800 teaching posts at BMC schools vacant
Earlier this year, the education department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) launched a first-ever ‘Mission Admission’ campaign under which there have been 1,02,500 admissions to its schools. However, it has now come to light that about 800 teaching posts at the schools run by the civic body are lying vacant.
While the BMC has no immediate plan to make any appointments, it has decided to vest headmasters of its schools with the power to appoint teachers on hourly-pay basis. Apart from this, it has also planned to source teachers from NGOs or tap into government-aided schools which have surplus teachers to meet the faculty shortfall at BMC-run institutions.
Considering the vacancy of teachers in civic schools and the fact that permanent appointments could take time, the BMC education department issued a circular on Saturday allowing its school headmasters to appoint teachers on an hourly-pay basis. The payment has been decided at Rs 150 per hour and funds for the purpose will be allotted by the BMC.
The BMC education department, which has rebranded the civic schools as Mumbai Public School (MPS), had been blowing its trumpet about increased standards of education at these institutions. However, with the faculty shortfall coming to the fore after the BMC’s education department came out with its teachers’ adjustment action-plan earlier this week, the claim of improved learning standards at these institutions now rings hollow.
According to the BMC action-plan, Marathi-medium schools have the highest number of vacancies at 259, followed by Urdu-medium at 137. The remaining six civic schools of different mediums have less than 100 vacant posts. The plan mentions that an adjustment will be done to ensure a maximum 20 per cent vacancy in each school. The idea is to ensure that no one school has more vacant teaching posts than others.
“Children are getting back to formal education after a long gap of two years due to pandemic-induced closure of schools. The BMC schools have seen more enrolment this year due to ‘Mission Admission’. However, it is appalling that the schools do not have enough teachers for these students. How does the BMC education department plan to help children cover their academic loss without adequate teachers?” questioned Shivnath Darade from Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad, a teachers’ union which has written to the BMC commissioner on the issue of faculty crunch.
Education officer at BMC, Rajesh Kankal, said, “It has been observed in the past that some schools which are easily accessible had a greater number of teachers than those which are in not-so-preferred areas. The idea to maintain a 20 per cent vacancy in each school is to ensure that all BMC schools will have the same number of teachers. On vacant positions, we may have incoming teachers from private-aided schools which are declared to have surplus faculty. Schools do have tie-ups with NGOs for teachers. Apart from this, headmasters are now vested with the power to appoint teachers to fill the vacant posts. They will be paid on an hourly basis by the BMC.”
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