MITA MUKHERJEE and SUBHASISH CHAUDHURI, TT, March 9: Over 2,000 candidates who had been given appointment letters for primary teachers' posts have received another notice in a few days cancelling the appointments.
The job offers were withdrawn by the primary school councils of several districts through letters that said that the candidates had not presented the necessary documents to prove that they belonged to the "para-teacher" category.
Many of the candidates told this newspaper that they had appeared for the test the first time and did not fall in the "para teachers" category.
Ten per cent of the 42,000-odd vacancies for primary teachers were reserved under the "para-teacher" category.
The withdrawal of the appointments was raised in the Assembly by CPM and Congress MLAs yesterday during a discussion on the education department's budget.
"The government is aware of the complaints regarding the problem. The appointments of some selected candidates have been cancelled. We are examining the matter. But according to preliminary reports received from the districts, it appears that many of the candidates put tick marks on the para teacher category column in the application forms though they belonged to the general category. This could be the reason for the cancellations," said education minister Partha Chatterjee.
According to the rules, those who apply under the "para-teacher" category are required to submit documents justifying their claim within a certain deadline. In these cases, the appointments were rejected after they failed to produce the relevant papers, the minister said.
"Of the 2,370 cases, nearly 1,067 have already admitted their mistake," Chatterjee said yesterday.
In most of the cases, however, the district primary school councils have acknowledged that it was a "mistake" to issue the appointment letters and that they were "wrongly" sent to them.
"... You have been wrongly and by mistake considered to be a primary teacher under para teacher category . Your appointment letter no 1340 dated 12.02.2017 has therefore been issued wrongly and by mistake from this end...," the Nadia district primary council chairman wrote to Biswajit Banerjee in the cancellation letter.
Debduhita Bandopadhya of Nabadwip and Biswajit Banerjee of Bogula, both in Nadia, said they were being penalised for no fault of theirs.
They said they were appointed to the post of assistant teachers in February.
"I am being punished for a mistake which I didn't make. I never applied under the para-teacher category. Yet the council has been blaming us only to conceal their goof-up," said Biswajit.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SNEHAMOY CHAKRABORTY