Number of primary school teachers opting for transfer is high there

Students in north Karnataka districts may be affected if the State government sticks to its promise on transfer of teachers in government primary schools, especially those in the category of ‘joining spouses’, before the next academic year, according to officials in the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

For, the number of teachers opting for transfer is high in those districts.

As per the statistics made available by the DPI, there are 1.74 lakh teachers in government primary schools in the State and 17,212 posts are vacant. Although 9,262 have applied for transfer, 7,734 are yet to get it.

A closer analysis reveals that there would be severe shortage of teachers in districts in north Karnataka, if the transfers are approved. Some of the taluks where more than 13 per cent of teachers have sought a transfer are Joida in Uttara Kannada, Devadurga and Manvi in Raichur, Sedam and Chincholi in Gulbarga, Shahpur and Shorapur in Yadgir district, Siruguppa in Bellary district and Devanahalli in Bangalore Rural district.

The government in 2007 passed the Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) Act, 2007, to regulate transfer of teachers to ensure their availability in government schools and pre-university colleges in rural areas.

The rules framed under the Act were amended in 2011, according to which the total number of transfers out of a unit under ‘joining spouses’ category shall not exceed one per cent of its total cadre strength.

However, there is no cap on mutual transfers, transfers of those who are terminally ill, physically challenged and widows.

The High Court of Karnataka recently urged the State government to revisit rules governing the transfer of teachers in government schools and ensure that they were family friendly.

Mohammed Mohsin, Commissioner for Public Instruction, told The Hindu that if the department approved all the applications for transfers, many government schools would have to be closed down. “If we try to make transfers family friendly, children’s interest will be affected,” he said.

Karnataka State Primary Teachers’ Association president Basavaraj Gurikar urged the government to amend rules to ensure that those who apply for transfer get it. “If the government feels that there would be shortage of teachers in north Karnataka districts, they should hire more teachers.”

Sources in department emphasise that there is a need to ensure that the transfers are effected only after the recruitment of 9,405 teachers in primary schools. The recruitment will be done only after determining the quantum of reservation under Article 371 J for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.

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