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School Education woes continue

By Our Correspondent Updated: Feb 20, 2020 11:31 pm

CAG report says 549 out of 812 RMSA teachers did not posses requisite qualification

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Feb. 20 (EMN): 
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report for the year ended March 31, 2018, detected anomalies in the department of School Education, in regard to appointment of unqualified teachers and payment made without work, resulting in ‘unavoidable expenditure’.

According to ‘Social Sector’ of the CAG report, the department appointed 812 teachers (210 regular, 602 contract teachers) during the period 2013-18 for Secondary School Education against vacancies under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). Out of 812 teachers, 549 teachers did not possess the minimum qualification of graduation with Bachelor in Education (as per government of Nagaland prescribed minimum qualification for Secondary School teachers).

The department allowed 175 teachers to proceed for B.Ed. course and two teachers for M.Ed. course after joining the service (as teachers). All 175 teachers who got admitted in professional courses, after joining service, were not sanctioned any kind of leave but were paid in full amounting to INR 8.80 crore during the period of absence from schools ranging from one to two years. This resulted in an undue benefit to the 175 teachers as well as avoidable expenditure on salaries amounting to INR 8.80 crore, the report stated.

‘Substitute teachers were appointed by the teachers and were paid by the teachers themselves. Hence, the appointment of substitute teachers did not go through any kind of recruitment processes’, it added.

Verification of records of 106 schools revealed that substitute teachers appointed by the teachers, who went for B.Ed. and other professional qualifications, did not possess the prescribed minimum qualification to teach in Secondary School level, according to the report.

It was also found that in one school, there were three undergraduate substitute teachers.

The report also stated that three teachers went for M.Ed. and Ph.D. courses without obtaining any permission from the department and placed substitute teachers against their respective vacancies. ‘Department allowed unqualified teachers to be appointed and allowed them to proceed for professional courses at the expense of the government’, the CAG report revealed.

During the years 2016-18, out of 602 contract-based RMSA teachers appointed after 2016, 175 teachers (29%) were undergoing professional courses. One regular teacher and 13 contract teachers were undergoing professional courses without obtaining approval of the department.

Further, the department allowed 161 teachers to appoint substitute teachers during professional course, compromising the quality of education of the students. It also found out that the department had appointed unqualified teachers and allowed them to proceed for professional courses with full pay in contravention to government notifications, the report stated.

It cited the department as informing that, as of December 2018, study leave was granted to 10 teachers as per OM dated 26 June, 2016. It was also stated that the matter related to contract fixed payment made to RMSA teachers, who proceeded for B.Ed. courses would be investigated.

However, the CAG report showed that the reply made by the department was not acceptable as the OM stated that no study leave was to be granted for pursuing professional courses to any teacher by the department; and thus, the payment to teachers who proceeded for professional course was unauthorised, irregular and hence, requires to be recovered.

Further, the action of the department in appointing unqualified teachers and allowing them to proceed for professional courses with full pay and allowing the teachers to appoint substitutes in violation of government notifications and norms was inappropriate which needs investigation followed by fixing of responsibility of erring officials, the report stated.

Mentioned may be made that the department, in pursuance to Section 19 of Right to Education Act 2009, issued guidelines on June 26, 2016, to train the ‘untrained teachers under School Education’. According to the guideline, paragraph 2 (ii); the government shall no longer depute serving teachers for professional training courses and bear the pay of substitute teachers. It shall be the responsibility of every teacher to get professional qualification through their own arrangement and cost. Further, paragraph 2 (iii) stated that ‘no study leave shall be granted for pursuing professional qualification including B.Ed. and M.Ed. courses’.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Feb 20, 2020 11:31:45 pm
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