Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fewer transfer opportunities upset corpn school teachers

Published Date: 8/6/2009 -
G Saravanan

Chennai, June 7: WHILE the Chennai Mayor rejoices over Corporation-run schools consistently showing good results and improving the pass percentage in public examinations in the last few years, teachers of the schools, who aspire to move out of the city, are a peeved lot.

The teachers from other districts are said to be depressed over what they allege to be a denial of their basic rights to live with their family by getting a transfer to their native places through annual counselling.

Though Corporation school teachers are also selected through proper procedures like the Government school teachers, when it comes to transfer counselling, they claim that they feel discriminated. Unlike Government school teachers, Corporation school teachers can not move out unless a replacement is found for the particular post.

The Corporation’s stand has almost made it impossible for many teachers to think of a transfer. The situation is so bad for a few teachers that they never live with their family members other than the annual vacation. This year alone 78 teachers, including 30 women, applied for NOC from civic body to participate in transfer counselling but none of them is sure of making it finally.

“My three-year old daughter has to undergo a heart operation in the next few days in a local hospital near my native place, but I don’t think I would be able to join her during those crucial days when the child would like her parents to be with her,” said a visibly upset teacher, hailing from another district.

The Chennai Corporation runs 135 primary schools, 109 middle schools, 65 high schools and 27 higher secondary schools, employing more than 3600 teachers, including the 500-odd ones selected through Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB).

When the 500-odd teachers were recruited for Corporation schools through TRB few years ago, they were promised transfer to their native places through counselling after a year.

When these teachers mounted pressure on the education department after the one-year period, officials at the civic body issued the mandatory ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) needed to participate in transfer counselling.

But they were in for a rude shock as the NOC came with a string attached. According to the letter, in the event of a transfer, the teacher will be relieved only after another teacher joins the particular school for the same job.

However, a senior Corporation official attributed it good intentions. In view of the good results produced by the schools, they do not want the teachers to leave and the condition in the NOC was included just to ensure that the academic activities were not disrupted, the official said.

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