Several primary teachers’ bodies in West Bengal Thursday demanded transparency in the recruitment process in the wake of recent school jobs scam and probe by central agencies.
State Education Minister Bratya Basu has left out recruitment of teachers at the primary level while making an announcement about starting the process of recruiting 21,000 teachers in upper primary, secondary and higher secondary schools within a stipulated time, they said.
The secretary of Usthi United Primary Teachers’ Welfare Association Pritha Biswas said the entire process of teachers’ recruitment has come under scrutiny.
“We want transparency in the entire process which is an important thing in the wake of recent scams and probe by central agencies at the behest of Calcutta High Court and the arrest of a former education minister (Partha Chatterjee),” he said.
Basu had informed about recruitment of 21,000 teachers in upper primary, secondary and higher secondary levels within a stipulated time, possibly by Durga Puja. Upper primary recruitment is a vital thing as many primary schools have been upgraded to upper primary levels and many primary schools have also applied for upper primary levels, Biswas added.
“The anomalies in recruitment of primary teachers is now common knowledge. Successful candidates of Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) are demonstrating on the roads and the government has apparently no clear cut plan about how to end the impasse. In 2019, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had met the agitating candidates and promised to look into the issue but nothing came out of it,” general secretary of
Bengal Primary Teachers Association Ananda Handa told PTI.
Banerjee, he said, had then assured that 16,000 primary teacher jobs would be filled up, but that did not happen.
The education minister had sidestepped the issue of recruiting 31,000 primary teachers which had been lying unfulfilled since the 2014 TET, he claimed.
“We want a categorical statement from him,” Handa added.
Spokesperson of Paschim Bango Sikshak Samity, Nabakumar Karmakar said the education minister did not say anything about recruitment of primary teachers which has become a contentious issue.
It is not clear how the state will initiate the process of filling up 21,000 vacant teacher posts at upper primary, secondary, higher secondary levels in three months time as the education minister promised to do so by Durga Puja, he said.
“Considering it is a mammoth exercise and in view of the ongoing court-monitored investigation into the SSC recruitment, even if the state decides to solely concentrate on fresh recruitments at those levels the feasibility of it remains to be seen,” he said.
The education minister had said on Monday that the state will start the recruitment process of 21,000 teachers at upper primary, secondary, higher secondary levels within a stipulated time, possibly by Durga Puja.
“We are treating the issue with a humane approach conforming to legal provisions,” he had said after a meeting with officials of West Bengal School Service Commission, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and West Bengal Primary Education Board.