No guest teachers, crisis looms over new school session
The Delhi high court on Friday could not hear a government application seeking a six-month extension of their services.Updated: Mar 30, 2019 08:12 IST
The Delhi government schools are set to witness a “crisis” on the first day of the upcoming academic session beginning Monday, in the absence of around 22,000 guest teachers, whose contracts expired on February 28.
The Delhi high court on Friday could not hear a government application seeking a six-month extension of their services.
The Delhi government had filed the application last month seeking an extension of the guest teachers services as their contracts had expired on February 28. In its application, the government stated the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSSB) was in the process of filling the vacancies and, hence, would require an extension of six months to finish it. It added that in the event of leave, retirement and shortage, the services of guest teachers will be necessary.
However, as the hearing could not take place on Friday confusion looms over the future of these teachers.
Heads of schools (HOS), where the majority of staff comprises of guest teachers, expressed concern over the “crisis” they may face on Monday. “Of 113 teachers working at our school, 100 are guest teachers. There will be a crisis-like situation for us if the guest teachers are not able to join duty from Monday,” said HOS of a senior secondary school in Karawal Nagar.
Similarly, HoS of senior secondary school in Sultanpuri where 88 guest teachers worked said, “We can still manage for a few days with handful of permanent teachers as not all students join immediately. But we won’t be able to manage in their absence for long.”
Presently, against the sanctioned posts of 66,736 teachers, only 38,926 posts are filled by regular teachers. A total of 22,000 posts are filled by guest teachers and 5,810 posts lie vacant.
Ashok Agarwal, who had filed a contempt plea against the authorities for not filling the vacancies, said, “The directorate of education (DoE) can now only give additional extension to these teachers till the next date of court hearing.” The high court will now hear the matter on April 12.
Officials at DoE till Friday evening maintained they were taking legal opinions on giving an extension to guest teachers. “Since the matter is sub judice we cannot take any decision without considering all legal aspects. We might announce something on Saturday,” a DoE official said.
Shoaib Rana, a member of All India Guest Teachers’ Association, said there was a sense of “insecurity” among guest teachers. “That is the reason why we were demanding formulation of a proper policy for regularising the guest teachers. We have no clue what will we do now,” he said.
The guest teachers have been holding protests demanding regularisation of jobs since February 28. The Delhi government had on March 6 called a special assembly session and approved a policy allowing them to work in its schools till the age of 60. Lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal is yet to approve the policy.