Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 10:
In view of shortage of teachers in state-run schools, Odisha government has decided to engage the retired teachers in primary schools under Teachers on Call scheme, which has been renamed as Atithi Sikhyak (guest teacher).
The Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) on behalf of State School & Mass Education department has assigned the Block Education Officers (BEOs) to prepare a list of retired teachers, who have interest to join the primary schools again for teaching students. Further initiative will be taken after getting the list. The retired teachers will be asked take classes from July 2017 till March 2018.
In this connection, the OPEPA has written to all the district project coordinators. A panel comprising of the retired teachers, who will be interested to deliver their duties, will be set up. As the government has decided to appoint them from July 1, the OPEPA has directed the BEOs to take immediate step for preparing the list of teachers.
On the other hand, the move has been opposed by several teachers and unemployed educated people unions.
“While thousands of educated youths having CT/B.Ed degrees are unemployed, the government is appointing the retired teachers in the schools. Due to the move, the students will not be able to get quality education in government schools. Earlier, the scheme that was implemented in high schools had turned out to be failure and now the government wants to implement the scheme in primary schools”, said Unemployed CT/B.Ed Holders Union.
Demanding for immediate withdrawal of the decision, the union threatened to launch state-wide agitation against the retired teachers’ appointment.
“Since the state government is measuring the skills and talent of teachers through OTET for imparting quality education in Odisha, there is no need to appoint the retired teachers. As the teachers are getting retired after reaching a particular age, the government is harassing over 15,000 degree holders by reappointing the retired teachers in schools. The teachers’ age should be raised instead of appointing the retired teachers”, said Pradipta Kumar Pradhan, Odisha High School Contract teachers union president.
However, the initiative has been taken for making Right to Education Act successful. As the appointment process for Sikhya Sahayak held in 2016 is on hold, the initiative has been taken accordingly, said OPEPA Director Mahendra Kumar Mallick.