Finally, the education department has woken up from its slumber and decided to treat the post of teachers on long absence as vacant. Till now, the post of teachers who remained absent for a long duration (running into years in many cases) was always treated as filled. Some of these unauthorised absentees have even moved abroad.
With this move, the number of vacancies in government schools is expected to double, exposing the acute shortage of staff.
The director general of school education (DGSE) in a letter sent to all district education officers (DEOs) and circle education officers (CEOs) has said the posts of teachers who have been absent for long will be considered vacant, and it will also be mentioned in the vacancy list of the schools.
The order reads: “Posts of long absentees are never considered vacant... and because of it no new teacher gets posted... (that) makes students suffer. Thus, the education department has decided that the post of (absentee) teachers will be considered vacant.”
The state education department has also asked the DEOs to send a cadre-wise vacancy list carrying the names of long absentees.
Government schools are grappling with severe staff shortage for long as there are thousands of posts of regular teacher lying vacant. In many schools, education providers have been performing the duty. “With this move, staff shortage in schools will be exposed and the number of vacant posts will rise manifold,” said an official.