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14 Feb 2017

Questions on Bengal teacher hiring... 72,000 school teachers would get appointment letter by March 15,

TT, Feb. 13: Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee today said the process of appointing 72,000 school teachers would be complete by March 15, but several candidates who had taken the recruitment test and Opposition leaders questioned the selection procedure.
The Bengal government, which began the recruitment process on January 31, has already filled up 42,400 of the 43,000 primary teacher vacancies.
"We have almost completed the process of recruiting the primary teachers. It is expected that the newly appointed teachers will join their respective schools by the end of this month," Chatterjee said.
He added that the teachers for Classes V to XII would be appointed by March 15.
Chatterjee said the most of the 72,000 candidates had been intimated through text messages or emails.
But several candidates this newspaper spoke to alleged "gross violation" of recruitment norms during the selection.
"Never before was the recruitment held in such a manner. There was no transparency in the procedure followed by the government. Every candidate has the right to know his position. The candidates had no clue where they stood as no merit list was published," a candidate from Howrah said.
Initially, only those candidates who had qualified the test were allowed to access their results online by keying in their roll numbers. This created a confusion among unsuccessful candidates who questioned why they were being denied access to their results.
It was only after the government had selected 14,000 primary teachers that it posted the full result on the website of the state primary board.
"The entire process is flawed. The ruling party leaders took money for the appointments and that's why they are not coming out with a proper list. This is a huge scam, it has to be probed," CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty said.
Veteran teachers said publishing the merit list of candidates along with those on the waiting list was a must before starting the recruitment process.
"The best practice is to publish a merit list along with a waiting list... that's what is done in all other states. Ideally, the names on the merit list should be the same as the number of vacancies (in this case 43,000). Whereas, the number of names on the waiting list should be 5 to 10 per cent of the total number of vacant posts," said an official in the school education department.
Chatterjee today made it clear there was no plan to publish the full list.
"Past experiences have shown that many candidates tend to challenge the results with an intention to delay the appointment of school teachers. It is not important to publish a merit list. What is most important is to ensure that the appointment is held only on the basis of merit and the selected candidates are able to produce all the relevant documents at the time of appointment," Chatterjee told reporters.
Several candidates claimed that though they had received text messages or emails confirming their appointments, the education department website showed they were not selected when they keyed in their roll numbers.
The recruitment process had been embroiled in legal tangles, with several candidates moving court challenging the results.
The Bengal government was in another fix after the National Council for Teacher Education directed the states to ensure that only candidates with teacher training degrees should be allowed to sit for the teachers' eligibility test.

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