Online system for non-vocational teachers launched this year

Since June 2008, B. Sheeja, a resident of Kollam city, has been working as a non-vocational teacher in biology at the Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Achenkovil. Though Achenkovil is in the same district, the village is nestled inside a forest area and remains largely isolated. Reaching there is also a problem because of the lack of proper road connectivity.

Teachers like her who do not have much political or other influence to earn a transfer saw a ray of hope in the online general transfer system introduced by the Education Department. In fact the online general transfer for non-vocational teachers introduced this year was also the result of a representation submitted by a group of women teachers led by Ms. Sheeja and Sandhya B. Nair, posted in Kasaragod, who had been facing the agony of being posted in remote areas for years.

But the decision of the department to freeze the general transfer temporary list of non-vocational teachers published on May 29 after accepting online applications for transfer has shocked these teachers and belied their hopes of getting posted at more convenient locations. Ms. Sheeja told The Hindu that it was following a protest by the pro-left teachers’ organisations that Education Minister Abdu Rabb ordered to freeze the list.

Ms. Sheeja alleged that a good majority of the teachers of such organisations were posted in their hometowns and these teachers did not give their options for the online transfer. But the temporary list which was published frustrated them and they raised protests.

When asked about it, State executive committee member of the pro-left Kerala State Teachers Association (KSTA) S. Ajayakumar said that his organisation welcomed the online transfer system for teachers and that it was introduced by the previous Left Democratic Front government. But the system for non-vocational teachers was implemented this year without having proper discussions with the teachers’ organisations.

He said that the KSTA had no intentions to defeat the system, but it should be taken forward at the earliest in a transparent manner. He pointed out the case of a physically challenged teacher who had been working in a school 300 km away from her home for some years. Such teachers should be posted at convenient locations, he said, adding that the protest was raised when there were fears about “adjustment in transfers and corruption.”

Paravur Sajeeb, chairman of the higher secondary cell of the Kerala Pradesh School Teachers Union, said that many teachers, who were members of the KSTA, did not submit applications on the presumption that the system would not work. But when the temporary list was published, they raised protests. He said his union demanded that online transfer system be implemented by July.

Mr. Sajeeb said that shortcomings in the system should be resolved at the earliest. The online transfer system gave hope to many teachers whose desire for transfer was by all means justified, he added.

  • ‘List put on hold following protest by pro-Left unions’

  • System should be implemented transparently: KSTA