Before glaring wrongdoings were noticed in the selection process of 9,000 junior basic training (JBT) teachers, the Haryana government also found irregularities in the selection of post-graduate teachers (PGTs) and withheld the appointment of more than 1,000 candidates selected by the selection board.
The state education department has withheld the appointments after detecting irregularities in experience certificates and degrees, and selection of overage candidates and those not fulfilling the qualification requirements.
The Haryana State Teachers Selection Board (HSTSB), scrapped by the new BJP government led by Manohar Lal Khattar a week ago, had selected these candidates for appointment as PGTs (Group-B Services) in the department of secondary education.
“The board had selected about 10,800 post-graduate teachers in 18 subjects, including mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Punjabi and economics. When the education department verified the experience and qualification certificates and other documents of the selected candidates, it found these irregularities,” said a department official.
While 40 candidates were overage and their selection has been cancelled by the department, the most glaring irregularity is the alleged use of “dubious” teaching experience certificates by several candidates to claim exemption from the mandatory condition of having qualified the Haryana Teacher Eligibility Test (HTET) or School Teachers Eligibility Test (STET) conducted by the Board of School Education.
The department, which conducted verification on the basis of attendance and salary registers, found the experience certificates of 109 candidates suspicious. The certificates had been issued by nine private schools.
The school education department has requested the Haryana police to register criminal cases against these schools.
“The approach of the school, while issuing the teaching experiences was totally unreasonable, unjustifiable and irrational and can be called a fraudulent act by the school authorities. They may be preparing fresh record or tampering with the record to deceive the authorities,” it wrote to the director general of police five weeks ago, asking for registration of criminal cases against the school authorities.
While five of these schools are located at Nissing, Jaisinghpura, Shiv Colony, Raitkhana and Rahara in Karnal district, the remaining four are at Atta in Panipat, Moti Nagar in Ambala, Babain in Kurukshetra and Durjanpur in Bhiwani. “These schools issued certificates to multiple teachers, but the same were not corroborated by their records. For instance, one school gave teaching experience certificates to four Sanskrit teachers when it had only two students studying the subject,” said a department official.
The candidates having minimum 4 years’ teaching experience in privately-managed government aided schools, recognised schools and government schools were granted one-time exemption from HTET/STET.
Besides, 300-odd selected candidates did not fulfil the selection criteria and another 125 never showed up for verification of their certificates and documents.
The teachers’ selection board had selected the teachers, but left the task of verification of certificates and documents to the department. Similarly, questions are being raised about irregularities in the selection of 9,000 JBT teachers as well. Education minister Ram Bilas Sharma recently stated that there were hundreds of instances of dubious degrees and wrong biometric imprints of the selected candidates.
The previous Congress government had in 2011 established the HSTSB for the selection of teachers for appointment to government schools, and the selection of teacher educators and educational supervisors for the school education department in the state.