Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, March 19: The GTA has issued a directive, asking the heads and managing committees of schools across the Darjeeling hills not to accept the appointments of teachers other than those made by the hill body.
The move is seen as a pre-emptive measure by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to stop the state government from regularising the jobs of temporary teachers, most of whom have recently joined the Trinamul Congress.
Roshan Giri, the executive GTA Sabha member in charge of education, today said the directive had been issued as education was a subject transferred to the hill body.
The state government had showed little interest in regularising the jobs of the temporary teachers when they were with the Morcha earlier. After they had shifted their allegiance to Trinamul, the government directed the School Service Commission to verify the documents of the teachers, triggering speculations that the Trinamul dispensation was planning to make them permanent.
Most of the 500-odd temporary teachers in the hills are now with the Secondary Temporary Teacher's Organisation, which is affiliated to Trinamul.
The directive issued by Giri to the schools recently states that a resolution has been adopted by the GTA Sabha during its meeting in Darjeeling on February 14, 2017 that "any appointments other than by GTA will not be accepted".
The temporary teachers today vehemently opposed the GTA's directive.
Dipen Tamang, the executive member of the STTO, said: "We opposed the step taken by the GTA. Many teachers have served for 20 years and they have been denied justice. Just when we are seeing a ray of hope, our own people are trying to oppose the regularisation of our jobs. What could be sadder than this?"
Giri said the GTA was not against the regularisation.
Speaking over the phone from Mumbai today, Giri said: "We are not against the regularisation of teachers' jobs. We want all the teachers to be made permanent and the process adopted for it should be right. The education department is a subject transferred to the GTA and should be given the authority to appoint the teachers. We are only against the process and we cannot let the state government do it for political benefits."
During the verification of the teachers' documents, there were allegations that only a section of teachers who were with Trinamul had been asked to submit the papers.
Tamang, however, sought to refute the allegation. "As per our information, documents of 476 of 515 temporary teachers were verified in Siliguri. The documents of Bachan Lohagun, the son of elected GTA Sabha member Kaziman Lohauan, was verified. Documents of the Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation's president Nirmal Rai, vice president Sunita Khawash and treasurer Raju Bomjan were verified. So, the allegations that documents of only those with Trinamul were verified is wrong," said Tamang.
The JISTO is a frontal organisation of the Morcha.
The STTO said it had asked its members to fill a form.
"May be those who did not fill that form were not called for the document verification. But almost all teachers had their document verified," said another STTO member.