Protesting teachers of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhmik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA) have alleged that the state government is transferring them to far away places in order to force them to accept government’s regularisation proposal. In the past few days, nearly 50 teachers have been transferred as deadline for choosing government’s proposal, November 30, approaches. Teachers’ union leader Hardeep Singh said: “Even in some middle schools, where the required number of teachers are already available, the protesting teachers have been sent just to punish them.”
He added that at Kakarhkala Government Middle School there are total 37 students and six teachers were posted there. According to government policy, four teachers are required in middle school for subjects – Science, English, Hindi and Punjabi. Hardeep Singh spoke of another middle school in Kothan area of Shahkot, claiming that five teachers were posted there to teach just 18 students.
State Education Minister O P Soni told The Indian Express that the transfers were being done as per rules and requirement. About teachers claims of more than required number of teachers being posted at certain schools, he said: “I will check if any complaint comes to me.”
The Education Department, meanwhile, has claimed that out of 8800 protesting teachers, around 50 per cent have already opted for regularisation and appointment letters have been given to them by the department to include them as employees of Punjab government’s Education Department. Earlier, these teachers were working under SSA/ RMSA societies and were demanding to get regularised with Punjab Education Department.
Gurpreet Singh Parmar, a science teacher in government middle school, Johlan, said he was previously located close to Jalandhar, but now had been transferred to a school in Shahkot, which is more than 50 km away from his place.
Similarly, Tilak Raj, a math teacher, who was teaching at Lambra, has been transferred to Shahkot area as well.
Jagdeep Singh, Rohit Kuamr, Gurpreet kaur Manjit Kaur, Seema, Pawan Kumar, who were all teaching at schools near Jalandhar, were transferred to Shahkot and Phillaur area.
The president of SSA/RMSA Union Punjab, Harjeet Singh Todarpur, said, “Government was doing such transfers just to terrorise them on the pretext of rationalisation, but we have several examples where more number of teachers have been posted then the required one. “Government cannot stop us from protesting by adopting such methods,” he said.