Hill council sacks 109 teachers

Darjeeling, May 21: The DGHC has decided to terminate the services of 109 ad-hoc teachers of hill schools with effect from June 1, citing “irregularities in their appointments”.
All the teachers were appointed in January-February 2008, when GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh was still the caretaker administrator of the DGHC.
The termination order, issued by the education department of the council, reads: “As approved by the administrator, DGHC, in the case file collection No IV-9 Secondary Cell/Edu/dt 2.05.08, the services of the following contract teachers are no longer required by the DGHC from 1.6.2008.” The order has been signed on May 17, 2008.
The DGHC has cited Clause 4 of the agreement signed by the teachers — where there is provision for immediate termination of services as and when desired by the council — for the decision.
“The teachers were appointed in January-February this year. We have found irregularities in the appointments,” said the current caretaker administrator of the DGHC, B.L. Meena.
Sources said the sack-order came through largely because there were too many ad-hoc teachers in DGHC schools. The 904 schools under the council have 1,524 ad-hoc teachers. The sources added that these appointments were largely political, where the standard teacher-student ratio of 1:40 had not been followed.
Members of the Hill Organiser Secondary Teachers’ Association, a body of ad-hoc teachers, refused comment.
“On May 16, the Teachers’ Association was dissolved under instructions from Bimal Gurung (the president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) and a new body formed. However, the executive committee of the new body is yet to be formed and I cannot comment on the termination issue,” said Gangaram Pradhan, the former secretary of the Association.
Of the 109 teachers about to be sacked, 68 are in high schools.
Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Morcha, said: “Our committees looking after the ad-hoc workers in the council have said all appointments made after November 5, 2007 have to be scrutinised. Many of these appointments were political in nature.”
Around 7,000 employees working in the DGHC since 1988 are on six-month contracts.
(The Telegraph)

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