Assam move to abolish 8,000 posts of school teachers opposed

A survey in January said 3,716 lower primary schools in the State were functioning with single teachers and 314 schools had no teacher at all

November 10, 2022 11:04 am | Updated 11:39 am IST - GUWAHATI

Teachers having a discussing at a school in Guwahati. File photo

Teachers having a discussing at a school in Guwahati. File photo | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

GUWAHATI

Opposition parties and students’ bodies have slammed the Assam government’s decision to abolish about 8,000 vacant posts of regular school teachers.

Education Minister Ranoj Pegu defended the move for ensuring a fiscal balance and maintaining “rationality against the near-regularisation” of 11,206 contractual teachers working under Sarba Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in the lower primary and upper primary schools.

But organisations such as the All Assam Students’ Union said this reflected the plan of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to let the private sector take over the education sector in the State.

A letter from Assam School Education Department secretary Bijoya Choudhury to the State Accountant General on November 7 said the government had approved the abolishment “to maintain financial neutrality regarding providing of additional service benefits to the State pool teachers under SSA”.

While there were 4,265 posts for lower primary school teachers, 3,715 posts were for upper primary school teachers.

“We had opposed the appointment of contractual teachers without filling up the vacant posts of regular teachers in 2017. It seems the government no longer wants to handle education,” Ratul Goswami, the secretary of Assam State Primary Teachers’ Association, said.

The association had in January, conducted a survey across 33,829 primary schools in 51 subdivisions of 32 districts of Assam. The survey revealed 3,716 lower primary schools were functioning with single teachers and 314 schools had no teacher at all.

Of the 1,800 government-run primary schools in Guwahati, 224 had single teachers and 37 none.

Lurinjyoti Gogoi, the president of Assam Jatiya Parishad said the government’s intention became apparent two months ago when it closed down 1,710 primary schools as part of the school rationalisation process. This followed the closing down of 34 high schools for recording “zero pass percentage” in the Class 10 examinations.

“This is a short-sighted move to kill the public education system. It is not acceptable,” he said.

“The move is unfortunate at a time when more hiring is needed to maintain the teacher-student ratio according to the New Education Policy,” Aminul Islam, the general secretary of All India United Democratic Front, said.

“This is a short-sighted move to kill the public education system”Lurinjyoti GogoiPresident, Assam Jatiya Parishad 

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