IMA scam: Many government schools suffer to keep VKO school going

The 92 teaching and non-teaching staff on IMA’s payroll did not turn up for work after the scam broke out.

The 92 teaching and non-teaching staff on IMA’s payroll did not turn up for work after the scam broke out.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Their teachers have been deputed to the school hit by the IMA scam

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is making all efforts to ensure that Government V.K. Obaidullah School at Shivajinagar, which had been adopted by I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group of Companies, runs smoothly. While it deployed teachers after the investment scam came to light so that classes were not interrupted, the effort has come at the cost of other government schools.

Students from at least 18 government schools in the city are suffering as their teachers have been deputed to the Government VKO school. Over the past week, the managements of many of the affected schools have been running combined classes and giving an extra sports period for students as they do not have enough teachers.

With the IMA Group facing accusations of cheating thousands of people, and its managing director and chief executive officer Mohammed Mansoor Khan on the run, the authorities realised that the school, which has 1,662 students in classes from pre-primary to class 10, lacked funds; 92 teaching and non-teaching staff were on IMA’s payroll. Only 13 teachers are on the payroll of the government.

After news of the scam broke, the teachers appointed by the IMA stopped coming to school.

Last week, the government deputed 21 teachers from other schools to the primary section. The pre-primary students were given leave.

However, many of the substitute teachers are trained to instruct students in Tamil, Telugu and Urdu, but not in English, which is the medium of instruction at VKO school.

The affected government schools, which are already grappling with a shortage of teachers, say that this ‘mess’ will adversely affect academics. A higher primary school in central Bengaluru that has three teachers, including the headmaster, for 16 students from classes one to seven, had to make do with just two teaching staff. One of the teachers was deputed to the Government VKO school.

Parents, too, are unhappy with the recent developments.

“Our children’s classes are being disrupted. We are being told that the school lacks teachers. Why should our children suffer because of the chaos in other schools? We will protest if the department does not post the teacher back to our school,” said a parent whose child studies in the Government Higher Primary School in Vasanthanagar.

IMA-appointed teachers had not cleared mandatory test

Parents whose children study in Government VKO School are demanding return of the old teachers. However, the department found that none of the teachers appointed by IMA had cleared the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET), which is mandatory if a teacher has to teach primary classes.

The department has also found that some of the teachers do not have the necessary qualifications to teach in the school.

Meanwhile, political leaders are at odds over which agency or NGO should step in to adopt the beleaguered school. While one set of leaders, including Minister for Food and Civil Supplies B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan, wants the school to be supported by the Wafq board, another set headed by Shivajinagar MLA R. Roshan Baig wants to rope in NGOs.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 8:21:00 AM |

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