With the fate of the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) uncertain, Mamata Banerjee’s men at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) are in a fix over the recruitment of about 400 primary and junior high teachers for the civic body’s 253 schools in Kolkata.
To make matters worse, the upgrade of KMC’s six primary schools to junior high (up to class 8), too, has been put on hold for months despite getting the approval of the state government in July last year.
“To upgrade our primary schools to junior high, we will require the immediate recruitment of teachers but with the fate of the TET now sub-judice, we are in a complete fix,” Mitali Banerjee, member, mayor-in-council (education), told HT.
Banerjee has already sought an appointment with state education minister Partha Chatterjee to resolve this issue which is stuck for the time being. Ever since TET was made mandatory, a candidate has to sit for it before appearing for the Municipal Service Commission (MSC).
“We will meet Parthada at his chamber in the Assembly on Saturday (tomorrow) to seek his suggestions for resolving this deadlock on teachers’ recruitment,” the MMiC said.
The delay in recruitment has, in turn, stalled the upgrade of KMC-run primary schools to junior high. “We got the approval from the state education department on July 21, 2014 for the upgrade and waited all these months hoping that the court will issue an appropriate order on the TET stalemate. But it is yet to pronounce any judgment,” a senior official of the KMC’s education department added.
However, the civic body’s education department has already issued an order on January 3 asking the teachers in its six primary schools selected for the upgrade to admit students in classes 5 and 6 for the academic session starting January, 2015.
“We would initially manage with the existing strength and are expecting a quick solution to this deadlock,” Banerjee said.
KMC authorities had earlier cancelled their notification for conducting examinations for recruitment of assistant teachers in their primary schools through the MSC.
The decision was taken after the Mamata government had made TET compulsory for all applicants appearing for the recruitment of teachers at different levels - primary, junior high, secondary and higher secondary.
“Our primary schools are affiliated to the state government-run board and it’s very natural for us to follow all government directives and guidelines. The state government has made TET mandatory even for the recruitment of primary school teachers and so we cannot go by our earlier notification and move on with our own recruitment process,” the MMiC asserted.
According to education department officials, candidates who will clear the TET, secure 50% marks in the higher secondary examinations and have a two-year B.Ed degree will be entitled to apply for recruitment in KMC schools through the examination conducted by MSC.
KMC cur rently has 950 teachers against its 26,000 primary school students, that is, a teacher: student ratio of 1: 27.