Over 500 teachers stare at a blank future
Over a month after the Punjab & Haryana high court termed the education department’s process on recruitment of teachers in 2009 as illegal, the fate of 536 teachers hired that year continues to hang fire.
Department sources say after the court held that the five mark criterion assigned in the descriptive test contravened the conditions laid in the department’s advertisement for 536 posts published in August 2007, nearly 20 teachers face the risk of losing their jobs in the fresh merit list the department has been ordered to post.
This figure may increase if the department follows the shortlisting process as given in the 2007 advertisement, the sources said.
Teachers, meanwhile, state that they should not be made scapegoats of the department’s violation of rules.
A teacher, not wishing to be named, said that she left her regular job in Haryana to take up one in the city in 2009.
“Now if the department says I am disqualified, where will I go then? Senior department officials who tampered with the 2007 ad and framed their own rules back in 2009 should be held responsible,” she said.
Another teacher, also wishing to remain anonymous, said the department must absorb those teachers who were likely to get terminated in the fresh list. “If it doesn’t do so disqualified teachers would have no option but to knock the court’s doors for justice. We’ll then demand the whole case is reopened and seek action against those officials who played with the future of the teachers”, he said.
Moreover, teachers are worried that since most of them have already crossed the age limit required to get government jobs, they are unlikely to get one if they get disqualified.
“The department must adopt a humanitarian approach,” said one of the teachers affected.