As many as 1,800 teachers appointed through outsourcing agencies to residential schools run by the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare in the State have not been paid salary for several months now.
The teachers say they are facing an embarrassing situation because in many schools two teachers hold the same post.
“Officers project us as unqualified persons and humiliate us in front of students,” said a teacher who was appointed through an outsourcing agency and works in a government residential school in Hassan. He alleged that like him, all those who are continuing in the post following a High Court order, are being treated as second-rate teachers and made to wait for months for their salaries.
The teachers appointed through outsourcing agencies are allegedly being humiliated by those appointed through the Karnataka Residential Education Institutions Society (KREIS). The teachers, appointed by the zilla panchayat through outsourcing agencies, have put in several years of service in government residential schools. They feared losing their jobs after the KREIS, an umbrella organisation for all residential schools, made fresh recruitment without giving them service weightage. But, the Karnataka High Court came to their rescue and asked the KREIS to accommodate them.
As a result, in 446 residential schools across the State two teachers are holding the same post, resulting in additional burden to the State exchequer and disturbing the academic environment in schools.
Nearly 1,800 teachers appointed through the outsourcing agencies are continuing in the posts. Such teachers say they do not enjoy any freedom either in framing timetable or allotment of classes.
“Teachers often argue in front of students. Teachers appointed through competitive examination or absorbed by the KREIS, humiliate those appointed through the outsourcing agencies. Even principals and officers of the departments treat them as sub-standard teachers,” a teacher of a Morarji Desai Residential School in Hassan taluk said.
Before the setting up of the KREIS, teachers were appointed to the schools at the district-level by the zilla panchayat. The KREIS, which brought all schools under one banner, also appointed 436 teachers on contract and absorbed them by bringing in the Absorption Regulations in April 2011. However, the teachers appointed through the outsourcing agencies did not enjoy this benefit. They moved court challenging the Absorption Regulations and also demanded withdrawal of the notification for fresh recruitment for over 4,000 posts through combined competitive examination.
The Karnataka High Court, in its July 2012 order, said they deserved weightage during the recruitment of over 4,000 teaching staff, conducted through the combined competitive examination in 2012. The KREIS challenged the court order and completed the recruitment process. The Division Bench of the High Court upheld the single judge order in February 2013. It ordered for giving weightage to the teachers appointed through the outsourcing agencies and accommodating them by following the “last come, first go” principle to withdraw the appointment of those already appointed.
B.S. Purushottam, Executive Director of the KREIS, told The Hindu that the society was making efforts to set things right as per the court’s order.
“There are divergent views on the court’s order. We can’t disturb those who are already appointed and also accommodate the teachers appointed through the outsourcing agencies. We have sought legal opinion on how to go about it,” he said.
Regarding the excess staff in many schools, he said the process to depute the excess staff to vacant posts has begun. The salary of the teachers appointed through the outsourcing agencies would also be released soon, he added.