Defending its decision to deploy teachers for court work, Delhi government has told the High Court that no teacher was forced to work in these posts and the interest of students was unaffected as suitable replacements were engaged on contract. The submission was made by the Directorate of Education (DoE) in an affidavit placed before Justice Manmohan, who is hearing a plea by an NGO seeking contempt action against the government for allegedly not ensuring ‘zero vacancy’ in its schools at the start of the academic session and for deploying 176 teaching staff for court work instead of teaching.
The NGO had contended that such a decision to depute teachers for court work was taken at a time when there was allegedly a massive shortage of teaching staff in schools run by DoE and the municipal corporations. Refuting the allegations, the DoE said “it is submitted that deployment of teachers in assisting in the court cases pending before the various courts of Delhi is purely an administrative decision taken for the better functioning of Education Department.
“Also, there is always an alternative arrangement in the absence of such teachers who are deputed to the zonal offices or branches to assist Deputy Director Officers and working on diverted capacity. In such cases, alternative arrangements are made by filling of vacancies with contract teachers possessing all the requisite qualifications, so that the interests of students do not suffer.”
The department has also refuted the allegation that due to non-recruitment of teachers, education of students in Delhi government schools was badly affected, saying there was only a deficiency of 12.87 per cent in the number of teaching staff. The DoE also denied NGO Social Jurist’s allegation that there were vacant Principal posts in 80 per cent of the Delhi government schools.
The department has contended in its affidavit that while 449 posts of Principal are lying vacant at present, the duties were being undertaken by the respective Vice Principals.