Saturday, June 3, 2023

67 higher secondary teachers terminated for want of workload in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an unprecedented move, the state government has sacked 67 junior higher secondary English teachers who did not have adequate workload following staff fixation. Ironically, the government school teachers who were “discharged for want of vacancies”, on Friday had received appointments through the state PSC.

Though the government has assured that these teachers would be given appointments once regular higher secondary school teacher-junior (HSST-jr) vacancies arise, the teachers’ unions are not convinced. They contended that the issue could have been addressed by redeployment of teachers or deputation to other wings of the general education department.

The terminated teachers’ posts were earlier treated as supernumerary till March 31, 2023. After their continuance in service beyond March 31 seemed doubtful, the teacher’s unions approached the government demanding an extension.

Recently, General Education Minister V Sivankutty said the government was “considering the matter favourably”. He added that a case regarding the teaching posts was pending before the court, and a decision was awaited.

Anil M George of the Higher Secondary School Teachers’ Association (HSSTA), said such a move was unheard of in the state’s education sector. “In 2018, when many higher secondary teaching posts became excess in aided schools following staff fixation, the government had treated these posts as supernumerary till their retirement. However, in the case of government school teachers, the posts were made supernumerary for a brief period and eventually terminated,” he said.

HSSTA has urged the government to withdraw the order and to redeploy the 67 English teachers in various sections of the general education department. This would ensure that there is no break in service for the teachers, many of whom had received appointments through PSC after waiting for many years.

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