31 and others will be retiring in April.
“We want to complete this transfer process by May 10, so that when lockdown is over, we have DEOs and principals in place against the vacant posts….Now we will open online transfers for the teachers also so that this process could also be completed before the opening of the schools after lockdown and vacations,” said Education Minister.
While clarifying that people can join new postings after the lockdown, the minister added that those shifted to already occupied posts can wait for the position falling vacant and then join.
“We are doing everything on the basis of merit at the beginning of the session so that our students do not suffer,” the minister stressed.
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