He had to wait for almost 31 years to secure the job of an assistant teacher in a government school. But just 20 days into his new job at the government middle school, Purnahiya in East Champaran district of Bihar, Ram Kishore Singh retired from service.
And since he had not completed one year of service, his employment could not be confirmed. Hence, he is not entitled to pension and other retirement benefits.
Singh, who joined his new assignment last month, is not the only teacher to have retired soon after joining.
Singh was among the first few of 34,540 trained teachers appointed by the state government earlier this year, following a Supreme Court verdict in a long-drawn case.
“I completed my training from the Teachers’ Training College at Mahendru (Patna) in 1981, after passing the intermediate examination. I had to wait for 31 years to get this job. Losing it so soon and that too without pension is a double whammy for my dependents,” said Singh, who has two sons and two daughters.
According to official sources, many such newly appointed trained teachers are likely to retire within two or three months in this district alone.
Arguing that the least that teachers like Singh deserved was pension, primary teachers association president Ramakant Yadav cited the case of 2005 assembly.
“Those elected to the Bihar assembly in February 2005 are getting pension although they did not even take the statutory oath (as the House was dissolved before that). So, why deny the benefits to trained teachers?” he argued.
The legal tangle over trained teachers’ appointment dates back to December 2003, when the Rabri Devi government appointed persons who had passed Class X or XII as primary teachers in government schools.
Professionally qualified teachers challenged the move in Patna High Court. Subsequently, the case reached the Supreme Court, which okayed the appointment of those teachers.