Nagaland: Crisis in Education Sector deepens due to freezing posts, rights infringement

Dimapur, April 19, 2017: The All Nagaland Pre-Service Teacher Association (ANPSTA) has stated that the 532 vacant primary teacher posts in Nagaland State can be filled by teachers who are part of the Association, having passed the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) examinations conducted in the year 2013 and 2016.

It is a “fundamental right” and a “legitimate expectation” that they be considered for the posts in lieu of their “seniority” as well as “merit,” stated the ANPSTA in a representation to the Minister, School Education Department, the Commissioner & Secretary to the Department and the Director of the Department.

In the event that the representation is not considered by the said authority in 30 days, the ANPSTA stated that its members would “seek the redressal of our grievance before an appropriate court of law.”

The representation was sent on behalf of ANPSTA members from Kohima, Dimapur, Mokokchung, Wokha, Zunheboto, Phek & Peren districts, and signed by its President, Obed Yhobu.

Deep education crisis

Despite previous appeals for recruitment of TET qualified primary teachers, the ANPSTA stated that the Nagaland State Government has taken no action leading to a “deep education crisis” in the State, extrapolated by nil results in HSLC examinations in 24 government schools in 2014, 38 in 2015 and 30 in 2016.

That there are 532 primary teacher posts lying vacant in the State indicates that many schools in Nagaland are suffering from a shortage of primary teachers that can adversely affect the overall standard of education, as well as the literacy rate of the State.

Meanwhile, the State has a rule that all appointment of teachers shall be filled only by those who have qualified TET based on merit, thereby making the teachers associated with the ANPSTA eligible to fill the posts.

Freezing posts

The problem seems to arise from a notification issued by the Commissioner & Secretary to the Government of Nagaland, Department of School Education, that states, in part, that, “Posts falling vacant due to retirement, death, resignation, termination etc with effect from 1st May 2013 will be freezed. Such posts will be transferred to the deficit schools till such time the required Pupil Teacher Ratio (25:1) is attained in all schools in Nagaland.”

The ANPSTA noted that “freezing of such appointments for almost four years have resulted in the denial of education to so many children within the state literally killing the education of the future generation of our state.”

Further the Association has maintained that such freezing of appointment of teachers is “illegal, arbitrary and capricious infringing upon the sacrosanct fundamental rights as well as other constitutional rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”

Even the condition to the above notification, that recruitment of teachers shall be made through the Teacher Eligibility Test, “has not been fulfilled till date,” stated the ANPSTA.

Infringement of rights

The Association cited the Directive Principle of State Policy contained in Article 45 of the Constitution of India and noted that by not appointing primary teachers, the Nagaland State Government has failed to live up to constitutional guarantees towards free and compulsory education for all children till 14 years of age which, in turn, infringes upon the right to life itself.

The State Government’s actions, the ANPSTA noted, is also in “contravention of the provisions of the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 which was enacted with a goal to achieve universal elementary education.”

Source: Morung Express

Image Courtesy: internet sources

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