The Mumbai state government has finally lifted the ban on recruiting teachers for aided schools across Maharashtra that had been imposed last year.
The government had stopped new appointments of teachers last year as it believed that many schools had "surplus" teachers, after a state-wide school census carried out in October 2011 found lakhs of ‘’bogus’’ pupils on schools’ rolls, the circular stated. Many schools had been inflating number of students in rolls to get more grants.
After students from higher classes were badly affected as schools were grappling with a shortage of teachers, secondary schools have been allowed to hire teachers for English, Science and Mathematics, from the academic year that starts in June.
In the latest circular dated May 6, the school education and sports department has cancelled the government resolution issued in May last year that had banned new appointments.
“The ban has been lifted for secondary sections. But in case of primary sections in private aided schools, the government will transfer 1,922 surplus teachers to the needy schools,’’ reads the circular. The decision on primary sections in aided schools is still pending.
Wrestling with a staff crunch, schools have welcomed the state government's decision. Schools across the state were falling short of over 10,000 teachers. Out of this, more than 300 vacancies were in schools in Mumbai.
“The number could be more as many schools did not even approach us for approvals after the ban was announced last year,’’ said BV Mane, education inspector of south zone and the western zone.
Teachers say schools were using their existing staff to take extra lectures with no additional pay or proficiency in the subject. In some schools, teachers were even asked to teach subjects in which that they had no expertise. Students were suffering because of such practices. “Students were not receiving quality education as substitute teachers or other subject teachers were teaching them. They were unable to complete the syllabus on schedule in many cases,’’ said Anil Bornare, president of Maharashtra State Teachers Association, Mumbai division.
But primary schools will continue to suffer as transferring a 'surplus' teacher to the needy school is time consuming, Bornare added.