Inform 180 Days Prior to Retirement of Teachers: Siddhartha Bhattacharya
GUWAHATI: Coming down heavily on the officials in the elementary education department, education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya recently revealed that one of the reasons behind vacant posts not being filled on time is that school officials do not inform the elementary education department in advance about the teachers who are to retire.
This has given rise to more than 36,500 vacant posts of teachers in schools across Assam, informed the education minister in a written reply to a query by AGP MLA Atul Bora in the state assembly. He added that 17,293 of these vacant posts are of primary schools.
“Now we are asking the schools to inform us 180 days before a teacher retires, so that we can start the process and appoint a new teacher on time,” Bhattacharya said in the assembly.
The vast number of vacant posts in schools in Assam give rise to poor quality of education in government schools.
The quality of education in government-run schools has been a cause of concern for a long time now and proves to be a deterrent for a majority of parents when they think of sending their children to government schools.
In order to improve the overall quality of education in primary schools, the state government had undertaken Gunotsav. Students between classes 2 and 8 of all primary schools of the district were assessed under the initiative.
Taking another step to ensure better quality education, the state education department has merged a total of 20 schools in Kamrup (Metro) district a few months ago since several schools witnessed low enrolment of students during the past year.
Apart from low enrolment, there were also many such schools across the state in which not even a single student took admission during the last academic year.
These schools with zero and low enrolment mostly included Assamese and Bengali medium schools in the city as well as the state, informed officials.
Apart from the 20 schools which have already been merged in Kamrup (Metro), education department officials are planning to further merge more schools together.
Another major issue which affects quality of education in government schools is teacher absenteeism.
The Kamrup (Metro) district education officials informed that they are taking steps to ensure that this practice does not continue.
They said they regularly serve show-cause notices to such teachers. District elementary education officer (DEEO) Buli Gogoi Bhuyan said that they have increased their efforts to continuously keep a check on absentee teachers, especially those who are repeat offenders.
“It is the students who ultimately suffer from the absenteeism by teachers and the quality of education in such schools gets affected,” said Bhuyan adding that the authorities conduct regular checks in different schools across the district and irregular teachers are given a warning first.
Officials said that there are a few authorized leaves which the teachers can avail after which their salary is cut as per the number of holidays taken.
“If the teachers still continue to remain absent, we then issue show cause notices to them following which they are ultimately suspended,” said Bhuyan.