Karnataka

Schools rope in pvt. agencies to verify background of staff

Teachers, however, feel that verification by private agencies is an invasion of their privacy.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

After several sexual assault cases were reported in the city, it was made mandatory for school managements to verify backgrounds of all teaching and non-teaching staff. While most schools have fallen in line, some have gone a step further by roping in private agencies to conduct a thorough verification of their staff.

School managements pointed out that police verification is inadequate as it only shows criminal cases against a particular person. In addition to background verification, the Central Board of Secondary Education had also urged schools affiliated to the board to conduct psychometric tests for the teachers, which schools are yet to follow.

Varsha Saxena, Head of administration and finance of Inventure Academy, said along with police verification, they have roped in an agency to conduct a detailed verification of their staff. “The agency verifies the educational qualification of the staff and checks records with their previous employers. They even visit the homes of the new employee and send us pictures of the residence so that we know that the address details provided are correct,” she said, adding that all 30 teachers who were employed last year were subjected to this process.

Roshan D’Souza, principal, VIBGYOR High School, Marathahalli, said their school also adopts this process as it helps them cross-check candidate details. He also said that it brings to light instances and cases that are sometimes not reported to the police.

Private agencies have been flooded with such requests from schools.

Shaji Nambiar, vice-president of a company that conducts background verification, said they have tied-up with over 30 schools in the city and verified credentials of over 3,000 staff members. He added that the process aims to reduce the risk associated with hiring. “As there are risks involved as the staff is in close proximity with the school, we have tailor-made this process,” he said.

However, some schools are wary of such agencies. Mansoor Ali Khan, board member of Delhi Public Group of Schools, said they had decided to stick to only police verification as they had learnt that some agencies have limited access and people are not obliged to give them information about the candidates.

Teachers too had some reservations. One teacher pointed out that it could be an invasion of privacy and hoped that the schools stuck only to police verification.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 12:41:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/schools-rope-in-pvt-agencies-to-verify-background-of-staff/article22745667.ece

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