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17 Feb 2017

Meeting with education minister satisfactory: Giri

EOI, DARJEELING,  16 Feb 2017: Gorkhaland Territorial Administration sabhasad Roshan Giri, who is in charge of the education department, today expressed satisfaction over his meeting with state education minister Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata on the issue of regularisation of voluntary teachers in the hills.
Following the state government's directive to the district inspector of schools to conduct document verification of voluntary teachers in Siliguri from February 9 to 11, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha run GTA had claimed interference and overruling of the its powers as education is a transferred subject.
The GJM had alleged that only those voluntary teachers owing allegiance to the TMC had been summoned for the document verification process in Siliguri instead of in Darjeeling. The GJM had even threatened to move the Supreme and High Courts if the state government failed to take corrective measures. This had prompted Chatterjee to invite Giri for a meeting in Kolkata, which took place today.
Talking over the phone from Kolkata, Giri, who is also the GJM general secretary said, “The meeting with Chatterjee was cordial and satisfactory. We apprised the minister about our objections to the state government calling only a handful of voluntary teachers for the verification process in Siliguri. The minister told me that the teachers whose documents were verified would be scrutinised to see if they were genuine."
According to the GJM general secretary, the GTA had on July 9, 2014 submitted names of 503 teachers from the register of appointments as per the rules laid down. However, because of the School Service Commission being defunct since 2003 in the hills, the number of voluntary teachers have gone up to 630 at present.
“The minister also said that the scrutiny process was being conducted for regularisation of the voluntary teachers and that all 630 would be absorbed gradually,” claimed Giri.
During the three-day verification process conducted in Siliguri, the documents of 467 teachers were reviewed, which the GJM claims was politically driven.
Giri hinted that all the 630 voluntary teachers could be accommodated if the number of vacancies are taken into consideration.
“The GTA presently has 1,876 working teachers while 441 posts are vacant.
Now taking the fact that 47 junior high schools have been converted into high schools, and if we take six teachers for each school we have 282 vacancies. Add to this the 29 high schools that have been converted to higher secondary schools. And if we take three teachers for each school we have 87 vacancies. So in our reading if we add all the vacant posts, we actually have around 810 vacant posts,” the Sabhasad said.
The GJM and GTA have already filed separate petitions in the SC alleging interference by the state government in the autonomous functioning of the council body, non-transfer of subjects, formation of community development boards and non-implementation of the three-tier panchayat election, among others. 

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