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As services of illegally recruited teachers are terminated, WB stares at a crisis

As services of illegally recruited teachers are terminated, WB stares at a crisis

By Sumanta Ray Chaudhury

Kolkata, Jan 8 (SocialNews.XYZ) The process for terminating the services of the illegally appointed teachers in state-run schools in West Bengal started with 255 primary teachers as per the Calcutta High Courts subsequent orders during the last ten days.


The countdown has also started for the termination of 1,698 non-teaching staff. There are apprehensions that the number might reach several thousands in the coming days. This issue related to the non-teaching staff, as admitted by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) in the Calcutta High Court, will leave the state-run schools with hardly any staff to even lock and unlock the school gates or ring the period bell.

Observers feel that this will snowball into a dual crisis in the state, the first being administrative and the second being political. From the administrative point of view the system in many state-run schools especially in rural West Bengal might collapse with so many working teachers and non-teaching staff losing their jobs.

According to retired inspector of schools in West Bengal, Sumita Mukherjee, in the rural pockets there are many schools, mainly in the primary section, which are run by one teacher and one non-teaching staff. "Even in the normal process these schools find it tough to get additional teachers and non- teaching staff. So, with so many teachers' losing jobs, it is imaginable what will be the condition of these schools that run with skeletal teaching and non-teaching staff. I feel that the state government will have to close down many such schools with so many losing jobs," she said.

IANS tried to contact a number of ruling Trinamool Congress leaders on this count but none of them were willing to offer any official quote on this matter since the termination of jobs happened following the orders of the Calcutta High Court. However, a senior member of the state committee, on condition of anonymity, said that probably this was a failure of the legal brains of the state government and the WBSSC, who were not able to explain the practical difficulties in retrenching so many teachers and non-teaching staff.

Said CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate of the Calcutta High Court, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, that such an inevitable collapse is actually a well-planned step of the ruling party to ruin the state-run education system and make way for private players to take over the sector completely.

While this administrative crisis is looming, from the political perspective the crisis will be in the form of fresh agitations by the job losers demanding the return of the money they paid for getting the jobs. Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari has said that termination of services of 255 primary teachers and 1,698 non- teaching staff is just the beginning and in the next few months the number will cross 25,000. "Then these job losers and their family members will start hounding the Trinamool Congress leaders and start demanding the return of money. The days to come will be extremely difficult for the ruling party," Adhikari said.

Trinamool Congress leaders like the party's Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen claim that in the process of fishing in troubled waters, the BJP leaders are probably forgetting the scams like the Vyapam scam in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh. "Our party leadership has stood by our stand of zero tolerance for corruption by taking action against an erring minister and removing him from all positions. But can the BJP give a single instance of disciplinary action against their leaders with proven involvement in corruption," he asked.

Political commentator Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay feels that this multi-crore teachers' recruitment scam has now become a double- edged sword for both the administration and the ruling party. "That is why the state government desperately tried to accommodate the illegally recruited candidates by creating additional posts for teachers where it proposed to include the eligible ones who were deprived unethically. However, that did not work out since the court has rejected the idea of creation of such posts. Now when the termination of services of ineligible candidates has become inevitable a major backlash on part of the job-losers cannot be ruled out, since as observed by Justice Joymalya Bagchi surely these illegal recruitments were not out of love but for a consideration," Bandopadhyay said.

In fact, a section of the state police is also apprehending a backlash from the job losers. "Major protest rallies in the state capital are manageable. But a sporadic backlash against the middlemen in the districts will not be often under control. That will be a major cause of worry for law and order authorities," said a police official on condition of anonymity.

Source: IANS

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As services of illegally recruited teachers are terminated, WB stares at a crisis

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