The Jharkhand primary teachers’ association plans protests against the government’s alleged arbitrary decision empowering panchayats to control primary education in the state, alleging unnecessary interference would jeopardise the academic activities in schools.
According to a recent state human resource development department circular, the village panchayats can directly intervene in the functions of primary schools, teachers and the education system.
Also, the mukhias (panchayat heads) will have the authority to certify the presence of teachers, sanction leaves to teachers and attest their official trips, besides recommending “small punishments” for erring teachers.
“It is irrational and arbitrary decision of the state government that will badly affect the primary education,” said Arvind Kumar Singh, the president of Akhil Jharkhand Prathmik Shikshak Sangh.
He said the association would meet chief minister Raghubar Das requesting him to withdraw the decision as “the mukhias (village heads) would misuse this power in personal grudges against any teacher”.
“There are already enough officers to monitor schools and teachers. Secondly, the schools are going to be equipped with biometric attendance system that will completely prevent teachers from making fake attendance,” said Singh.
According to the association, if the talk with chief minister fails, the teachers would start a series of protests at all the district headquarters and later in the state capital.